Cima’s Art Mela: Buy art without going bust
Kolkata-based gallery Cima's annual 'Art Mela' is headed to the Capital for the first time
For a decade, the Centre of International Modern Art’s (Cima’s) Art Mela has been a fixture on Kolkata’s annual cultural calendar, selling work by distinguished names in the business, alongside emerging stars, for as little as a few thousand rupees. And now, for its 11th edition, it’s headed to the Capital for the first time, with offerings ranging from Rs3,000-75,000.
From Ganesh Pyne to Arpita Singh to Thota Vaikuntam, some of India’s best-loved artists will be part of Art Mela, alongside a generation of younger ones like Shreyasi Chatterjee and Atin Basak, as well as those working in traditional styles like patachitra or Madhubani painting. “Our idea is to provide a platform to middle-class buyers and to encourage a new generation of collectors," says Rakhi Sarkar, director of Cima.
Such is the public’s interest that buyers queue up from early morning to get hold of the choicest pieces before the crowds descend. “We’ve had people who’ve dipped into their life’s savings to buy something they loved," says Sarkar. For connoisseurs, it’s probably not a hard decision to make if the choice is to get, say, a painting by Lalu Prasad Shaw for Rs75,000. Since authentication is an expensive process, Cima provides a stamped hologram with every work it sells, along with a receipt.
For the curious, there’s much by way of discovery within a pocket-friendly budget—from sketches to drawings. Art Mela has sales worth Rs50 lakh, going up to a crore, on an average every year, Sarkar says. With the 80 participating artists this year selling their work for much less than the estimated market prices, art lovers in Delhi are hopefully in for a treat.
Art Mela will be held from 26-30 April, 10am-8pm, at the Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre, Delhi.