Kohima: Ahead of World Art Day 2022, the celebration of art in Nagaland began on Tuesday as artists from across the state gathered to celebrate and promote art and local artists.

“We are organizing a two-day art event in commemoration of World Art Day which happens to be on Good Friday this year. So, we decided to celebrate it a little ahead of time,” Theja Meru, adviser to Task Force for Music and Arts (TaFMA) told EastMojo.

Every year on April 15, World Art Day is celebrated to help reinforce the links between artistic creations and society, encourage greater awareness of the diversity of artistic expressions and highlight the contribution of artists to sustainable development, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Being a Christian majority state, Nagaland also observes Good Friday which coincides with World Art Day (WAD) this year. Good Friday, the Friday before Easter, is the Christian holy day to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus and death at Calvary. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Great and Holy Friday, and Black Friday.

For the WAD in Nagaland, artists—professional and amateur alike – from across the state gathered in the heart of Kohima town at Old NST walking plaza to mark the two-day art festival, with art demonstrations, competitions, exhibition, interactive session between professional and amateur artists.

“Art is life and in life, we have to celebrate colours. Art is an expression of life and society. So, it is important that we create an event like this to highlight art and the role that it plays in our lives,” Meru added.

Nandita Rana, a class X student of Assembly of God Church Kohima, shared her excitement. “When I learnt about the art competition through our headmistress, I was so excited and got myself registered immediately,” she told EastMojo.

As she began to sketch a Sumi Naga girl on her canvas, she said, “For me, art is very interesting. It gives me peace when I draw something. I am drawing a Sumi Naga girl. While I am into sketching, I might consider adding some colours to my art today.”

Art and drama educator Cynthia Kolakhe also shared what art means to her. 

“When it comes to art, it is everything for me. From the blank canvas, I see art everywhere. To celebrate a day like this is intimate for me-it is a connection that I build with artists and the lookout to see an increasing number of visual artists in Nagaland,” she shared.

She informed that the event is being held with the theme “Colors of Nagaland”. Sharing the idea behind engaging children, she said, “They are the future and we want to promote art, teach them the basics, and hope that they will learn a lot.”

The senior artist added, “Back in the days, there was music and art was initially not included. But with the coming of TaFMA, we are seeing the growth of art. With the Art & Culture department and the tourism department joining hands now, I’m sure art in Nagaland will flourish.”

Director of Art and Culture department, Adela Moa, who officially kicked off the Art festival, shared how art encompasses boundaries without setting any rules and regulations.

Highlighting how artists can express themselves using lines, curves, forms, figures and brush strokes, she praised artists for being able to skilfully convey their perception to the world.

Meanwhile, to engage artists, Meru said that a TaFMA art page on Instagram is active to engage with artits and to promote art. Advising artists to reach out to TaFMA, Meru said, “We look forward to grow as a family and towards promoting art in the state”.

Also read : Nagaland gets USD 2M ADB loan for urban development


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