'Visual arts should get grants on par with other arts'

The Karnataka Lalitkala Academy has sought from the Department of Kannada and Culture  the same amount of grant which is being given to other academies like Sangeeth Nritya, Janapada and Nataka academies.

Karnataka Lalitkala Academy Chairman C S Krishna Setty said recently that a letter has been written to the Department in this regard.

He said the total budget for Kannada and Culture department this year is Rs 269 crore while it is a mere Rs 40 lakh for the Lalithakala Academy. At least one per cent of the total budget should be allocated for the Academy, he added.

Besides, he has sought an increase in the annual budgetary allocation to Rs two crore from the present Rs 40 lakh.

There is a proposal to change the name of the Karnataka Lalitkala Academy to Karnataka Visual Art (Drushya Kala). With art forms such as ‘shilpa’ and ‘sangeeta’, which were part of ‘lalitkala’ getting their own academies, such a name change if felt appropriate.

The Lalithakala Academy was set up in 1964, when there were no separate academies for various arts. Now, there are several academies and their name should indicate their function. Hence, the Lalithaka Academy should be named Drushyakala (visual arts) Academy, Setty reasons.

Setty said a proposal had also been submitted to the State government to transfer art galleries from under the Kannada and Culture Department to the academy, to make them more accessible to artists and help them exhibit their works regularly.

In Kerala, 15 galleries are under the control of the Kerala Lalitkala Academy. However, in Karnataka, the academy didn’t have a single gallery under its control.

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