Golden jubilee celebration of the Lalit Kala Akademi

'Swarnrekha', an exhibition of the works of National and Triennale awardees, marked the beginning of the year long golden jubilee celebration of the Lalit Kala Akademi (LKA). Since its inception, this apex art institution of India has been striving to preserve the glorious artistic traditions of the country.

The Government of India established the Akademi in the year 1954. Formed for development and promotion of visual and plastic arts in India, it works towards projecting the vast Indian heritage through research and expressions in the field of visual arts. The idea is to take care of overall vision of the great Indian art tradition as well as imbibe practices in the contemporary art.

The Akademi tries to encourage and promote study and research in the field of creative arts such as paintings, sculptures, graphics, photography, architectural, etc. In its endeavor to honor several artists for their contribution to the field of art, it has given several awards and fellowships to them. The Garhi studios in Delhi, established by the Akademi, has boosted the fledgling careers of artists like Arpana Caur, Manjit Bawa, J. Swaminathan, and Krishen Khanna. The studios have facilities for diverse art practices, such as painting, pottery, graphics and sculpture.

The 'Swarnrekha' exhibition, one of the many events planned as part of the celebrations, will be followed by a series of creative programs for increasing the art awareness among general public. The XI Triennale, to be held early next year, is the other big event that forms part of the golden jubilee celebrations. Artists from nearly 40 countries have been invited for the show. It will be held in Delhi first and then will travel to almost all major cities of India including Hyderabad, Guwahati, Jaipur, Cochin and Kolkata. Various workshops, camps and seminars will be held along side the show.

The jubilee show had nearly 300 works - 266 paintings and 91 sculptures - on display, and comprised one work each from all the awardees since 1955. The notable amongst the list of artists were K.K. Hebbar, Late B.C. Sanyal, M.F. Husain, Akbar Padamsee, Shanti Dave, Tyeb Mehta, K.G. Subramanyanam, Satish Gujral, Paritosh Sen, Sankho Choudhri, A. Ramachandran, Ram Kumar, G.R. Santosh, Biren De, Jatin Das, Somnath Hore, Jayram Patel, Dhanraj Bhagat, S. Dhanpal, Bikash Bhattacharya, Ganesh Pyne, Amarnath Sehgal etc. Amrut Patel, the curator of this prestigious exhibition, informed: "All the artists had given their latest works, and we had sourced from the Gallery collection the works of those artists who are not with us anymore. I am very satisfied with the body of work on display, it represents the very best of modern Indian art."

Constant efforts are made by the Akademi to generate awareness among the public regarding the art practices of the country and its theoretical and intellectual impulses by organizing lectures on art and artists on a regular basis and conduct festivals of films on art and artists and organize various programs that help appreciating art without getting enmeshed in the polemics of art.

During the five decades of its existence, the institution has hosted various exhibitions in India and abroad, including 10 Triennales. As part of the Triennale-India the Akademi organizes international artists camps and workshop in various parts of the country for the benefit of artists as well as the art lovers. It provides an opportunity to have discussions and generate novel sensibilities.

National Exhibition of Art, one of the important annual art events of the Akademi, started in 1958, provides a platform to the artists for displaying their works. It works as a cultural dialogue and exchange of visual sensibilities, ideas etc., among the practitioners of art and culture in its widest range. Fifteen National Awards are given as recognition of the talents of the artists who participate in the exhibition. The 47th National Exhibition of Art is to be held in November-December 2004 in Delhi as part of the golden jubilee celebrations.

Other events planned as part of the LKA golden jubilee celebrations are: Guru Shishya tradition for art students - October/November Seminar - Art & Democracy - January, 2005 Current Art Practice in India - A Group Exhibition in April Workshops, Camps, Seminars and Lectures International Art Camp for SAARC Nations Installation of Sculptures in public areas Making of Documentary Film on 50 years of Indian Art CD-ROM on prominent Indian Artists & Stamp releases Encyclopedia of Contemporary Indian Art Special Publications, Reproduction & Monographs

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