Forum keeps save Venkatappa Art Gallery agitation alive

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Deccan Herald

Bengaluru, May 27, 2016, DHNS

Artist draws portraits of CM, ministers to seek funds for its maintenance

Portraits of Chief Minister Siddramaiah, Ministers R V Deshpande and Umashree drawn by artist Parameshwar Jolad for collecting funds to save Venkatappa Art Gallery at Shivananda Circle in Bengaluru on Thursday. DH Photo

Protesting the state government’s attempt to privatise Venkatappa Art Gallery (VAG) citing lack of funds, VAG Forum members took to street art to raise funds on behalf of the government by drawing portraits of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and two other ministers.

Artist Parameshwar Jolad drew portraits of Siddaramaiah, Industries and Tourism Minister R V Deshpande and Kannada and Culture Minister Umashree on the street at Shivananda Circle seeking funds from the public to raise money for the government to run the VAG.

The protest mocking the state government to privatise the VAG citing lack of resources drew an instant attention with a good number of people and curious onlookers gathering at Circle near bus on Thursday morning.

Jolad, who took 90 minutes to draw the three portraits, said his objective was to draw attention of the public to the issue plaguing the VAG.

Senior artist Suresh, Kumar who was present, said that the government is handing over tourism centres to private players in the name of shortage of funds.

Symbolic protest

“The protest is symbolic and a satire on the government,’’ he stated.

“The response was encouraging and we made a total collection of Rs 178. We send it to the chief minister through money order on Friday. For the last four months, we have been protesting against privatisation of the gallery. However , there has been no response from the government’s end,” he added.

In a bid to reclaim the VAG, the forum members recently held a three-day art marathon inviting artists from across the state to take part at VAG.

“Street drawing to raise funds was another effort to keep the momentum and pressure on the government to reconsider its decision,’’ Jolad said.

He said, “On Sunday, there will be a meeting of VAG Fourm members and artists to discuss about the issue. We want to hold more such programmes till the government cancels the memorandum of understanding (MoU) it has entered into with a private party (Tasveer Foundation) for the management of the gallery.”

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