India Art Festival showcases Diversity and Opportunity in Arts

The fourth annual India Art Festival (IAF) has just closed in Delhi, India. With nepotism and stagnancy in the industry, the IAF is exactly what is needed.

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"Democratising the art presentation, art viewing and buying processes."

India is the home of artists such as Amrita Sher-Gil, Raja Ravi Verma and Rabindranath Tagore, in addition to being the location of the India Art Festival.

The lack of recognition for Indian artists in the global community has been noted.

A distinct dearth of cultural, racial and sexual representation within the art community specifically, has been a much-debated issue.

However, with the unconventional, India Art Festival (IAF) running, it appears India is making strides to rectify these narrow practices.

The IAF first launched 10 years ago in Mumbai, with it having recently closed it’s fourth Delhi-based exhibition.

We take a look at how the India Art Festival uses an unbiased approach, to shake up the art world and provide an opportunity for struggling artists.

What is the IAF

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The most recent Delhi-based, India Art Festival ran from November 22 to November 25, with the aim being, to provide a platform to budding and talented Indian artists.

This festival pays particular attention to incorporating work from artists based in rural India.

The IAF is aware that artists from more impoverished backgrounds, rarely have the means or platforms necessary to gain professional distinction.

Hence the IAF was created, as a means to remedy this problem, highlighting works from both rural and urban artists.

The works include paintings, sculptures, photographs, original prints, serigraphs and installations.

With the IAF climbing in status, it has drawn in illustrious stars; such as actress, Mahima Chaudhary and wife to Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao.

Rao has been known to be a supporter of the independent and creative arts. Her presence at such a festival notes, that the collections must be of a superior, artistic ability and quality.

This show boasts 35 art galleries, with 550 artists displaying over 3,500 artworks, in 124 booths. This is one of the most comprehensive and varied art festivals in India.

Diversity in the IAF

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With the arts being notoriously difficult to gain notoriety in, this festival is a golden opportunity for struggling but talented artists, to gain a footing in this industry.

IAF Managing Director Rajendra feels:

“Monopoly in art deprives several artists from the art fair circuit.”

Rajendra went on to explain how the India Art Festival expands the choice and variety for art buyers.

The IAF is incredibly dedicated to sourcing original, interesting and innovative works of art.

The curators of this festival source art pieces from, Delhi, Mumbai, Tripura, Udaipur and Faridabad – to name a few.

Therefore proving the commitment this festival has, towards showcasing diverse and vibrant art.

The IAF describes itself as:

“Democratising the art presentation, art viewing and buying processes.”

With claims circulating, that there is too much nepotism within the arts industry, the India Art Festival is the disruptive force needed.

Most importantly, the IAF presents art in an unprejudiced format, focusing on talent above all else.

It’s main intent being, to add diversity and inject more imaginative and creative pieces into the art circuit.

Opportunity for artists

sai kalyani artwork india art festival - in article

Smaller art galleries, where the artwork for the IAF is sourced, would be unable to raise the capital or draw in such affluent crowds to shows, independently.

Thus highlighting how the IAF aids smaller businesses and artists to gain exposure in mainstream art circles.

In addition to helping smaller galleries, the India Art Festival provides the opportunity for artists to showcase their work, to a larger and more influential crowd.

Therefore artists who take part in the show are always grateful for the opportunity, as they are aware of how difficult it is, to have their work showcased.

One such artist, Sai Kalyani spoke to Orissa Post about her experience:

“It’s a proud moment for me. This is the first time I am participating in a big festival. All my paintings depict the culture of my state. People are praising my paintings.

“It feels wonderful.”

Kalyani is one, of many success stories that have emerged as a result of the India Art Festival.

Artist experiences such as Kalyani’s emphasise how the IAF’s unorthodox but inclusive methods are working.

The IAF Managing Director Rajendra elaborates:

“Almost 90 per cent of art galleries and 60 per cent of artists are repeated participation in the India Art Festival; this growth is phenomenal in such trying times.”

The next exhibition will be held from 17 to 20 Jan 2019 at Nehru Centre, Mumbai.

Providing more opportunity for diverse Indian artists to have their work circulated in prominent art circles.

Jasneet Kaur Bagri - Jas is a Social Policy graduate. She loves to read, write and travel; gathering as much insight into the world and how it works. Her motto derives from her favourite philosopher Auguste Comte, "Ideas govern the world, or throw it into chaos."

Images courtesy of India Art Festival Facebook.

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