Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Media and Press Release

An arty affair

(From left)The jury Kapil Chopra, Andy Fairgrieve, Swapan Seth, NitinBhayana, Peter Nagy, Rajiv Bhatia, JitenThukral, SumirTagra and Veer Munshi

What might world-class whisky and art have in common? Well, though making good whisky can be scientifically explained, it remains in the realm of art that's executed by skilled craftsmen. "So the qualities required for making good art and good whisky are not dissimilar!" said the kilt-clad Andy Fairgrieve of Glenfiddich, who was in India for a purpose.

Glenfiddich (the single malt Scotch whisky) has collaborated withbestcollegeart.com, an online Indian art gallery, to hunt down promising new Indian artists for its prestigious Artists in Residence Programme (AiR). The award called 'Emerging Artist of the Year' is in its second edition this year. AiR culls eight artists from across the globe each year, who are invited to Scotland for a three-month residency.

For this year's award, a top-notch nine-member jury including leading artists and collectors, besides Andy Fairgrieve, co-ordinator of the programme, picked 625 artists who feature in bestcollegeart.com.

From among them, the best five were shortlisted as finalists and feted at an evening dedicated to them. Sharing the stage were fresh new names — Chennai's Yuvan Bothisathuvar, Shivanand Shyagoti from Bangalore, Calcutta's Sumantra Mukherjee, Delhi-based visual artist Ankush Safaya and Gurgaon-based Poorvesh Patel. The event, dubbed as 'Five For The Future', was held at art gallery Nature Morte at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, where their works were displayed.

Kapil Chopra, president, The Oberoi Group with winner YuvanBothisathuvar

A bashful Bothisathuvar was declared the 'Emerging Artist of the Year' for his amazing work in paper/newsprint. Bothisathuvar has just earned himself an award which carries a total value of Rs 10 lakh including one lakh in cash, a residency in Scotland courtesy Glenfiddich, a monthly stipend, material allowances, travel, accommodation and – to top it all – a solo show at Nature Morte in 2014. Soon, Bothisathuvar will set off for Dufftown, home to the Glenfiddich distillery, and take inspiration from his surroundings and create his artwork.

Kapil Chopra, mentor, bestcollegeart.comand president, The Oberoi Group, said: "The award seeks out the next generation of artists and also nurtures and supports emerging talent." Chopra's bestcollegeart.com, by the way, is a veritable hotbed where young Indian contemporary artists reach out to collectors. Artworks are priced between Rs 60,000 and Rs 2.7 lakh.

The task of short-listing the five best artists from among the 625 (and a total of some 2,500 artworks) fell on a hotshot jury that spent months before arriving at the five final names. The jury comprised Chopra, Fairgrieve, Peter Nagy, director of Nature Morte, artists Veer Munshi, Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra, art collectors Rajshree Pathy, Swapan Seth, Nitin Bhayana and Rajiv Bhatia, director, William Grant & Sons, India sub-continent.

Last year's winner of the 'Emerging Artist of the Year' award, textile artist Juhikadevi Bhanjdeo, is still feeling the after-effects of her stint in Dufftown: "It proved life-changing for me," she gushed. She used the money to start her own studio in India.

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