President Kovind felicitates artists

Lalit Kala Akademi's 61st annual awards were conferred by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind on March 4, 2020 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. The Union Minister of Culture Prahlad Singh Patel, Akademi Chairman Dr Uttam Pacharne and the Cultural Secretary, GoI, Yogendra Tripathi, among many dignitaries graced the award ceremony at the President House. The President congratulated all the awardees while they were cheered by their respective family members and friends.

The occasion also marked the presence of Padma Bhushan awarded artist Ram V Star and Padma Shri Shyam Sharma who were honoured along with the awardees. The book 'S Dhanpal', a Lalit Kala Akademi publication, on the eminent artist with the same name was also launched at the ceremony. The inaugural function was followed by cultural performances and was attended by the NEA awardees, participating artists and groups in both the National Exhibition of Art and National Kala Mela 2020.

Inaugurating the National Exhibition of Art and Kala Mela, the Prahlad Singh Patel said, "I congratulate all the 15 National Akademi awardees who were conferred by the President of India. The people who attend such events are definitely the ones who are interested in arts. In the morning while at the President House I was thinking what Lalit Kala actually is? It is obviously what has developed naturally in the society, be it for indications, or for getting rid of something, or in order to preserve and conserve something. This is what art is."

Presiding over the event Lt Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal congratulated all the winners and participants and thanked Lalit Kala Akademi for having him at the occasion, "People today are living a stressed out lives and thus needs art in their lives for some relief and happiness. They need to know that there is world of art too and that world is beautiful." Appreciating the painstaking work performed by the Jury members for scrutinising 283 works out of 5000 entries and then selecting 15 out of them for the National Awards, he congratulated the Akademi.

"We are feeling really honoured that the President of India took time from his extremely busy schedule to confer the awardees at the President House. His motivations will surely inspire us to continue our efforts in serving arts of the country" said the Chairman Lalit Kala Akademi Dr Uttam Pacharne. He also expressed that the 61st National Exhibition of Art is more than just an exercise in participation and contribution of the art practitioners from all over the country. "It ideates the truth that art is more than a mere conversation between art lovers and artists; it is a bond between the initiator and the spectator," said Pacharne.

At the National Exhibition 2020, the works of eminent artists Anjali Ila Menon, Paramjeet Singh, Arpita Singh, Gogi Sarojpal, late John Fernandes and Vasudev Kamat have also been displayed at the exhibition under the Special Invitee category, along with the participants and award winners.

The organisation of art exhibitions and award ceremonies is an annual exercise by the Akademi to promote art and aesthetics in the society as well as to reward the extra ordinary talents. The exhibition brings together the works of brilliance from across the country and also encourages budding art talents to learn new tendencies and mediums in the world of painting, sculpture, graphics, photography, drawing, installation and multimedia etc. The 61st National Exhibition of Art will be on view till March 22 and the Kala Mela runs till March 9.

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