News Nook

 The Artists' Centre celebrates Golden Jubilee
 Heritage park for masses in Kolkata
 Tribal craft fair organised in New Delhi
 Art-in Nature - A Documentary Screening
 Young Artists Showcase India's Traditional Arts and Crafts
 Indian artists shine in the UK
The Artists' Centre celebrates Golden Jubilee The Artists' Centre, one of the premier art institutions in India, held an exhibition of works by Indian masters, including K. H. Ara, S. Bakre, H.A. Gade, M. F.Husain, S. H. Raza and F. N. Souza. The event was held on the eve of the Golden Jubilee of the centre in its premises from March 15 to 25, 2001. Associated with the "Progressive Artists' Group", these artists spearheaded the contemporary art movement in India. The Artists Aid Centre, as the centre was known earlier, is credited with providing vital support to the movement during a critical phase. Well-known art critic, Dnyaneshwar Nadkarni, released a book on the "Progressive Artists' Group", while inaugurating the exhibition, which highlighted the association of the Progressive Artists' Group with the Artists' Centre. Since its inception, the Artists' Centre has held the Indian art community together. It was founded primarily to help upcoming Indian artists. The Artists centre aims to serve as a meeting point for art lovers and artists, create art awareness, encourage interaction on art issues and acquaint the masses with various aspects of art. TOP Heritage park for masses in Kolkata India now lives amidst millions of colours in a land called 'Swabhumi.' This is how the Kolkata Municipal Corporation is projecting its venture that gives a contemporary touch to traditional art. The idea is to popularise India's rich traditions in diverse fields like art, jewellery, clothing and even ayurveda. It's like opening our door wide to the the culture and heritage of India for the benefit of common people, a spokesperson for this ambitious project says. It's a grand six-acre heritage park across the Salt Lake stadium. Juteware, leatherware, regional craft (dokra,shola, chhou, masks, kantha), terracotta artifacts, paintings, batik, hand painted garments, cane furniture, etc, are on display. Renowned performing artists are invited at the venue. Swabhumi is open from noon till 10 pm on weekdays and holidays. Swabhumi, Eastern Metropolitan Bypass, 89C Moulana Azad Sarani formerly Narkeldanga Main Road, Calcutta - 700 054 TOP Tribal craft fair organised in New Delhi Swadeshi Vanvasi Mela, an event, first of its kind to promote tribal arts & crafts was held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi from 8 to 13 February. Jointly organised by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Ministry of Environment & Forests and Ministry of Rural Development, the event showcased the best of India's tribal artisans' skills and traditions - their art and crafts - from the time immemorial and the contemporary. India is known to represent fascinating spectrum of countless cultures and life-styles from ancient times. One of the cultural streams adopted by a sizeable section of India's indigenous populations is represented by Vanvasis or tribals. They are still untouched by the materialistic world and maintain a unique life-style close to core natural values. This important segment of Indian society has contributed directly and indirectly a lot to the national development in various forms like culture, heritage and economy. Keeping in view of their importance, the organisers felt the need to highlight their valuable contribution in terms of rich art, culture, crafts and other life style accessories with their scope and styles to which the fellow countrymen are vastly unaware. The tribal art fair was conceived as an interactive forum between tribal craftsmen-producers and the general public. It was arranged with an aim of playing a major role in developing as well as utilising tribal skills capabilities in a very concerted and conscious way for their development. TOP Art-in Nature - A Documentary Screening This was the title of a documentary film by R V Ramani that was screened at the Max Muller Bhavan, Mumbai recently. It focused on a German artist, who used natural materials for her art. In the wake of the many artistic movements and -isms of the 20th century, artists especially in Europe, are now seeking a new approach to nature. As part of the German Festival in India, the internationally renowned German artists Ulrike Arnold, Gabrilele, heidecker, Peter Strauss and Timm Ulrichs linked up with leading Indian artists such as Rimzon, Shivprasanna, Manisha Parekh and Sheila Gowda. The artists spent a month together to develop new approaches towards this theme. As an explorer, Ulrike Arnold travels extensively to discover landscape. She uses earth soil and stone, digging in sites of every continent for her art. Her approach is very basic. She applies the dirt and rock, together with oils, wax and resins, to the canvases that become her 'earth painting'. Ulrike Arnold was born in Dusseldorf and first worked as a teacher of music and art. R V Ramani, an experimental and documentary filmmaker was born in 1957. The film Art-in Nature by him is a documentation of the above artist's work. The filmmaker was present during the screening of the film and answered queries of the enthusiastic audience. TOP Young Artists Showcase India's Traditional Arts and Crafts The National School of Drama (NSD) physically held its second annual Children fair for demonstration-workshop of Indian performing folk and traditional arts. The event comprised a variety of colourful programmes by India's young artists. Arts and crafts workshops in terracotta, iron and woodcraft, wall paintings, Kalamkari, Warli works and Madhubani paintings were displayed. Artists from states like Pondicherry, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra took part in the event. The NSD was formally established in New Delhi in 1959. Initially, it worked Under the Sangeet Natak Academy. The two entities were merged in 1975 to be known as "National School of Drama and Asian Theatre Institute". The school provides a comprehensive 3-year course of training in dramatic arts. The 'Bal Sangam Mela' representing India's varied art traditions and acts as a platform for talented, upcoming artists to show their skills. It is an effort to keep old art and craft traditions alive by passing on them to the younger generation. TOP Indian artists shine in the UK Indian artists - one of them now permanently settled in London and the other from Kerala - are in news for their artistic achievements in the UK. Balraj Khanna, born in Punjab in 1940, has been invited for doing "the biggest public work of art in that country" after winning a competition to select the painter for the prestigious assignment. Khanna has already started painting the safety curtain - 26'6" feet high and 42 feet wide - at the historic Hippodrome Theatre in Birmingham. Balraj migrated to the UK in 1962. He will be reproducing "Astral Dance", one of his abstracts in acrylic, on the curtain. On the other hand, artworks of a well-known sculptor and painter from Kerala, T P Premjee, will be showcased at two leading primary art schools of north London. The art council has chosen him for this special honour. He recently displayed his works at the Nehru Centre, London in a fortnight-long exhibition. The exhibition was well received and appreciated. Impressed by the quality of his works, Haringey Arts Council, one of principal agencies for the arts and creative industries development in north London area, has played a role in giving an exposure to Premjee. His works mostly revolve around labour communities and the conditions under which the work. The 30-year old artist is also an environmental activist. Obviously, he also touches environmental subjects expressing his concern about destruction of natural habitats under the pretext of mass development. TOP

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