· Rajendra who is Director of India Art Festival, is elected unopposed as the President of the Mumbai Art Society
Mumbai: The Bombay Art Society, founded in 1888, an oldest art institution in Asian sub-continent was unanimously renamed as “The Mumbai Art Society’ at the Society’s historical annual general meeting held in end of September 2021. The Bombay Art Society has played a seminal role as an organization promoting art and artists in India since the last 133 years. The Bombay Art society has a small office at Jehangir Art Gallery and a big art complex that houses three Art Galleries, an Amphitheatre, a Library, and an Art Shop in Bandra Reclamation. There was a long-standing demand for renaming the Bombay Art Society as the Mumbai Art Society for many years from the art field as well as social circles. While inaugurating the online exhibition ‘Colours of Independence’ organised by the Bombay Art Society last month, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray reminded society’s management about the demand for naming the Bombay Art society as ‘The Mumbai Art Society’ and finally this demand of many years is fulfilled in this general meeting.
The All-India Annual Art Exhibition of the Bombay Art Society organised since 1889, which started at a time when there were no art galleries in the country, no art magazines like today and no Lalit Kala Academy or other art institutes supporting artists, has inspired hundreds of artists and shaped artistic journey of today’s many master artists in their formative years. This year, society mounted 129th annual art exhibition online in March 2021.
At the annual general meeting, Rajendra, Editor, Indian Contemporary Art Journal and Director, India Art Festival, is elected unopposed as the President of the Bombay Art Society. He happened to be the first president of the society to be elected unopposed in the last few decades.
Rajendra, the newly elected President of Mumbai Art Society said, “Society has to re-tune itself to face situations like pandemic and find ways to support young artists who are suffering more. Art market slowed during pandemic for mid-career and young artists though masters are selling at record prices.” In fact, some records of highest prices for few master artists are broken during COVID pandemic. “As the art galleries were closed for most of the period since pandemic started in March last year, emerging artists bear most of the brunt, as primary sale was affected in a big way. However, auction houses and online sale of master artists’ works is not affected much”, added Rajendra,.
To cope up with the pandemic and lock down, the Bombay Art Society started a bigger online platform during COVID pandemic. As a part of celebration of India entering in to ‘75th Year of Independence’, an online exhibition ‘Colours of Independence: 75 Years of Art’, is organised online. In this exhibition, 1660 artworks by more than 1000 artists from all over India and overseas countries are exhibited till 30 December 2021 at society website www.bombayartsociety.org. On this occasion, the Bombay Art Society, presented 75 awards to participating artists selected by judges panel for the best artworks received for the exhibition. The Awards includes 15 Cash Awards of INR.10,000 each named after the legends in the art field and 60 merit certificates.
Rajendra further said ‘as there is nothing wrong with our economy, art market for mid-career and younger artists will recover fast as soon as COVID pandemic comes in bit control. Art Galleries in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, with other metro cities opened in a big way, though visitors are less. However, footfalls will improve in a couple of months once art buyers, art lovers get confidence to come out of safety of their homes after pandemic slows down a bit more, adds Rajendra”.
The executive committee members that were elected in the AGM include Sculptor Chandrajit Yadav (Secretary), Prof. Surendra Jagtap(Treasurer), and committee members Prof. Anil Naik, Prof. Narendra Vichare, Ganpat Bhadke, Ajinkya Chaulkar, Madhavi Gangan, Vikrant Manjrekar and Shrikant Kadam.