Rain and thunderstorms around the city have artists concerned about their sales in Arts and Crafts Mela.
Stalls in the Arts and Crafts Mela, being held in Chitrakala Parishath are facing losses due to the rain. Artists say they have lost up to 50 percent in sales.
Niranjan, a Pattachittara (folk art from Odisha) artist faced a loss of 50 percent in his sales due to rains. “A few days ago, three of my paintings got ruined because of rain.” He had to destroy the paintings and face huge losses due to it. He sells around Rs. 25,000 to 30,000 worth of paintings, but due to rain it has become a bit difficult for him to cope-up with losses.
He said that they get wages after they have made any sales of the paintings. “We receive wages after we have sold our work, not after completing it,” he added. Apart from Niranjan’s stall there are two more stalls selling Pattachittara paintings.
Salma, one of the vendors of a stall selling Kurtis from Kashmir, said that the rains generally coincide with the timings of the mela. This affects the footfall and the sales, she has already faced 20 to 25 percent of loss due to the rain.
K.S. Appjaaiah, general secretary of Chitrakala Parishath, said, the Parishad has set up tents to ensure that the stalls do not get affected by the rain.The stalls are given to the vendors on rent. They are also provided with plastic sheets and covers to protect their art or craft during the rain, said Niranjan.
Ashok Kumar Das, a Madhubani artist from Bihar, said he came for the mela for the first time but he has exhibited his paintings with the Chitrakala Parishath. But since his stall is outside, he said that the rain affects his stall since the water drips from the sheets, also damaging his paintings.
Das’s stall is the only stall showcasing Madhubani art in the mela. “I was shocked to see that people here know about Madhubani folk art.” The mela is a good way to showcase art and it also allows the customers to interact with the artists, he said. He said that if customers buy paintings from outside then they have to pay additional amount, but this mela allows them to only pay for the art as the role of middle men gets cut-off.
Sanu Raza, a vendor from Agra selling Agra marble miniature sculpture, said “this is the first time we have come to this mela.” They have been part of many exhibitions in Delhi, Punjab, Chandigarh, and other states. He said the response they have received from crowd is really great till now. “We got around 2000 people per day during the weekend,” he added.
The Arts and Crafts mela is held every month for around 10 to 20 days in Chitrakala Parishath. “The mela is held to promote the artisans and craft from across the country,” said Appjaaiah.
The timings for mela are from 11 am to 7 pm. Artisans and vendors from different parts of country are showcasing the arts and crafts of their region.