When the first edition of The Baroda March was held in 2008, it featured paintings and sculptures by artists from Baroda. Curator Rukhshaan Krishna got the idea when she met artist Ambubhai Rathwa and followed him to Baroda.
She met several artists in Baroda and realised that there were many talented artists who needed exposure. Thus, started The Baroda March (named because Krishna managed to get the gallery booking only in the month of March), an annual exhibition, which includes upcoming and senior artists who have worked in Baroda or studied at the MS University.
The sixth edition will feature more than 150 works by 55 artists from different genres and generations. On display will be paintings, sculptures and woodcuts. Some of the artists whose works will be on display include Nimesh Patel, Malavika Rajnarayan, Sharath Kulagatti, KG Subramanyan, Preeti Agrawal, Soumen Das and Kamal Pandya. Speaking about the exhibition, Krishna adds, “The Baroda March is also an important indicator of the latest trends in art and the pertinent issues of that year.
So, this year there are a lot of artworks that are pertaining to the Delhi rape case; some artists have sensitively portrayed the girl. Similarly, an artwork by Sanjay Barot pays tribute to 100 years of cinema. Several artists have also moved away from their comfort zone and opted for different media.” Krishna adds that the artists have been selected not on the basis of how famous they are but based on the quality of their art and whether it touches a chord with the public.
Krishna, who also runs the TSAR studio in Baroda, observes that Baroda is a nucleus for nurturing art, which is attested by the scores of artists who have emerged from the city. “There is a kind of attitude among the Barodaites; teachers who instruct students are also working artists; you will bump into artists even at tea shops across the city,” she states, adding that she plans to take it to different cities from next year.
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