Women artists' group show enters fifth year

Women artists' group show enters fifth year

One of the paintings on display.

Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath will play host to a unique art show for a few days. Titled ‘Akanksha 2018’, the exhibition will feature more than 500 works of art by 50 women artists. 

Since 2015, IT professional-turned-artist Shyamala Ramanand has been curating and managing these shows. Talking about how she turned to art herself, Shyamala says, “I always wanted to be an artist since childhood. However, I couldn’t pursue my dreams since my family wanted me to go for either medicine or engineering. Going on that path, I worked for 23 years in the IT field.” 

“In 2005, after I lost my mother, I had no one to take care of my daughter. Which is when I decided to turn back to art. It would allow me to be with my girl and follow my passion as well. I quit  my job in Wipro and joined for a six-month course in Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath.”

That was the turning point in her life. She met others like her; women divided by ages and professions but united by a love for art.  

“I had my first show in Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in 2011. I was surprised to see a lot of women walk in — women who painted in the confines of their home, lacking the confidence to show their works to anyone else. That is when the idea of a women-centric show came to my mind.”

Her second show next year cemented this idea. The crowd was bigger and more enthusiastic than before and Shyamala decided to bring together amateur women artists on a common platform. She started talking to people and by the end of month, had got almost 200 applications for a show meant to accommodate around 50 artists!

Doctors, surgeons, writers, professors, grandmothers — you can find them all here, producing fabulous art. The best part is that they are all self-taught.  “We have artists who have been taking part in ‘Akanksha’ for past 4-5 years and are almost established now. So now I have grouped participants into two categories — beginner and emerging,” says Shyamala, adding that the show has launched 500 artists so far. 

‘Akanksha’ has tied up with eminent teachers and artists to guide these art students. All the proceeds from these workshops go towards a trust called Art Can Care (art for cancer care). 

Mark the dates

The exhibition will be held till June 7, 10.30 am onwards at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. 

Guest list

The fifth edition of the show has its theme as ‘Incredible India’. It will include demonstrations by artists, competitions and talks. The exhibition will be inaugurated on June 2, 4.30 pm by Choodamani Nandagopal (art historian and UNESCO Fellow), Sandhya Reddy (writer and folklorist), Pramila Lochan (art critic and historian) and Shirley Mathew (artist). 

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