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Lalit Kala Akademi Awards for 20 artists

The 62nd National Exhibition of Art covering artworks from a broad range of mediums exhibits artistic brilliance, innovative use of materials and aesthetic appeal of the selected artists

After the difficult phase of the Corona period, there is some good news for the artists. Lalit Kala Akademi organised its 62nd National Exhibition of Art in the Capital from April 9 and also honoured 20 artists on the same day. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu presented these honours to the outstanding artists working in other mediums, including painting, sculpture, graphic, and photography in a grand ceremony at Vigyan Bhawan. Speaking at the award function, the Vice President called upon schools and parents to encourage children to learn any art form of their choice as part of the efforts to preserve and promote India’s rich cultural heritage. Stressing the need to go back to our roots, he called for a cultural renaissance in Indian society. He also said that our rich traditional folk-art forms such as puppetry are disappearing due to the craze for western culture. They have to be revived with active involvement of not just the governments but society at large. Observing that exposure to creativity and art at an early age will help children become more aware of their surroundings and help them lead a more meaningful life, Shri Naidu wanted educational institutions to give equal importance to art subjects in their curriculum. Lauding the contributions of artists in “strengthening the thread of continuity connecting our rich past to the present and future”, Shri Naidu observed that art unites people across cultures, influences and inspires them, thus “becoming a powerful agent of change in the process”. “It is the duty of each one of us to preserve and promote our grand cultural traditions and various art forms”, he said. The awardees were presented with a copper plate and a shawl, along with Rs.2 lakh in cash.

The artists, who were honoured for the Lalit Kala Akademi award this time are Anand Narayan Dabli, Bhola Kumar, Devesh Upadhyay, Digvijay Khatua, Ghanshyam Kahar, Jagan Mohan Penuganti, Jintu Mohan Kalita, Kusum Pandey, Lakshmipriya Panigrahi, Manjunath. Honnapura, Mohan Bhoya, Nema Ram Jangid, Nisha Chadda, Prabhu Harsoor, Prem Kumar Singh, Pritam Maiti, Rishi Raj Tomar, S.A. Vimalanathan, Shivanand Shagoti and Sunil Kumar Singh Kushwaha. These artists have been selected for these awards by a jury of art connoisseurs who have studied the work of the artists closely. This jury was also constituted by the Lalit Kala Akademi and its members were Dattatreya Apte, Vipul Prajapati, Vasudev Kamat, Yogendra Tripathi, Mithun Kumar Dutta, Deepak Ponnikar and Shivkumar Kesarmadu. Artefacts and artistic expression of these artists have been displayed at the National Art Exhibition, which was inaugurated on April 9, by the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Development of North- East Region, G. Kishan Reddy, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal and Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi. The selection of the artworks were done on the basis of the quality of execution, freshness of images, innovative use of materials, novel application of colour and originality of stylistic markers in the works. Chairman of Lalit Kala Akademi Uma Nanduri said that “After a long period of Covid-19 pandemic, this exhibition on national level will encourage the artist. This year the number of awards has been increased from 15 to 20. I congratulate all the award winners.” Akademi received 5450 entries from 2351 artists, out of which the 1st tier Jury (Selection Jury) selected more than 300 exhibits for display in the exhibition. IInd Tier Jury (Award Jury) selected 20 artworks for award for 62 nd National Akademi Awards.

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