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Endangered Folk Arts of India – how this international exhibition and workshop showcases creativity and challenges of traditional art

Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 620 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

This weekend, Karnataka Chitakala Parishath is host to an outstanding exhibition and workshop series titled Endangered Folk Arts of India. See our coverage of the earlier exhibitions Chitra Santhe, Moghi’s Tales, Team Yuva Collective, Aadipaaya, and Print India Biennale.

The event is organised by the International Indian Folk Art Gallery (IIFAG), an Australian art organisation with deep Indian roots. It aims to build a cross-cultural connection with Australian art lovers, while also highlighting the beauty of Indian folk arts.

Indian folk art forms are ancient and versatile. There are more than 50 traditional folk arts indigenous and unique to India, IIFAG describes in its brochure. Some of these art forms are over 3,000 years old.

These folk arts have been supported largely by small communities who pass on their knowledge from one generation to the next.

Unfortunately, some of these art forms are now on the verge of extinction due to a lack of public awareness, limited funding for the artists, and pressure to move on to other industries, art forms, and careers.

As a result, the number of practising artists in these traditions is declining. Many of these art forms have limited exposure to art lovers overseas.

The exhibition in Bengaluru includes hundreds of artworks on display across seven galleries. In this three-part photo essay, we feature pictorial highlights from the exhibition, followed by curator and artist interviews.

There are also eight workshops being conducted by Abhishek Joshi (phad), Anita Dalavi (warli), Sushant Maharana (pattachitra), Vandana Rajah (kangra), Daulat Ram (pichwai), Avadhesh Kumar Karn (madhubani), Raman Singh Vyam (gond), and Shanta Bhuriya (bhil).

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and find new avenues to apply your creativity?

Senthil Vel R.S., Founder and Promoter, IIFAG

(All exhibition photographs were taken by Madanmohan Rao on location at the exhibition.)

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.

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