21st Kalamela of Jaipur organized by Lalit Kala Academy in collaboration with Jawahar Kala Kendra of from 3rd to 7th January of 2020. I was to talk and make a presentation on a topic related to Contemporary art. It’s a glad beginning of the new-year for me, with art talk and looking at artists works put up in the stalls by the artists at Kalamela.
I managed to book my tickets and reached Jaipur for the inauguration ceremony to be held on 3rd January evening at 4 o clock. Shilp gram of Jawahar Kala Kendra was bubbling with enthusiastic young and experienced artists having put up their art stalls. The organizers were busy in receiving the celebrities who arrived to inaugurate the event on that day. Formalities completed and lamp was lighted to begin the Kalamela event.
4th of January morning session, Sri.Prayag Shuklaji, a poet and a writer on arts, man of 50 years of experience in the field talked about his journey. Those experiences itself had become a session of writer’s History worth listening. It is also worth listening to his wonderful Hindi language that he speaks. Afternoon was the time for my session. I talked about a phase of 70’s and 80’s in Indian art and screened my films on Padma Shri Jyoti Bhatt and Padma Shri Late Bhupen Khakkar.
I visited all the stalls of artists and tried to understand their work with free of any preoccupation next day. There were around 100 stalls. Artists not only from Rajasthan also from Chandigarh, Maharashtra, Gujarat too participated. Many categories and variety of art works were on display. Some of the self taught artists too participated in this Kalamela along with the established and the trained artists of the field. The artists’ profiles and art works were selected under the selection process by a committee formed for the Kalamela event, Shri Vinay Sharma, Scretary lalit Kala Akademi, independently practicing artists Dr.Nathulal Verma, convenor, Harshiv Sharma, Shwet Goel, Gauri Shankar Soni, Lakhan Singh Jat, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Dr.Rekha Bhatnagar and many.
I noted few things that are worth appreciating on this event. Sri. Prayag Shukla was also made to be seated on the dais of inauguration ceremony. Normally writers on art are never given a special attention on art events barring few well evident names of India. As far as the event of this Kalamela is concerned, this is something similar to the well known art fairs that have become popular for the last decade and half starting right from the Indian Art Summit of Delhi. National art summits and art fairs of such above of international caliber have become unapproachable for a many of young lot of artists even if they have good art work and passion to work. Many artists who studied in vernacular medium and of moderate backgrounds could reach the display stalls of Jaipur and put up their works. Jaipur Kalamela could provide platform for such artists to display their works.
A women’s group motivated by Ms.Sadna Sangar, from Chandigarh could put up their art works display in this Kalamela. Some of the women who left their passion of painting have revived their art of painting and exhibited in that stall. Such activities of Kalamela organized by Lalit Kala Akademi working as parallels automatically bring up the artists of caliber decentralizing the imposed weights of such heavy banners of art summits.
It was a great feeling to observe, senior artists like Vidyasagar Upadhyaya were present and participating in the conversations, attending the talks, my film shows and encouraging the young artists. Vidyasagar Upadhyaya even given a sitting for a clay modelling demonstration by a young artist as part of the program organized by the Kalamela. Is it not a pleasant way of encouraging and supporting the young artists?