Chitra Santhe’, an annual art fair, is synonymous with inclusivity — not just for the artists present but also for art connoisseurs, buyers, sellers and promoters. Back for the 13th time, the exhibition is going to flood Kumara Krupa Road and Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath on January 3.
And unlike most other art exhibitions, one need not have qualms about walking in without any knowledge of art. Artists from all over the country will be present on the day, spread over 1,100 stalls, to explain their works and techniques.
Viewers also need not pay a hefty fine, as Harish J Padmanabha, the director of the annual art fair, says, “It is an art fair for the common man. Otherwise, one will have to pay around Rs 5,000 to get into a gallery. ‘Chitra Santhe’ provides artists from the hinterland a platform to showcase their work, which is otherwise not possible.”
He emphasises that it is Bengaluru’s cosmopolitan nature that attracts such a large crowd. Different kinds of works — Gond paintings, Kerala murals, abstract and contemporary works, warli, madhubani and more — will be on display. And different mediums have been incorporated. An emphasis has been made on rural artists, like every year, and creative minds from Ballari, Belagavi, Kalaburagi, Tumakuru, Bidar and Mysuru will showcase the rich heritage of Karnataka.
Dr Andani VG, a senior artist from Kalaburagi, says that ‘Chitra Santhe’ gives upcoming artists a taste of reality. He also mentions that these otherwise unknown artists make sales worth lakhs at this one event. Since there aren’t many platforms that highlight the importance of art on such a large scale, where everyone is invited to visit, this makes each work more relatable.
Along with a street full of paintings (be warned, all vehicular movement has been clocked in the area), there will also be food stalls and performance pieces. Harish says that one of these performances will bring alive a Ravi Varma painting through oral storytelling. There are some, like Shabana, owner of ‘Think Colour’, who will set up stalls not to sell paintings but to spread the magic of art and crafts. She believes that everyone has an artist in them, it just depends on how passionate they are.
And Deccan Herald and Prajavani, in association with Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, will have a painting and face painting competition for people of all ages. People can sign up on spot and there are many prizes lined up for the winners. Harish mentions that this event wouldn’t be possible without the support of the government — the transport department, the Chief Minister’s team and the traffic police.