Hundreds of artists, hordes of aficionados

Chitra Santhe was the place to be on Sunday

Hundreds of artists, hordes of aficionados

With a little help from the traffic police and the weather gods, the City's very own street exhibition saw thousands of visitors throng the canopy-covered Kumara Krupa avenue to indulge themselves at the smorgasbord of paintings on display.

The Santhe, featuring nearly 1,400 artists across the country, was laid open to the public at 8 am, and the crowds kept coming in long after it was supposed to shut down at 7 pm.

No section of society was left unrepresented. Senior citizens rubbed shoulders with schoolchildren to have a peek at the thousands of paintings on show.

Rahul Parmer, an executive at a MNC, arrived at the Santhe, towing his one-year-old son in a pram.  "It is a Sunday afternoon, and I thought it would be nice to take a stroll, and get some paintings for the house", he said.

This year, Chitra Kala Parishath, organisers of the Santhe, decided to restrict the art work on display to paintings, graphic prints, miniature formats, sculpture and photographs. Name the school of art and it was represented in one form or the other.

Bharathesh K, a painter from Mumbai, is one of the nearly thousand painters featured. "This is the second year that I am coming here. Last year, I sold enough paintings to last me more than a year", he said. Indeed, the Santhe has proved to be a huge source of revenue for several artists.

Rs 1.4-crore sale

Last year, Chitra Kala Parishath  estimated that sales of nearly Rs 1.4 crore were effected in just a single day.

Some of the big names featured at the festival included Yusuf Arakkal, J M S Mani, C Chandrashekar, V S Venkatraman, and C S Krishna Shetty. Arakkal unveiled a series of sketches in homage to the famous Indian artist, Tyeb Mehta. A major attraction was the work of nearly 100 artists from Karnataka, varying in age from 30 years to 80 years, titled "Multiple Dimensions, Generations and Genres".

The sight of people sitting still was common as self-portraits were a big hit with visitors. There were also demonstrations by Origami and Kirigami experts, and a workshop on paper bags.

At Freedom Park next year

Inaugurating the 8th Chitra Santhe, Home Minister R Ashoka announced that in 2012, the Santhe would be held at Seshadri Road along Freedom Park. "Chitra Kala Parishath authorities felt that they needed more space for holding the festival. Therefore we are making preparations to hold the Santhe at a much bigger venue next year”, he said.

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