President of India Ram Nath Kovind gave away 61st Lalit Kala Akademi annual awards to 15 artists today at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. The Union Minister of Culture Sh. Prahlad Singh Patel, the Akademi Chairman Dr. Uttam Pacharne and the Cultural Secretary, GoI, Shri Yogendra Tripathi, among many dignitaries graced the award ceremony at the President House. The President congratulated all the awardees while they were cheered by their respective family members and friends who were among the attendees.In the evening, the Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (IC), Shri Prahlad Singh Patelinaugurated the 61stNational Exhibition of Art andNational Kala Mela in New Delhi today. Lt. Governor of Delhi Sh. Anil Baijal, Chairman of Lalit Kala Academy Dr. Uttam Pacharne and other senior officials of the ministry were present on the occasion. The occasion also marked the presence of Padma Bhushan awarded artist Ram V. Sutar and Padma Shri Shyam Sharma who were honoured along with the awardees. The book S. Dhanpal, a Lalit Kala Akademi publication, on the eminent artist with the same name was also launched at the ceremony. The inaugural function was followed by cultural performances and was attended by the NEA awardees, participating artists and groups in both the National Exhibition of Art and National Kala Mela 2020, along with a great number of art lovers and public.Speaking on the occasionShri Patel congratulated all the 15 National Akademi awardees who were conferred by the President of India, today morning at the President House. He added that the people who attend such events are definitely the ones who are interested in arts. I myself belong to a village and whenever I get time I spend it over art and culture related things along with my official works.
Shri Patel added that these 15 awarded artists have been selected out of 283 entries and I believe that same number of artists are present here for the Kala Mela.The works of eminent artists Anjali Ila Menon, Paramjeet Singh, Arpita Singh, Gogi Sarojpal, late John Fernandes and Vasudev Kamat arealso displayed at the exhibition under the Special Invitation category. The exhibition brings together the works of brilliance from across the country and also encourages budding art talents to learn new tendencies and mediums in the world of painting, sculpture, graphics, photography, drawing, installation and multimedia etc.The objective of the National Exhibition of Art, 2019-20 is to showcase the works of art of excellence both in terms of material application and aesthetic appeal. The 61st National Exhibition of Art, 2019-20 will be continued till 22ndMarch 2020 and the Kala Mela concludes on 9thMarch 2020.The National exhibition of Art not only brings together the precious work of art and talent together from across the country but also showcases the finer nuances of Indian culture and aesthetics to the world thus promoting the Indian artworks in the international art market.“The 61st edition of National Exhibition of Art shall generate a new creative wave in the New India of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's vision in the expression of creative talent and shall also provide an opportunity to the viewers to appreciate the best in Arts in the country"saidthe Chairman Lalit Kala Akademi Dr. Uttam Pacharne. He also expressed confidence that the 61stNational Exhibition of Art is more than just an exercise in participation and contribution of the art practitioners from all over the country. According to Sh. Pacharne, “it ideates the truth that art is more than a mere conversation between art lovers and artists; it is a bond between the initiator and the spectator. I congratulate all the awardees and participants.”