EXCLUSIVE: CIMA's Art Mela offers the best of traditional and modern art at affordable prices

CIMA Art Mela brings a new range of young artists and traditional artwork apart from the work by the Indian masters, this year

Sharmistha Ghosal Published :  22nd November 2019 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  22nd November 2019 12:00 AM

Artwork by Samba Prasad

Affording an original work of art by one’s favourite artist is not always easy for the average art lover. And that’s precisely what CIMA Gallery has been trying to overcome for over a decade, now — making art affordable for the common man through their three-day-long Art Mela.

Arguably one of the largest affordable art fairs in the country, every year a motley of art lovers make a beeline to acquire their cherished artist’s work from among a huge display of paintings, sculptures and ceramic creations at the gallery. This year too, will be no exception, with the artwork of veteran masters like Lalu Prasad Shaw, Jogen Choudhury, Paresh Maity, Jayasri Burman, Samir Aich, Ramananda Bandyopadhyay and Sanat Kar, up for sale alongside other prominent artists.

Mostly showcasing watercolours, graphics and mixed media on paper besides a few acrylics works on canvas, this three-day affair also encourages and gives young and emerging artists a platform to get noticed alongside the illustrious names of Indian art.

Anwar Chitrakar's artwork

Started in 2008, close on the heels of the ghastly 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, Art Mela, now in its 11th year, is also being successfully held in Delhi for the past two years. With over 75 artists participating from across the country, the fair offers thousands of pieces of art ranging between Rs 500 and Rs 50,000. Apart from getting to choose from the paintings of renowned artists, buyers will get to choose from a vast collection of traditional art including Patachitra from West Bengal and Odisha, Cheriyal paintings and masks from Andhra Pradesh, Madhubani paintings from Bihar and Gond paintings from Madhya Pradesh. The entire collection is curated by an expert panel and are all authentic and meticulously screened.

Jogen Chowdhury's artwork

“The very intention of this fair is to take art to the common man and those who are beginning to understand and appreciate art and artists and help them take baby steps towards building a collection. It informs and educates the viewer and sets out to reveal that good art is not merely for the elite,” says Rakhi Sarkar, director, CIMA gallery, adding that a part of the sale proceeds is donated to the Art and Heritage Foundation, a non-profit enterprise that supports young artists and various cultural projects.

Director of CIMA, Rakhi Sarkar

The emerging and young artists, whose work will be displayed will include Prashant Shashikant Patel, Mantu Das Yashpal Singh, Biswajit Roy and Madhurima Majumder. “This year we are bringing a whole new genre of new India art and this will include a lot of rare collections of traditional art, apart from some stunning ceramic work. Besides, there will be some very unique artwork made by elderly folks of a remote village in Birbhum district,” tells Pratiti Basu Sarkar, chief administrator CIMA Gallery.

Pratiti Basu sarkar, chief administrator of CIMA

Rakhi also mentions that some very colourful art created by specially-abled children will also be on display, making art truly inclusive — cutting across class, race, age and genre. “We at Art Mela also encourage and give a platform to artists to be bold and experimental. So, here their work becomes more playful and daring at times. There was this brilliant painting done by Ganesh Pyne on a clay dish once. In addition to that, we also have a limited edition of prints from all genres of art,” adds Rakhi.

A painting by Samir Aich

Tips from renowned restorer Arun Ghosh on preserving artwork

● Air the room displaying art to keep it dry and avoid excessive moisture. This will protect artwork from attracting mould.

● Frame to protect from dust and moisture

● Keep away from direct light to avoid the fading of colours.

● After switching off air-conditioning, keep the fans going for a while before opening windows and doors. This will prevent moisture from settling on art work.

Art Mela will be on from November 22 to 24, 11 am to 8 pm at CIMA Gallery, Sunny Towers.

sharmishtha @newindianexpress.com