Affordable art by some of India’s most loved names comes to Art Mela in Delhi
APR 24, 2018 | By Reecha Kulkarni
The founder of arguably one of India’s largest art galleries, Rakhi Sarkar has made it her mission to distill art to the public since 1986, after she curated one of her first major exhibitions, ‘Visions’. “I showcased 200 works from artists like Bikash Bhatacharya, Ganesh Pyne and Shomnath Hore. However, the artists were relatively unknown to anyone except the artist community,” she tells us. ‘Visions’ then drove Rakhi to craft an 11,000 sq. ft. space into Kolkata’s Centre of International Modern Art. And in 2008 – she launched the CIMA Art Mela, a casual affordable art exhibition to encourage millennials and the public to take home a taste for art. “In Kolkata, we have regular ‘addas’ where friends sit and discuss issues, chat and often debate (artworks) while sipping on chai and eating samosas,” she says. “The Art Mela is just that – an informal setting where you can pick up a piece of artwork (as most of them aren’t hung), take it to your friends and discuss it. You may just chance upon the artist as well!” Starting with only a handful of Bengali artists who donated their works in 2008, the mela now celebrates 10 years at New Delhi’s Habitat Center, with hundreds of donations from artists all over India like Jogen Choudhury and Arpita Singh, at prices starting from Rs 3,000.