Chitra Santhe is a much familiar and loved event for all art connoisseurs. Held every year on the first Sunday in Bangalore the art fair has gone online this year due to the pandemic. The santhe began on 3rd January and will be held for a full month. The 18th edition of the art fair has shifted from a single day event to a full month because of COVID-19.
The Kumara Krupa Road which was lined annually with colorful artistic endeavors might not seem as crowded as last year. But the online extravaganza has had an overwhelming response already. It was estimated that more than one lakh people had attended the event online in a matter of a few hours.
History of Chitra Santhe
Chitra Santhe began in 2003-04 celebrating and drawing inspiration from the founder of the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, Professor MS Nanjunda Rao. Chitra Santhe’s main objective has been to ‘create a platform for students, professionals as well as self-taught artists to exhibit their work and have an opportunity for direct interaction with art connoisseurs and collectors.’ In the early years artists participated from the many areas of Karnataka, such as Belgaum, Gadag, Gulbarga, Mysore, Raichur etc. However, over the years the event has gained a prestigious status with many renowned artists gracing the occasion. Yet, at the same time the fair remains a wonderful opportunity for artists across all genres, experiences or qualifications.
The Digital catalogue
There are around 1500 artists participating from across 20 countries this year. Each artists work along with their contact details and artwork is displayed on Chitra Santhe’s virtual gallery. One can view the gallery on the website that is categorized in the most systematic manner. The artists can be searched either through their names alphabetically or states. At the same time, artists are also divided into various other categories, such as senior artists, students, those who do it for a hobby or are self-taught, differently-abled artists and more.
The riot of colors, insight and sheer creative energy is palpable on every artist or category page that one clicks on.
Inauguration and intent
Sudha Murthy, Chairperson of Infosys Foundation, inaugurated the online edition of the Chitra Santhe. She also stressed on the condition of the artists during these trying times of the pandemic and urged the society to take collective responsibility in supporting and encouraging arts and artists. Dedicated to corona warriors other dignitaries present at the inauguration included the Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka Dr. C N Ashwath Narayan, S M Krishna, S.T Somashekhar, B L Shankar and C N Manjunath.
Artists and awards
The art fair also confers awards and citations to chosen artists. The four awards, namely the D Devaraja Urs Award, H K Kejrival Award, M Aryamurthy Award and Y Subramanyaraju Award also called Chitrakala Samman are awarded to four artists along with Rs.50,000 and a citation. Besides, a senior artist is conferred the national award in the memory of Professor M S Nanjunda Rao with a cash price of Rs.1 lakh and citation.
This year the artists felicitated with the awards include, Neelima Sheikh for the Prf M S Nanjunda Rao National Award, P S Kumar for D Devaraja Urs Award, Vijay Bagodi for the Y Subramanyaraju Award, R Raju for the M Aryamurthy Award and Dr. Choodamani Nandagopal for the H K Kejrival Award.
The pandemic might have made it difficult to conduct the Chitra Santhe on ground, but the online fair has been extremely convenient for all. Anyone can log on the site to check out the artistic and creative magic unfold on their screen. The exhibition is live on chitrasanthe.org and also on their Instagram, Facebook and Youtube channels.
So don’t wait too long. Explore the variants of colors, patterns, design, lines and get mesmerized by art that has both meaning and intent.