The Kerala government is setting up an art hub of the Lalithakala Akademi (LKA) to facilitate the sale of artworks of struggling painters and sculptors, Culture Minister Saji Cheriyan said today.
The Department of Culture will meet the expenses of this novel venture, he said after inaugurating a three-week visual art exhibition marking the start of the 60th year celebrations of LKA.
“Covid-19 has made life tough for several artists during the past two years. The government has been launching several initiatives giving them succor,” the Minister said, also giving away the fellowships and awards of the government-run LKA that works for the promotion of heritage in the state.
The administration is founding a shelter-house for the benefit of ageing artists who need support. “We need to ensure that they are taken care in the evening of their life,” the Minister said, declaring open the April 25-May 12 show and giving away the 50th LKA fellowships to two artists besides awards and honours to 19 others.
Nineteen senior artists were felicitated at the function presided over by Shri T.J. Vinod, MLA. Kochi Mayor Adv M. Anilkumar released the exhibition catalogue at the event on the Durbar Hall Ground here.
Cherian emphasised the need for transmitting knowledge about the region’s art heritage to the coming generations, even while youngsters keep scripting new history in the world of culture. “It pains us that efforts to unveil facets of lesser or unknown past are inviting intolerance from a section of society. Spread of untrue history can only spread hatred among people. This trend can only divide the world and spur frictions, he added.
While the fellowships went to veteran sculptor G. Raghu and editor-painter K.A. Francis, the other recognitions were the state awards for painting and painting (five) besides in six other categories. The state awards went to Jayesh K.K., Rahul Balakrishnan, Shajith R.B., Sudhayadas S. and Smitha M. Babu. The Special Jury Award went to Ajay K.P., while Chandran T.V. won the honour for art-related publication. The endowment gold medals in the names of V. Sankunni Menon and Vijayaraghavan went to Biji Bhaskar and Abela Ruben respectively. The Honourable Mention awards were received by Abdulla P.A., Akhil Mohan, Deepa Gopal, Reji Prasad R. and Vaisakh K., while the awards for art students went to K.S. Ananthapadmanabhan, Devika K.S., Midhun T.V., Vivek T.C. and Vivek V.C. The function, which saw the launch of a refurbished website of the LKA, was also addressed by Kerala State Film Development Corporation Chairman Shri Shaji N. Karun and District Panchayat President Shri Ullas Thomas.
LKA Chairperson Murali Cheeroth said the word of art should learn to listen to the trends in new media; not reject them altogether. “Novel mediums employed in art do not replace the conventional ones, instead take the field forward in its path of fulfillment,” he said, welcoming the gathering. “There are bids to split the art world; we must resist them.”
LKA Vice-Chairperson Eby N. Joseph introduced the 19 senior artists who were felicitated: Prof P. Kesavankutty, Anila Jacob, Govindan Kannapuram, K.K. Marar, Kunjambu Nair, Prof Kattoor Narayana Pillai, K.A. Gafoor, T. Kaladharan, C.S. Jayaram, K.N. Damodaran, Narayanan Namboodiri, Puninchithaya, Prof. K.K. Rajappan, T.S.S. Menon, K.M. Vasudevan Namboodiri, Kanayi Kunhiraman, Sarath Chandran, N.K.P. Muthukoya and V.S. Balakrishnan.
LKA Secretary N. Balamuralikrishnan proposed thanks.
The inaugural event concluded with a music concert by band ReSa (Reshmi Satheesh) featuring violinist Sabareesh Prabhakar. Organisers said the LKA celebrations, beginning with the 19-day exhibition, will be a reflection of a fresh spirit to accommodate the changes in the contemporary visual culture even while saluting the heritage.
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