A road side full of works of art is an unusual sight in Colombo. Hundreds of young painters and sculptors artists from across the country get a chance to exhibit their works in the city, and, possibly get propelled into the higher orbits.
The annual event, called ‘Kala Pola’ (Open Air Art Festival), is organised in memory of painter-poet George Keyt, who was perhaps, Sri Lanka’s most celebrated painter. According to the George Keyt Foundation, “the Kala Pola initiated by the Foundation in mid 1992 has now settled into a very popular and much sought after annual expectation.”
The fair began with hardly over 30 artists, but now a huge number of artists participate in the festival. There is considerable tourist interest too – it also helps that the paintings are not priced in the stratosphere.
Some artists, speaking in English with an effort, said that they had come because there was a venue to showcase their works. Of course, buyers were welcome, a student of an art school said.
The artists who set up their shop on both sides of the road, handled a variety of themes – from monks to landscapes to the female form – and some had experimented with a variety of bold colours, that make a few of the works standout.
With the hot sun fading away, the crowd - of avid art watchers, curious onlookers, interested buyers, and older artists checking out the field – grew. The police diverted the traffic to nearby roads. For once, art took precedence in a city that is used to too much pragmatism and practicality.
Courtesy: The Hindu