Wednesday, December 30, 2009

IDCO to complete construction of the new campus of Culture University in time.

BHUBANESWAR: Higher Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra has directed the Orissa Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) to complete construction of the new campus of Culture University in time.

The new campus, being constructed by IDCO on 50 acres of land at Madanpur on the city outskirts at an expenditure of Rs 23 crore is slated to be completed by January, 2011.

Out of the total fund, Rs 18 crore is meant for construction of campus while Rs 5 crore will be utilised for hostels.

The Higher Education Minister today discussed the issue with Finance Minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadei. Established under the University Grants Commission (UGC) Act in 1999-2000, the university started with 65 students in the first year. Besides, 37 institutions are affiliated to it in which 2,964 students are studying in various subjects.

Drawing attention of the Finance Minister to different problems, Mishra said that ad hoc posts in different departments of the university should be regularised soon. Besides, he said the post of registrar which has been vacant for long should be filled up. He demanded that posts of controller of examinations and finance should be created for the university soon.

It was decided that a proposal will be sent to the Finance Department for regularisation of services of 26 employees working in the university since February 28, 2004.

It was also decided that linguistic and other departments in the university will be streamlined to improve the quality of teaching.

The two discussed increasing allowance given to different artistes and grants sanctioned by the university to different cultural organisations.

Agriculture Production Commissioner RN Senapati, Principal Secretary in the Finance Department Jugal Kishore Mohapatra, Secretary in the Tourism and Culture Department Mona Sharma, Director in the Culture Department RN Kar and registrar in-charge Haraprasad Parichha Patnaik attended.
Source: The New Indian Express

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Lack of a market for Art in the State, coupled with absence of any government-funded exhibitions and fairs has reduced Artist's futures in Odisha

The brush and canvas, the stone and chisel are no more in Artist's hand in contemporary Odisha. The dream of becoming an artist has been shattered by poverty. And now who are completed their study in Art, those roam the lanes and by-lanes of cities in search of work in Odisha.Many of Artists has been sited on a hunger strike demanding creation of posts of art teacher in schools so that job avenues for them get a little wider. But they seem to have failed to hold the State Government's attention on their problems. And because of the almost non-existent scope of employment for visual art students, most do not mind taking refuge in painting footpath banners and commercial posters for a living.

"My hands have begun to shiver and I fear I might never be able to hold a brush again to give shape and color to my flights of fancy," said Prajesh Mohapatra, one of the hundreds visual art students for whom their art degree is just another paper of little relevance today.The abolition of posts of drawing teacher in schools has taken a heavy toll on their careers, says Prajesh. These jobs were the only lucrative ones sought after by visual art students. Further, lack of a market for Art in the State, coupled with absence of any government-funded exhibitions and fairs has reduced their futures to the black and white of poverty and despair.

"How can we ever give form to our imagination and creativity when we ourselves are struggling to exist?", said Bijay Nayak, an artist who has won accolades for his paintings outside the State, but has ironically failed to impress a color blind State Government.Many such disgruntled young artists feel there was no need to open a second Art college when most of the pass-outs from the 50-year-old Khallikote Arts College are still to find a footing in the employment scenario. The second government art college, the B.K. College of Art and Crafts, was opened in 1983-84, and now there is a Culture University in state which has not a proper infrastructure and administrator.

The pitiable state of young artists in the State also emanates from gross negligence of exposure of students to national art camps, competitions and exhibitions so as to give them a chance to prove their mettle on tougher ground."Study tours to different states should be organized at regular interval, there must be seminar and discussions on art and cultural heritage of the state. But there is neither any fund nor any initiative to cater to the needs of the course and students", says an art teacher of B.K.College of Art and Crafts.

Having a faith in the government machinery and hope of any official help in this Government, the art students are waiting for something fruitful, or perhaps maybe a kind, art-loving public may lend them the required support to make the State Government bring back some of the lost color into their dreams.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mr. Byomakesh Mohanty at this new role of Secretary Odisha State Lalit Kala Academy

Before becoming secretary Odisha State Lalit Kala Academy, Byomakesh Mohanty worked as the HOD (Painting) at B.K. College of Art and Crafts, at Bhubaneswar.He studied visual Arts (Painting) at BHU. He was appointed as a member, Advisory Committee of Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi and executive member Orissa State Lalit Kala Academy. His paintings have been preserved in many important Art Galleries including National Museum of France, Paris & Dusseldorf Art Gallery, Germany. He has served as jury member in various National Art Exhibitions.

AlumniBKCAC welcomes Mr. Byomakesh Mohanty at this new role, hoping he will work towards uplift rich odishan tardition of Art and Culture and growing contemporary art.

Congratulations Byomakesh Sir!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Contemporary art in Odisha has escaped the Odia eye sight!!

Art in contemporary Odisha is in search of a direction. One who understands the state, its varied visual culture and historic progression, is struggling to reclaim the context, as I do. Essentially it does not mean that I am claiming myself as an authority but my long association as an artist and art historian engaged in writing and analysis of art has provoked me to re-think the context of art in contemporary Odisha.

After reading and writing considerably on contemporary art in Odisha, now it feels (for several reasons) that art in contemporary Orissa has gone no where beyond the temple sculptures and traditional consequences. Let me put it like this, media has been proactive these days and a layman understands the popular visual language through them. The other day, all the local news channels got together to document the visit of the President of India to Puri and Konark. This news covering her successful visit was followed by a mishap at the air port. As a tail piece, the news regarding the sand sculpture of the President Pratibha Patil was prepared by Sudarshan Patnaik on the beach, caught my attention.

Contemporary art in Odisha is in practice since late 1950s and many artists have resolved to the creative practice since then. There has been a unilateral development in the art field which involves the individual artists without any support from the state. Even the institutions have succumbed to the bureaucratic struggle and incompetence. Even then artists like Dinanath Pathy, Chandrasekhar Rao, DN Rao, Baladev Maharatha from the veteran group; Ramahari Jena, Adawit Gadnayak, Jagannath Panda, Pratul Dash and Tapan Dash, Ashok Nayak, Pradosh Swain, Paresh Choudhury, Deepak Harichandan, Ajay Mohanty and Manoj Mohanty, Sambit Panda, Kantakishore Moharana, Anjan Sahoo, Birendra Pani, Sudhanshu Sutar, Prashant Sahu, Alok Bal and many others lead the young generation have been fairly active contributing to the contemporary art field in their own capacities. The state of recognition in Orissa for these artists have become negligent and even the media is not aware of their activities. These artists have earned name in the international sphere but at home they are helpless as they perhaps may not prepare a sand sculpture or traditional stone carving in most populist way. The artist community especially the visual artists are unable to fit themselves into the media forum as they are busy doing creative global deals. No news paper from print media or the electronic channel has covered them as they have done to Sudarshan Patnaik. Its not only Sudarshan Patnaik has not alone participated in the international symposiums, even these mentioned artists have not only participated but also catalyst in organising art events globally. Think of the Bakul Art Foundation, which has successfully brought in young artists together but also delivered in transforming the viewers in participatory values. Even the Stand up and Speak by Ashok Art Gallery promoting the odia artists in Art summits, Art Expo and Fairs in India.

It clearly reflects the awareness cramp in our media and public. Lalit Kala Akademi in Odisha is struggling to have a sensitive Secretary who could sensitise about the function of art. We need to sensitise our people and media should update itself to deliver the creative aspect of art instead of making halla about the tradition. Our heritage is extremely rich and varied which donot need further popularity except for research. Please let us come to the day than to live in the past or a day would come when we would end up just being outdated. I don’t disrespect the past but at least I can afford to live in the past. I even don’t defy the act of Sudarshan or his art but what I expect is the contemporary awareness. Then perhaps one can contribute to the present of art situation in Contemporary Odisha.
Is someone listening?