The four-day long art festival, from March 27 - 30, came to an end yesterday with the opening of the grand exhibition of artworks by both prominent and promising artists, on themes ranging from nature to urbanisation, contemporary to classical, festivity to celebration of life and culture.
Renowned Bangladeshi artists gathered at the unique event, amidst students of the Bhawal Mirzapur Haji Jamir Uddin School and College, which has created much buzz in the festival venue and surrounding community. The entire area was packed with locals on all four days. Apart from the artworks on display, handicrafts from all over the country were also exhibited at the Folk Art and Craft Fair.
The art camp created an opportunity for both school students and budding artists from all across Bangladesh. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the young ones to augment their vision by closely interacting with such acclaimed artists. The exchange was deemed mutual as several noted artists said they also learned plenty from their peers.
The students' artworks were reflective of the dark side of urbanisation in images of brickfields surrounding their schools, depictions of the deforestation that took place in the Sal forest in the area and the polluted black water in the river. Keeping with the festival's theme 'Beautiful Environment, Artistic Life', 15 contemporary artists also showcased their concerns revolving around environmental issues through their installations and mixed media works.
All four evenings during the festival were graced with cultural programmes, which brought a breeze of relaxation after the tiring, day-long art camp sessions. Members of the Cultural and Programme Committee along with students serenaded the audience with a variety of music, dance, poetry and puppet shows.
Dr Md Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal, NDC, Secretary of Ministry of Cultural Affairs, graced the inaugural ceremony of the exhibition as chief guest. Khurshid Alam, Assistant Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh; Dilruba Haider, Programme Specialist, UN Women Bangladesh; Anisuzzaman Chowdhury, Programme Manager, JICA Bangladesh; and, Begum Shamsunnahar, SP Gazipur was also present as special guests. The ceremony was chaired by Md Mohsin, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief. The convener, Professor Mohammad Eunus and the curator of the festival, Harun-ar-Rashid Tutul also spoke at the event.
In stark contrast to the city-based, gallery-oriented art practice, this festival stands out in many aspects including its ability of community engagement, decentralising and diffusing art, and creating a humane generation by exposing people to their own artistic spirit. The festival was supported by The Daily Star, Channel i, UNDP, UN WOMEN, JICA, Asrotex Group, Max Group and Berger.