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University Showcases Nine Artists

The group exhibition in Mumbai celebrated the artistic talents of students.

Somaiya Vidyavihar University presented a group show named, A State of Care, under the Immerse Fellowship Programme, conceptualized in collaboration with Al-Qawi Nanawati, Natasha Jeyasingh, Shaleen Wadhwana and Siddharth Somaiya. The annual exhibition featured unique artworks by the nine artists who were Fellows of The Immerse Fellowship.

The show was scheduled from April 13 to April 29, 2024 at Somaiya Vidyavihar University (SVU) Campus. It was a celebration of the diverse talent and creativity of recent art graduates from across the country. The Immerse Fellowship serves emerging artists, offering them a unique platform to highlight their artwork. With a focus on inclusivity, it is dedicated to empowering artists from various parts of India, providing them with unprecedented opportunities to exhibit their talents to a wider audience.

Siddharth Somaiya, Co-Creator of The Immerse Fellowship, speaking at the inauguration said, “As Immerse is presented by Somaiya Vidyavihar University, pedagogy is the raison d’etre of the fellowship we run in collaboration with Al-Qawi, Natasha, and Shaleen. Beyond understanding the art world at large, our residency aims to empower artists with practical tools—copyright law, documentation and archiving, artist statements, pricing strategies, and public speaking. We recognize the valuable role that art schools play in nurturing creativity and technical expertise.”

Through The Immerse Fellowship, SVU offers comprehensive support, including funding for travel and art making, access to open studios, residential programs, workshops, and exposure opportunities. Somaiya Vidyavihar University, with over eight decades of legacy of rich experience in managing educational institutions and imparting quality education is nestled in a vast 50-acre green campus. The university caters to more than 10,000 students.

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Winds WINDS OF CHANGE

Show held at Kalamkar Gallery in Bikaner House featured works by established and emerging artists.

Nero Art Hub held an enthralling group exhibition, The Winds of Change, showcasing a diverse range of paintings and sculptures. Hosted at the Kalamkar Gallery in Bikaner House, this exhibition was held from March 7 to March 11, 2024. There were 22 participating artists namely, Akansha Chaturvedi, Anushree, Asmita Patil, Danashrri G Wazalwar, Dharmendra Rathore, Dolly Bhansali Chopra, Dipali Deshpande, Jatin Das, Mahavir Verma, Naman, Neha

Bisht, Nitesh Kushwaha, Prem Lata, Pulakesh Mandal, Rajkumar Insight, Rashid Ahamad, Rithika Aurora, Romendra Sagar, Sawan Taank, Satadru Sovan Banduri, Shweta Raina and Tapan Das

Curated by Ranbir Rathi, the show featured works by both established and emerging artists. The exhibition offered unique opportunity to delve into the evolving landscape of contemporary art. From bold brushstrokes to intricate sculptures, each piece narrates a compelling story and encourages viewers to contemplate the currents of change shaping our world.

Ranbir Rathi expressed his delight in organizing this show, stating, “I am very happy to curate this exhibition with renowned and upcoming artists.”

One of the featured artists, Akansha Chaturvedi, shared her artistic statement, “In my work, I aim to challenge conventional perceptions and encourage viewers to see the world through a different lens. Using mediums like acrylics, pastels, and charcoal, I create compositions that transcend the ordinary, inviting viewers to question the nature of reality and contemplate the possibilities of what could be.”

Chaturvedi’s art invites viewers to ponder the notion of ‘what if ’ – what if something didn’t seem like what it was? Each piece serves as a portal to a realm where ambiguity reigns supreme, where the familiar becomes unfamiliar, and where certainty gives way to curiosity. By embracing ambiguity and the unknown, her work encourages viewers to engage in introspection and inquiry.

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Evoking the inner sense

The Art Exchange Project exhibited artworks by 16 artists from all over the country.

The Art Exchange Project presented their sixth group art show, Evoke- Ignite, Awaken, Stir, at the Stainless Gallery, New Delhi. The inauguration ceremony was held on April 12, 2024. The exhibition started on April 13, 2024 and continued till April 16, 2024. There were 16 artists, who were given the opportunity to showcase work in the medium of their choice. The show was opened by Dr Shankari Murali, the Additional Controller General of Accounts.

‘Evoke’ is a demonstration of the profound impact art can have in bringing out a response from the inner depths of our existence. Each artist chose a theme close to their heart that elicits a personal connection with the art.

The founder of The Art Exchange Project and a visual artist herself, Aarti Uppal Singla curated a collection of paintings, digital art, collages and enamel pieces by the artists from Harayana, Rajasthan and Delhi NCR.

The participating artists were Aarti Uppal Singla, Harsh Jalendra, Indraneel Ghose, Kavita Lomror, Khushroo Kalyanwala, Madhav Bhardawaj, Reena Chopra, Ritu Chopra, Sarla Chandra, Shivam Sehgal, Shravani Dang, Sujata Khanna, Sushil Bhasin, Sushil Thakur, Tushar Nath and Winnie Singh.

“Evoke is a testament to the profound impact art can have on us. We are thrilled to present a collection of works by 16 talented artists that will evoke a variety of sensations and transport viewers into a realm where perception and reality blur. This show is a celebration of the power of art to move, transform and connect us all” said Aarti Uppal Singla.

For the viewers, it was an opportunity to be surrounded by inspiring art. As one took a walk around the paintings, they were enticed and impressed by the beauty that lay within. In order to make the show more experiential talks, workshops and movie screenings were organised. Art is the rhythm of life and each brush stroke is like a new story with a new opportunity. Engaging with art is traversing into a new world where one feels connected to the soul.

Aarti Uppal Singla is a visual artist who loves to express through the mediums of photography, painting and graphic design. With over 20 years of experience in art, she is now the founder of The Art Exchange Project. A community with an objective of cultivating an atmosphere where art is recognised and appreciated, sharing and learning of new art techniques, introduction and usage guidance of different art mediums.

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Evoking the Inner Sense

The Art Exchange Project exhibited artworks by 16 artists from all over the country.

The Art Exchange Project presented their sixth group art show, Evoke- Ignite, Awaken, Stir, at the Stainless Gallery, New Delhi. The inauguration ceremony was held on April 12, 2024. The exhibition started on April 13, 2024 and continued till April 16, 2024. There were 16 artists, who were given the opportunity to showcase work in the medium of their choice. The show was opened by Dr Shankari Murali, the Additional Controller General of Accounts.

‘Evoke’ is a demonstration of the profound impact art can have in bringing out a response from the inner depths of our existence. Each artist chose a theme close to their heart that elicits a personal connection with the art.

The founder of The Art Exchange Project and a visual artist herself, Aarti Uppal Singla curated a collection of paintings, digital art, collages and enamel pieces by the artists from Harayana, Rajasthan and Delhi NCR.

The participating artists were Aarti Uppal Singla, Harsh Jalendra, Indraneel Ghose, Kavita Lomror, Khushroo Kalyanwala, Madhav Bhardawaj, Reena Chopra, Ritu Chopra, Sarla Chandra, Shivam Sehgal, Shravani Dang, Sujata Khanna, Sushil Bhasin, Sushil Thakur, Tushar Nath and Winnie Singh.

“Evoke is a testament to the profound impact art can have on us. We are thrilled to present a collection of works by 16 talented artists that will evoke a variety of sensations and transport viewers into a realm where perception and reality blur. This show is a celebration of the power of art to move, transform and connect us all” said Aarti Uppal Singla.

For the viewers, it was an opportunity to be surrounded by inspiring art. As one took a walk around the paintings, they were enticed and impressed by the beauty that lay within. In order to make the show more experiential talks, workshops and movie screenings were organised. Art is the rhythm of life and each brush stroke is like a new story with a new opportunity. Engaging with art is traversing into a new world where one feels connected to the soul.

Aarti Uppal Singla is a visual artist who loves to express through the mediums of photography, painting and graphic design. With over 20 years of experience in art, she is now the founder of The Art Exchange Project. A community with an objective of cultivating an atmosphere where art is recognised and appreciated, sharing and learning of new art techniques, introduction and usage guidance of different art mediums.

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Aligning Paths of Eight Artists

Ashtkala, an ode to liberated expression and imaginative vitality, showcased artworks with vivid hues.

India Habitat Centre in Delhi recently organized an art exhibition called Ashtkala at the Open Palm Gallery. The show commenced on February 10 and concluded on February 14. As they say, creativity paints the sky pink in the world of colours and art ignites the imagination and transfers the beholder in a different world altogether. This was true for the eight artists coming from different cities like Mumbai, Jabalpur and Delhi successfully expressed this spirit of joy in their artworks.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Sajal Patra and Ajay Kumar Samir both known for their celebrated art works. The artists who exhibited their works were Akanksha Thakur, Nilangee Prabhukeluskar, Sharmila Sharma, Sheetal Bawkar, Sunita Chauhan, Sunil Vinekar, Ushita Jain and Vivek Prabhukeluskar.

Here, we highlight the artists and their works:

Akanksha Thakur: Coming from Jabalpur, MP, Akanksha presented a series of 14 paintings revolving around the theme of nature and its five elements. An amalgamation of canvas and paper, texture and shapes in her depiction was inspiring.

Nilangee Prabhukeluskar: Using her idiosyncratic graphic style, she conveyed a strong message and reflected her thoughts in her abstract paintings. She depicted a positive approach towards life which was evident from her painting called ‘Swa (Self)’ which essentially meant that one can easily drift towards positivity and break chains from negativity. Bright colors and bold graphics simply conveyed that it is all about one’s life choices and perception.

Sharmila Sharma: Sharmila revealed a very enthralling puppet series where each puppet narrates its own unique story. Using both watercolours and acrylics, she created vibrant and aesthetically pleasing colours. While some puppets were crafted on paper; others were on canvas.

Sheetal Bawkar: Mumbai-based artist Sheetal worked on a very interesting theme ‘Behind the fence’. The idea behind the thought was “Fences protect you and sometimes bind you. Free from bondage is sometimes happiness and sometimes it brings happiness to be bound.” This resonates with complex human nature. She tried to convey her message by constantly experimenting and enriching the surface of the canvas with different shapes and colours.

Sunita Chauhan: A sculptor since 1995, Sunita focuses on bronze as her preferred medium. Sunita’s works portrayed women with robust bodies balancing strength and softness at the same time. Her artworks served the purpose of challenging social norms and promoting positive perceptions of women in the society.

Sunil Vinekar: Sunil has explored geometric symbolism and likes to work in a non-representational method. Symbolic artists convey the underlying essence of the subject rather than just their outward appearance. He has been working on neo-tantra which is a modernized version of the ancient tantric texts.

Ushita Jain: Her work on equality towards men, women and children sent out a strong message to the society and was much appreciated. One of her works also depicted Mumbai in a clock which speaks about what the city does by every passing hour. A masters in printmaking, her artworks have been featured in more than 45 national and international exhibitions which also include solo shows.

Vivek Prabhukeluskar: Vijay portrayed babies in various angles showcasing different expressions in the exhibition. The objective was to depict the strong young generation. He is also famous for his baby Ganesha paintings. Some of his Ganesha work were displayed at the show. “I love Ganesha as a naughty baby and I depict friendly relation between Ganesha and mushak,” Vivek said.

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Palestinian Artist Mona Ayyash’s Exhibition At 421 Campus In Abu Dhabi Offers An Immersive Experience

Abu Dhabi: In her first institutional solo exhibition, The Clock Doesn’t Care — on at 421 art campus in Abu Dhabi till August – renowned Palestinian visual artist Mona Ayyash showcases a captivating collaborative video piece with a group of actors, dancers, and performance artists, focusing on languid body movements.

Themes of ennui and slowness, a constant refrain in many of the artist’s other works as well, also  headline The Clock Doesn’t Care. The montage of six single-channel digital videos was commissioned by the 421 Arts Campus as part of their Artistic Development Program. It dwells on the indifference of time to human pursuits nudging viewers to confront their own fraught relationship with time and boredom in the process.  

This overarching theme is evident in Ayyash’s earlier creations as well — such as `Folding Bellies’ and `Chair Squat’ — where repetitive movements propel the narrative forward. Her other creations — She’ll be Apples, Night Wanderer, Swimmers – all use bodily movements as metaphors to drive home the artist’s vision. 

Consequently, the Dubai-raised artist’s work eschews a linear narrative, framing these performances as voluntary and intentional movements mimicking nonfunctional bodily movements. Perhaps that why The Clock Doesn’t Care has an almost meditative effect on the viewer celebrate as it does the mundane while examining existential questions like passing time and wasting time. As one moves into different areas of the show, the exhibition design featuring fragmented viewing platforms and cut-out frames further augments viewers’ engagement with each piece.  

The artist explains that her aim during Warehouse421 Homebound Residency 2020/2021 “was to make a video piece containing footage filmed by the participants selected to work with me on this project”. For this, she created a call for participants via Warehouse421’s social media, “inviting anyone to assist in creating the footage”. Seven people from the local community were chosen to film themselves doing a series of body movements after they committed to 6 online Zoom sessions.

During the sessions, the artist and participants had a back and forth on the project’s evolution and reviewed the developing video, as well as the next set of exercises. “I encouraged the participants to seek out compositions through light, shadow, color, and form,” she adds.

The videos were then compiled to reflect Ayyash’s theme in a myriad ways. While in some she plays with an accumulation of gestures and actions; in others, the bodily gestures are whittled down to a bare minimum adding to the immediacy of the viewer experience.

At some level, The Clock Doesn’t Care also helps the artist — who has exhibited extensively across Canada, UAE, Saudi Arabia and New York – make a social commentary on modern life. It seems to say that in a hyperconnected — world where overstimulation through social media, phone and other tech gizmos – is a constant, one’s individuality is overwhelmed by such distractions stunting personal growth.   

Antithetical to this perpetual mental and physical onslaught is Ayyash’s worldview which steers one’s gaze on the present, the here and now. She seems to take her viewers on a delightful artistic odyssey that is at once personal and universal; ordinary as well as extraordinary.  

Neeta Lal is an international-awards nominated Delhi-based Editor and journalist, formerly Senior Editor with The Times of India, who has travelled to 73 countries in search of good stories on art, culture, travel and lifestyle. She has covered global art events across Asia, the UAE and Europe.  

Neeta Lal
Neeta Lal | South China Morning Post.  Delhi-based journalist and editor Neeta Lal has worked with India’s leading publications in her three-decade career.

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Lines, Landscapes and Lucid Touch

Vivek Nimbolkar’s art effortlessly mingles geometry and nature creating a sharp focus, says Moksha Kumar.

As one ventures into the canvases of Vivek Nimbolkar – each of his creations bloom with the scent of fresh possibility. Akin to the natural geometry found in nature, Vivek creates not just with the intent of imitation, but also intuitive experimentalism. Reflecting influences of Raza, G.R. Santhosh and even J. Swaminathan, the compositions carry a soft but sure boldness.

Born in 1977, Vivek Nimbolkar grew up in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Despite his urbane surroundings, Nimbolkar took to art through the influence of his mother’s embroidery. He also reflected upon natural forms as opposed to the towering buildings of the city. With A Masters in Art (Painting), Diploma in Art Education and Masters of Art (Indology), it is no surprise that the artist’s creative depth is so easy to dive into.

Drawing from his early inspirations and realistic sketches of his surroundings – Vivek’s current series offers both the simplicity and complexity of nature. The forms are lucid, creating a sharp focus and tight composition – but remain enigmatic in their interpretation. The fluid abstraction evokes the artist’s early sparks of ingeniousness as we relate them to the expressionist genre. The strokes are rife with emotion and nostalgia, immersing us into the waves of serenity that emanate from the canvas.

Speaking to his initial stimulation, he mentioned that his first artistic inspiration came through Picasso’s work showcased at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai in 2002. Vivek marvelled at the way in which Picasso transformed his compositions and forms marking him as an artist who would change the course of his own work. The first instance of abstraction came through this show in 2002, and thus altered how Vivek Nimbolkar would approach his practice, forever.

Knowing that his work during his college days often reflected a certain spontaneous realism, the result of many years of practice becomes more evident with each piece in this particular series. His practice reflects the tranquil nature of the atmospheric Gaitonde, and yet holds the steadfast confidence of a Raza-esque approach.

Through the simple example of an apple, Vivek points out the way in which his perspective breaks up a natural form in a unique way; the outside is simplified into a circle – whereas the part which is cut into is different in shape and colour altogether! The difference is like observing the Sun and Moon, and their natural forces that affect our surroundings.

The sun becomes the famous Bindu, paying due homage to the genius of S.H. Raza and burns through the day, dictating our hours of function and ritual. Whereas the moon changes shape through the week and month. Such intrinsic observation gives us a fantastic platform from which to understand the essence of Nimbolkar’s work.

The above works of art are paired to show the intense connection between the initial efforts and the eventual success. The lambent yellows, oranges and reds make a feature throughout his portfolio, echoing with a gentle power through shape.

Cutting the composition through the centre, the river in the left-hand side reflects in the way in which the triangles flow in a similar zig zag pattern on the right. If one observes carefully, the flow is similar in shape, merely altering the point of locus slightly higher than the composition on the left. We are left to wonder about the circles along the imaginary horizon, dancing in between being interpreted as the sun or moon.

A wonderful ambiguity is what adds to the aura of the work. The dynamic composition of the righthand side, reflects in the movement of the natural forces in the left. Both seem to be in conversation with each other, as though the past guides the hand of the future with a poetic flourish. “The form would seem quite plain without the use of lines…it is like creating a story within the painting. When you are on a journey, many paths are offered – but following on a path, is like following a line. Each one is distinct from the other, which is why I use them in my work in the same way,” says Vivek Nimbolkar.

Quite like the artist’s own walks through nature –one can actively stroll through his glowing creations with ease. Going back to the poetic aspect, Amy Lowell (Pulitzer Prize poet) summarises the beauty of Vivek’s work rather accurately:

“I own a solace shut within my heart, A garden full of many a quaint delight And warm with drowsy, poppied sunshine; bright, Flaming with lilies out of whose cups dart Shining things With powdered wings.”

Evoking the bright but soft feelings within this set of verses, it is only natural to understand Vivek’s work as a wonderful homage to his beginnings and perhaps even a little bit of his hope for the future.

A wonderful ambiguity is what adds to the aura of the work.

48X60 Inches Acrylic on Canvas 2024 18X24 Inches Acrylic On Canvas 2000
Presented by Easel Art Gallery

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Connecting Soul and Universe

The group show called Cosmic Duality highlights the harmony between nature and science.

The group art show held at Apparao Galleries in New Delhi titled, Cosmic Duality, was unveiled on January 30, 2024 and continued till February 12, 2024. The show tried to delve deep into the soul, the universe, mathematics, and nature, highlighting the harmony and interplay between these diverse yet interconnected realms. The artists in this show included Madan Meena, Chantal Jumel, Vivek V. Nimbolkar, Bhavna Sonawane, Pradeep Ahirwar, Ajay Dhandre and Tanjima Kar Sekh. The show revolved around Eastern philosophies which often embrace a holistic view of the universe, seeing it as an integral part of human existence. This perspective is deeply rooted in the concept of oneness and interconnectedness, where every element of nature, including humans, is seen as part of an indivisible whole. The cosmic duality, in Eastern thought, is frequently viewed through the lens of balance and harmony, as exemplified in concepts like Yin and Yang in Taoism. The universe and the soul are not seen as separate entities; rather, they are interconnected, with the soul’s journey being deeply influenced by the cosmic order.

In contrast, Western philosophies have traditionally emphasized the individual, exploring the universe in a more analytical and compartmentalized way. The universe is often perceived as a vast, complex system governed by scientific laws, with a focus on understanding its mechanics and physical properties. The soul, in many Western philosophical traditions, is considered a distinct entity, separate from the physical universe. However, there is a growing convergence with Eastern thought, especially in contemporary philosophies that explore the interconnectedness of all things and the idea that the universe is more than just a physical space, echoing sentiments about the deeper, more spiritual aspects of existence.

Both Eastern and Western philosophies, despite their differences, converge on the idea that there is a profound connection between the human spirit and the cosmos. Mathematics and nature serve as common languages in this dialogue, transcending cultural and philosophical boundaries. Mathematics, with its universal principles, bridges the abstract and the tangible, embodying a harmony found in both natural and cosmic orders. Nature, seen through both lenses, is a manifestation of this cosmic harmony, reflecting the intrinsic patterns and principles that govern the universe.

This series represents a philosophical and artistic odyssey, challenging and expanding our understanding of the universe and our role within it. The artists bring philosophical concepts to vivid life, providing tangible forms to abstract ideas. Their work serves as a bridge, merging the realms of philosophical thought with visual expression, offering a unique platform for reflection and exploration.

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Indian New Year Celebration

The ‘Pratipada’ event was organized by Sanskar Bharti, Delhi Province.
Padma awardees Nalini-Kamalini were chief guests at the cultural event.

The Indian New Year Utsav, Vikrami Samvat 2081 concluded with grand festivities at Sur Ghat, Delhi, marking the ‘New Year Pratipada’ celebration organized by Sanskar Bharti, Delhi Province.

National Convener of Pragya Pravah, J. Nandkumar was present along with renowned dancers and Padma awardees Nalini-Kamalini, who were the esteemed chief guests. Member of Parliament Manoj Tiwari and former Mayor Harsh Malhotra also attended the function.

The programme commenced with a mesmerizing performance by the acclaimed santoor player Abhay Sopori. The event featured hymn recitals, captivating dance performances and poetry readings. As the sun rose, devout attendees offered water to Lord Sun and lit lamps as a symbolic gesture of devotion.

J. Nandkumar emphasized the time-honoured tradition of celebrating the Indian New Year, highlighting the deep-rooted cultural heritage of India and urging all Sanatanis to uphold this tradition.

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Culture Curry At IIT

THE Spring Fest 2024 lit up IIT Kharagpur from Jan 26 -28

In a spectacular show of culture and creativity, Spring Fest 2024 illuminated the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur from January 26- 28, 2024. Crafted meticulously by the students, this 65th edition unfolded under the resplendent theme, Downtown Delirium – A Kaleidoscope of Urban Vision, transforming the campus into a vibrant tapestry of youthful exuberance.

Some of the highlights of the mega event were a live canvas painted with artistic brilliance.

The Spring Fest showcased over 100 events, transcending boundaries in dance, music, dramatics, fashion, literature, film, quiz, fine arts, humour and culinary arts. Numerous Indian and international artists like Casem from England, Mr Joker from Canada, Aaron Bunac, Zelda Lourens, Tiago Taborda to name a few, performed for the fest. People witnessed a shining guest panel of Radhakrishnan Pillai, celebs like Natasha Bhardwaj, Rohan Khurrana, Priya Banerjee, Akashdeep Arora, and many others at Spring Fest 2024. Welcoming a vibrant congregation of attendees and participants from colleges, it became a pulsating hub for emerging talents.

The nights came alive with the grandeur of ‘Pronites,’ as each moment etched in the young minds who termed the event unforgettable. The Anubhav Night with Mohammed Irfan, the EDM Night with RAVATOR and The Pal Night with Salim Sulaiman turned the campus into a pulsating epicentre of music and rhythm, leaving an indelible imprint on everyone present.

From the rhythmic beats of Shuffle and Centrifuge to the riveting narratives of Nukkad and the electrifying performances of Wildfire, the competitions embodied a celebration of excellence. The Fashion Fest, boasting Panache, Mr and Mrs SF, Navyata, and Stash and Show, not only added glamour but also showcased the finesse of our participants with prizes worth 5.6 lakhs and a total of prizes worth more than 40 lakhs.

Fuelled by the dynamic energy of Nomura and Timex, the Spring Fest had a long row of patrons and supporters. It was adorned with the esteemed title sponsorship of Boat. Coca-Cola, TATA Steel, Jharkhand Tourism, NSDC and Uttar Pradesh Tourism lent their support, creating a symphony of collaboration that elevated the festival leaving the youth happy and awe-struck.