About three years ago, when the Artfest began under the auspices of a group of young people belonging to Beharanutansanga and Dinda, the main purpose was to create an art space for artists and an open gallery for the general public. It was to do. “In many cases, the works of famous artists on display in the gallery do not reach the masses, but during the Durga Pujar, people come in groups to enjoy the art, so there is no admission fee. We created a space like this, “said Abhishek Bhattacharjee, one of the members of the Organizing Committee. To remain true to the idea of having a platform purely for art, artists are not allowed to commercialize artwork at the venue.
Dinda has been away from the gallery art space for almost 10 years. She explained why, “because I was looking for a secular, democratic and alternative space to talk about the culture and politics of the subaltern without commercialization or censorship.” That’s why clubs and artists have turned Beharapara into an open art gallery since 2020, with a common vision of making art available to the masses.
The artist prepared for months
More than 28 artists in the city are working day and night to realize this vision. But before they started working, the artists prepared for months and attended the workshop. After six online and physical workshops, they were asked to submit their ideas. “These works were chosen there. After several brainstorming sessions and sharp ideas emerged, the art and installation design for these walls was completed,” Sanatan said.
The pandemic made the whole process even more difficult. Combiners and senior artists wanted to hold more classes and workshops, but they couldn’t make it possible. “Because of the third wave, we had to postpone the whole show, but thankfully we can still pull it off this year,” Abhishek said.
People’s celebration for people
The festival is for the masses, so the locals are an important part of it. Everyone participates, from local coffee shops to rickshaw pullers, car drivers, and the entire para of about 70 families. “I came up with an idea of how to include teahouses and rickshaw stands instead of removing them from the venue,” said artist Panchari Banerjee. Dinda’s daughter, Paris Jat, who attends her first festival, recreates Johannes Vermeer’s famous painting “The Milkmaid” on the wall of a local coffee shop. “We’ve been working for a month now and have all the help and cooperation from our neighbors. We blocked their entrances and emptied their parking spaces, yet they never I didn’t complain. In fact, every day someone sends food for us. This is the secret to the success of this festival, “says Parijat.
A festival of art like no other
- The three-day festival runs from February 25th to February 27th
- Anyone can participate in this festival without admission
- A total of 28 artists and 20 associates are participating in the fest
- This year’s theme is “light and darkness”
- Unlike Durga Pujar, it’s a secular space just for art.
- An international photo contest is also held