The ninth edition of the International Sand Art Festival has commenced with the observance of the Kovid-19 protocol set by the government on Chandrabhaga Beach in Konark, Puri district of Odisha.
Around 70 artists from across the country are set to participate in this much awaited event, which provides a platform to national and international sand artists to showcase their talent.
The final few years of the festival saw enthusiastic participation from artists from countries such as the United States, Russia, Singapore, and Italy. This year, however, international artists will not participate due to the global Kovid-19 epidemic.
World renowned sand artist and Padma Shri awardee Sudarshan Peternik has been appointed as the chief curator of the festival.
“I am grateful to the tourism festival for allowing me to hold the event despite the epidemic.” Visitors are being allowed to enter after thermal scanning and hand cleaning. It is a pleasure to be able to host very talented artists from across the country. Although we are quite sad that we will not be able to host other artists, we hope to see their participation next year.
Several measures have been taken to ensure that protocols are followed in light of coronoviruses, including thermal scanning of visitors, hand cleaning, social disturbances and pre-registration of visitors after admission.
Artists create sculptures based on relevant topics such as environment, culture and national and international affairs. This year, the main themes of the sculptures are ‘Environment’ and ‘Kovid-19’.
Artists present at the event thanked the tourism department of the state and said that they are happy to get a platform to showcase their art.
“Odisha is the only state in the country that provides a national and international platform for this art and honors us as sand artists. Other states should learn from Odisha and take more initiative along similar lines to encourage artists, ”said Madurendra Kumar, a participant from Champaran.
Every year, the festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the first week of December as part of the Konark Dance Festival which is held during the same time.
(This story is published from a wire agency feed without textual modifications.)
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