Kozhi : The state Industries and Commerce Minister P. Rajeev said we all are living in difficult times as the democracy and secularism of the country are facing unprecedented challenges. He was spekaing after inaugurating the state-level visual arts exhibition organised by the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi at a function held at Ernakulam Durbar Hall Ground on Monday. "At this juncture, as had been historically witnessed earlier, artists can do a lot to help democracy and secularism survive and flourish. Preamble to our Constitution begins with "We, the People of India". But at the time of the formulation of the constittuion, H V Kamath, a member of our Constituent Assembly, put forward a motion to start the preamble with "In the name of God" and the assembly defeated it with 68 votes against 41. Thus, our forefathers envisioned India to be secualr and democractic but unfortunately, secular fabric of our society is being challenged very badly these days," he added.
At the function, Lalithakala Akademi's fellowships for 2022-23 and State Visual Arts Awards were also presented to the winners by the Minister and other dignitaries who attended the function including T J Vinod MLA, Kochi Mayor Adv. M Anilkumar among others.
As many as 374 works by 271 artists are on display at the exhibition spread over four venues. The shows are being held at Ernakulam Durbar Hall Art Centre, Fort Kochi Pepper House, Kozhikode Akademi Art Gallery and Kayamkulam Shankar Memorial National Cartoon Museum and Art Gallery. The works were selected by an eminent jury from 3,519 works by 861 artists.
At the inaugural ceremony, Artist Namboothiri was honoured by Minister P Rajeev. In his absence, Artist Namboothiri's son Devan received the honors. The akademi fellowships were presented to acclaimed Malayali artists Prabhavathi Meppayil and Shibu Natesan. Prabhavathi Meppayil is based in Bengaluru while Shibu Natesan has been practising in Vadodara and London. Both have participated in many international art exhibitions.
The 51st State Visual Arts Awards were presented to Ameen Khaleel, Prakasan K. S., Shan K. R., Sreeja Pallam and Sreenath K. S. (Painting, Sculpture, New Media, Drawing); Anu John David (Photography); and K Unnikrishnan (Cartoon).
Cultural Affairs Deputy Secretary K Janardanan released the catalogue of the exhibition at the inaugural ceremony by giving away the first copy to the eminent writer T D Ramakrishnan. Hibi Eden MP, District Panchayat President Ullas Thomas, Lalithakala Akademi Chairperson Murali Cheeroth and Secretary N Balamuralikrishnan also spoke on the occasion.
In connection with the ceremony, RLV Vijayakrishnan and his troupe performed a ‘panchari melam’ at 4 pm followed by a music programme by Shanka Tribe at 6 pm.
The show will be on till June 28, 2023.