Madanmohan Rao ( )
Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 650 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom expo, millets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
Bangaloreans are in for a real treat this week, thanks to creative events like the Bengaluru Design Festival (for which YourStory is the media partner) and the India Art Festival. Design, crafts, arts, technology, and creativity come together in a compelling mix of conferences, exhibitions, workshops, fairs, and community sessions.
Founded in 2011, the India Art Festival (IAF) network comprises art fairs in New Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai. The festival aims at promoting dialogue and collaboration across the art ecosystem: galleries, art dealers, artists, art buyers, interior designer, architects, and art connoisseurs.
“IAF is known for its mission of democratising art viewing and buying,” says Rajendra, Founder and Managing Director, IAF.
IAF showcases established as well as emerging artists, and provides valuable opportunities for peer learning and networking. Business opportunities also lie in getting discovered by art promoters, and visibility in the media.
“Rural artists mingle with urban artists. Together, they bring out the art buying process from the confines of conventional art spaces into a public fair,” Rajendra describes.
“In this second Bengaluru edition of IAF, 30 art galleries and 450 artists from various cities are displaying over 4,000 artworks in the 100 booths,” he adds.
IAF’s New Delhi edition celebrated seven years in October 2022. The Bengaluru edition is being held at King’s Court in Palace Grounds. The new year kicks off with the Mumbai edition slated for 19-22 January at Nehru Centre.
Art festivals can be more easily accessible for the public than an art gallery. They offer more scale and variety, and even attractive prices for first-time buyers. IAF also operates in dual mode, with pavilions for galleries as well as artists.
“The art market spaces provided by annual art fairs across the world are proved to be reliable sources to acquire art. They contribute a considerable part of the annual art and antique market turnover,” Rajendra explains.
In this photo essay series, we showcase the variety of artworks on display, including landscapes, abstracts, folk art, spiritual paintings, sculptures, mixed-media works, and figurative art. Future articles will feature artist and curator insights as well.
Participating galleries come from across India, beyond the metro cities as well. Overseas exhibitors at IAF editions have come from the US, Canada, the UK, the UAE, Sri Lanka, Qatar, and Singapore.
“It has been a very tough journey for the art fraternity during the COVID-19 pandemic, as showcasing art and inviting large gatherings were restricted,” Rajendra recalls. “We saw a boom of online art shows and art festivals in virtual format during the pandemic,” he says.
“Nothing can replace physical exhibitions at venues wherein artists, gallerists, art enthusiasts, art writers, and art buyers come together and interact under one roof,” Rajendra signs off.
Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and find new avenues to apply your creativity?
(All exhibition photographs were taken by Madanmohan Rao on location at the festival.)