Visakhapatnam to host art festival showcasing the works of 90 artists from Andhra Pradesh

To be held from October 25 to 27, the event will be the first art exhibition in the city since the start of the pandemic

From themes of landscapes, portraits and divinity to the essence of impermanence and nuances of loneliness, the works of around 90 artists from across Andhra Pradesh will be on display during the art festival held in Visakhapatnam from October 25 to 27. Hawa Mahal site overlooking the Bay of Bengal, the event will be the first art exhibition since the start of the pandemic.

“The exhibition aims to revive the fine art market by providing a platform to re-celebrate art in the physical realm,” said Ravi Kattakuri, artist and curator of the exhibition. “Throughout the pandemic, many artists have explored digital media to exhibit their work and have shown the world that art can face adversity. But the connection and commitment between art connoisseurs and artists was largely lacking. This is something that physical art shows promote, ”adds Ravi.

The four-day art festival is supported by Mayank Kumari from Hawa Mahal. It will showcase works by some prominent artists like G Ravinder Reddy, V Ramesh and Bothsa Venkat alongside others, including 27 fine arts students.

Known for his portraits, the artist Naresh Mahanta has for the first time experimented with a larger series of landscape works in watercolor medium. One of his works titled Seascape depicting a sunset scene on RK Beach will be on display at the exhibition. “During the pandemic, I was able to have the space and time to reflect on mediums and themes that I wanted to explore for a long time. In my recent works, I have tried to capture the beauty of Visakhapatnam through my watercolors, ”explains the artist who is working on a larger series on the landscape for a solo exhibition.

The art exhibition will also see sculptures, graphic works and photographs by artists from Vijayawada, Kadapa outside of Visakhapatnam.

Visakhapatnam to host art festival showcasing the works of 90 artists from Andhra Pradesh

While the pandemic has been tough on artists, it has permeated the works as well. “I think the pandemic had a telling effect and manifested itself in a choice of dark tone palette in my works. I found myself gravitating towards shades of brown. Guided by this unusual affinity, I searched an appropriate subject, engaged in the portrait in our Indian skin tones “, explains artist Anita Rao, who is pursuing her studies in fine arts at Andhra University. Anita’s inclusions in the exhibition are earth portraits in A3 size, which are meant to bring joy to the viewer – a cheerful farmer (another deliberate choice of subject) and a young boy who has just emerged from a bath.

Artist Sharmla Karri will present her work titled “Divinity” at the exhibition – a reflection of the forest goddess Aranyani Devi. “A few years ago, when I read about ‘Aranyani Devi’ a forgotten goddess, I wanted to put it on the web. One of the most descriptive hymns of the Rigveda is dedicated to her, where she is described as beautiful, shy and loving of quiet glades, protector of forests and all that inhabit them, ”explains Sharmla. Intrigued by beauty, the artist produced a series of paintings on the theme. “It’s an ongoing series that I continue to work on,” she says.

Visakhapatnam to host art festival showcasing the works of 90 artists from Andhra Pradesh

Sharmla believes the challenges of the pandemic have offered valuable lessons. “One thing I realized as I adjusted to the new normal is that even with a limited palette, there was so much to explore. Sooner, it would never have occurred to me that I could paint on a broken cement tile or a pin roller for that matter. And the best part is hearing so many encouraging stories of artists displaying their works of art on windows overlooking the streets of New York ” , she says.

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Reggie S. Williams

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