Beyond the Canvas
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THE plan of action is elaborate, but the philosophy is simple — an art fair that is "artist driven". United Art Fair (UAF), unlike most art fairs will not focus on galleries but will be a meeting ground for artists to showcase their works, meet collectors, buyers, art appreciators and other artists on a one-on-one basis. "In India, participation in art fairs is mostly limited to galleries. But we are striving to create an exclusive platform for artists from all over India and abroad," says art curator and critic Johny ML, also project director of United Art Fair. He is planning to introduce an "alternative" to artists in Chandigarh. The art fair is scheduled to take place at Delhi's Pragati Maidan in September. Artists Subodh Kerkar, Seema Kohli and George Martin, among others, will be displaying their works.
According to Anuraag Sharma, director of UAF, the idea is to create an artistic plan that would incorporate an artistic showcase comprising seminars, screenings of documentaries, performance art activities, a sculpture park, curated art projects, book launches, artist-led workshops, curated walks apart from regular exhibits. "We want to make this festival distinct in every way," says Johny about the fair .
The UAF team is travelling all over India to promote the concept and venue among other artists. "The artists are invited through an open call. But to assure the quality of the exhibits, we have created an expert panel to select works sent by artists. There will be special teams of curators that will decide the exhibition patterns," shares Johny, who is also hoping for representations from smaller towns and cities. Johny adds that galleries in India promote a few thousand artists. "Therefore, many do not get a chance to exhibit their works before an international audience and along with other established artists from urban areas. UAF hopes to exhibit works of more than 500 artists, including the great masters of modern art and young contemporary artists. "Not just art, we want to create a platform for networking by bringing together collectors, curators, artists and galleries from different parts of the world," says Sharma, who adds that artists can rent out exhibition spaces and be the real negotiators of their works exhibited here.
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