19 January 2012

Kala Pola at Nelum Pokuna on January 29. Colombo's Open Air Art Fair for the 19th Consecutive Year

18th January 2012, www.dailynews.lk

"Kala Pola", Colombo's open air art gallery cum art fair presented by The George Keyt Foundation, will spread the sidewalks of Nelum Pokuna Mawatha (formerly, Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha), Colombo with an array of colours yet again on Sunday, January 29. This event has continued to enjoy the support of the John Keells Group for the 19th consecutive year, and is easily Colombo city's grandest and most-awaited annual one day street art festival, showcasing masterpieces by prominent painters and sculptors from all over Sri Lanka.

Kalapola started in 1993 with 35 artists, and has drawn inspiration from the open air summer art fairs overseas such as the legendary Montmartre in Paris and Turl Street Art Festival at Oxford University, UK. In an atmosphere filled with melody, song, fun and bonhomie, this year's Kala Pola will feature over 300 artists and sculptors who will showcase their inspired and innovative creations to an ever-increasing Sri Lankan, expatriate and foreign clintele.

Through the years, Kala Pola has provided artists an encouraging boost by giving them a platform to be successful and careers in both local and international arenas. It promotes art as a fruitful and professional career and helps them broaden their horizons and build steady clintele.

Chairman of the George Keyt Foundation, Cedric De Silva said, "Every year Kala Pola attracts hundreds of artists from all parts of the country and gives them the rare opportunity of showcasing their work to a large number of art enthusiasts and buyers. We take pride in the fact that Kala Pola, which had a very simple beginning two decades ago, has now grown into a sizeable national event. This is undoubtedly an advantage to these highly talented artists, some of  whom may not be able to exhibit in Colombo's renowned art galleries".

John Keells Holdings PLC, Head of CSR Nadija Thambiah said, "This event is all about creating opportunities for amateur artists islandwide to display their creations and launch their careers. We are happy to note that Kala Pola is a viable source of assisting the livelihoods of these artists and thereby encouraging them to pursue their careers in art. Nurturing art is essential to preserve the soul of society and it is our responsibility to keep creativity alive.

The John Keells Foundation is dedicated to support the arts and culture of this country. It is indeed an honour to extend our patronage for the 19th successive time to Kala Pola."

John Keells Foundation is the arm of the John Keells Group dedicated to CSR. It strives to make a positive difference by enriching the communities in which the Group operates.

The Foundation has continued to support and engage in sustainable projects under various focus areas of corporate social responsibility.

Due to the colourful facet that it has gained over the years, this year's Kala Pola hopes to draw more artists from the North and East. In addition, this event, which attracts a crowd of more than 25,000, has shown a rise in the number of tourists being drawn to the fair, making it a major tourist attraction in the heart of Colombo.

It is easily one of the much-talked-about and best-visited events in Sri Lanka's cultural calendar. This is due to the intriguing variety and different styles of paintings, art and crafts which are seen and are available at Kala Pola, making it a unique personal experience.

Kala Pola begins at 8.00 am on Sunday January 29 and will continue to display the beautiful creations throughout the day, bringing a spectrum of colour and revelry to the soul of Colombo, until twilight settles over the skyline.

Images: John Keells Holdings PLC, Head of CSR Nadija Thambiah and other officials at the press conference, and Artists at Kala Pola.

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