Missed out on the India Art Fair? You still have a good chance to get up, close and personal with numerous artworks and artists at the ongoing International Kala Mela. The event, on till the evening of February 18 at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (Janpath), has no entry ticket or fee, so that one doesn’t have to stand in queues before getting inside the venue.
The first indigenous art fair of its kind, organised by the prestigious Lalit Kala Akademi, the inauguration of International Kala Mela was done by Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu and Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma earlier this month. With a total of 325 exhibition stalls, it has more than 800 participants from across the globe. These participants are from countries such as China, Venezuela, Peru, Portugal, Srilanka, Poland, Tunisia, Mexico, Bangladesh, Trinidad, Tobago, Fiji, France, Papua New Guinea, Czechia, UK, Spain and Brazil.
Naidu said about the event, “Alag bhasha, alag vesh, fir bhi apna ek desh. Vividhta me ekta, Bharat ki visheshta (Different languages, different couture, yet one country. Unity in diversity, India’s specialty).” He said that International Kala Mela is the first of its kind in the country and is not only Indian but also International. He said that this is to showcase art and also celebrate various cultural forms of India, as well as provides platform to artists from abroad.
CS Krishna Shetty, Administrator, LKA, says, “This is for the first time that the Akademi has planned an International Kala Mela at such a large scale. The event has been conceptualised to help those artists who cannot afford to exhibit their works in art galleries or expensive art fairs. There are many striking works on display, that are also affordable. It has turned out to be a big event with 325 stalls and 800 participating artists.”
Shetty says, “There are more than 10,000 works on display, we have not done any kind of screening. Our aim was just to offer them a platform, and that’s it.” He adds that the flagship event will be held on a much grander scale next year.