Mamata Banerjee inaugurates Arts Acre Foundation
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday inaugurated the Arts Acre Foundation, Museum of Bengal Modern Art, which is the dream project of Indian artist, Subhaprasanna Bhattacharjee here.
The Arts Acre Foundation was launched with the aim of nurturing, encouraging and promoting young aspiring artists who can exhibit their passion and talent towards art.
Present at the occasion were stalwarts like Karan Singh, who is the President of Indian Council For Cultural Relation; leading exponent of Carnatic music M. Balamurali Krishna; eminent author and social activist Mahasweta Devi; Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj and ace painter Anjolie Ela Menon.
Addressing the crowd, the prolific painter and trustee of Art Acre Foundation, Subhaprasanna said, "The seeds of Arts Acre were sown in the year 1983 when writer Mulk Raj Anand had his hand on the land. He said to me in my thirties that, young artists like me should grab the land and do something for the sake of arts."
"After taking the words of the writer seriously, I eventually decided to lay the foundation, and decided to call it an Arts Acre Village," Subhaprasanna said.
"In 1984, Pandit Ravi Shankar laid the foundation stones and his Nobel laureate friend Gunter Grass inaugurated the space which started as a small art project in North Kolkata," he noted.
Subhaprasanna said, "I had spent Rs 18 crores in acquiring this plot in the year 2006, and today it is a Rs 32 crores project. With the effort of hard work and undergoing immense pain, I have finally completed the project and have accomplished my decade old dream successfully."
The six acres and 1,65,000 sqft Arts Acre building designed by eminent architect and urban designer Partha Ranjan Das includes the museum of modern art, galleries, studio, auditoriums, library, guest rooms, cafeteria and living dormitory for artists along with arts, books and music shops.
Speaking on this occasion, Mamata Banerjee said, "Kolkata is the heritage of arts and known for the arts. It is impossible to think of a Bengal without art and culture."
"Without art and culture, Kolkata is incomplete and nothing can be achieved without art and culture," Banerjee said.
"People willing to be an artist should be motivated and couraged rather than being discouraged," she noted.
(Reporting-Hashir Mohammed Khaled)
(Posted on 07-03-2014)