Keeping in mind the passion and the intimacy of print as a visual art medium, The Lalit Kala Akademi, has launched its first International Print Biennale to discover new artistic trends in printmaking, nationally and internationally. The Akademi has been serving the entire country by promoting the creative endeavours of Indian artists. Pivotal to the Lalit Kala Akademi’s mission is the encouragement of an ever-deeper understanding and enjoyment of modern and contemporary art before diverse local, national and international audiences. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe Print Biennale has been scheduled for the month of March and April 2018, in the Lalit Kala Akademi and NGMA galleries. It will be a one of a kind event where artists from all over the world will be able to send in their works and showcase their artwork on an international platform. Further, there are five grand prizes of two lakh each, apart from the honourable mentions for a few selected meritorious works. The Akademi will also hold a five-day workshop of the awarded artists. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveTalking about the decreasing practice of printmaking among the artists, C.S. Krishna Setty, Administrator, he Lalit Kala Akademi said, “Over the years, the practice of printmaking is decreasing among artists. As a result, many printmakers are taking refuge in other mediums for their survival. To arrest this situation, we need to boost this medium with international exposure. Moreover, with the advancement of new technologies, this medium has taken new dimensions all over the world, which needs to be showcased to the art fraternity and connoisseurs.” The biennale will be organized in collaboration with National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA). Speaking of the same, Adwaita Gadanayak, DG, NGMA, said, “The museum has international facilities which will be given to the Akademi to present their best foot forward for this international endeavour. It is imperative for more and more organisations to come together and create an atmosphere of art creation and growth.”The first selection will be made based on the digital entries sent by the artists. If the work gets approved by the jury, it will be displayed during the exhibition. Later in the second round, selected artists will be asked to send their original work so that it gets easier to choose the winners. Paula Sengupta, a printmaker and teacher, mentioned that printmaking is over four centuries old and is a culmination of many years of practice. Further on, she mentioned, “The reason printmaking is alive in India is that it is still fostered in Indian art institutes and the studios that Lalit Kala Akademi has provided in its regional centers.”The Akademi will also invite few senior and veteran artists for the exhibition under the invited section. Anupam Sud, a senior and internationally known Delhi based printmaker has been given the responsibility of the Commissioner of the exhibition. Other steering Committee members are well-known printmakers like Ananda Moy Banerji, Dattatraya Apte, R.S. Sham Sunder, Paula Sen Gupta and Vijay Bagodi.
Balurghat: With an objective to encourage young generation to enlist their names in the electoral roll and cast their votes, South Dinajpur district administration had introduced Kuhmandi’s mask craft, locally known as Mukha, as the election mascot on September1, 2018.After the introduction of the mascot, names of 40,000 new voters were included in the electoral roll. The step was aimed at massive awareness covering all eight blocks of the district. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseVillagers of Mahisbathan area of Kushmandi have developed a handicraft hub Mukha over the past several decades. This cultural heritage has now become a motif for Election Commission to woo voters to booths. Each district in the state has launched various election mascots such as tiger, dolphin and rhinoceros. Different images of masks are being displayed in various parts of the district as part of the voters’ awareness campaign. Since the introduction of Social Summary Revision of Electoral Roll, there were 17,000 new voters, who had enlisted their names in electoral roll. Significantly, after the introduction of the mascot to sensitise new voters, the figures increased to 40,000 during September 1, 2018 to January 14, 2019. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”Of total 12,09,767 voters in South Dinajpur, the number of newly enlisted voters is about 40,000. During the massive awareness drive among young generation, we have enlisted 23,000 new voters in electoral roll in four months. The new mascot has helped us a lot,” said an official Mahadyuti Adhikary. “This is a proud moment for us as Election Commission has selected our Mukha craft to attract voters. With the step of selecting it as election mascot for the district, the Mukha artisans have finally attained the expected recognition,” said Sourav Roy, who is associated with mask craft. According to a source, masks are made of bamboo and the crafts are very popular. The villagers relate to it and they get inspired by the local tribal folk culture, art design and craft. The masks depict moods of Goddess Kali in her indigenous form and also the mythological character of Hanuman.