The annual art bazaar is here

'Chitra Santhe'

On January 5, all roads will lead to Chitra Santhe, the annual art bazaar held by Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat (KCP).

Now in its eleventh year, the Santhe aims at providing a single platform to upcoming artists from all across India to showcase their creativity, while promoting an interest in visual arts and educating people about the importance of art in life.

At a press conference held at KCP on Thursday, president BL Shankar informed that over 1,300 artists will participate this year. “30 per cent of the artists are from outside the state like Kerala, West Bengal, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Goa and Maharashtra. The remaining 70 per cent are from different districts in Karnataka, including Udupi, Hubli, Mangalore, Dharwad and Bellary.

We will also be showcasing work by physically challenged artists. While we want to encourage newcomers, we don’t want to compromise on the quality. That’s why we have rejected 170 applications during the selection process because they were either not original or of poor quality,” he said.

The main feature of the Santhe will be paintings, though live art forms like caricatures, tattoos and drawings will also be seen. Asked about the price range of the work on display, KCP general secretary DK Chowta replied, “The price will be completely upto the artists themselves.

In the previous editions, paintings have been sold for as little as Rs 100 to Rs 1.5 lakh. There is no agent involved and the direct sales model proves most beneficial to the artists.” He added that one of the salient features is that visitors can interact with the artist in person. “That’s one of the conditions we give our artist – that he or she must be present throughout the day, though they can take assistance if needed,” he said.

An impressive two lakh footfall is expected this time. “When we started the
Santhe, there used to be around one lakh visitors. In the recent times, it has even gone up to three lakh. No other state has this kind of an art fair and we’ve started seeing a lot more people showing a keen interest over the years,” shared T Prabhakar, KCP chairman.
RH Kulkarni, convener of the Santhe and head of the KCP College of Fine Arts, has noted a qualitative change over the last ten editions.

“A lot has changed for the better. Artists are exploring new subjects, styles and aesthetics. There is a big demand for some artists who have been featured year after year. But we’re stopping that. Almost 50 per cent will be newcomers this year,” he said. Chitra Santhe will be on from 8 am to 7 pm at Kumara Krupa Road on January 5.

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