12 Feb, 2016
The sidewalks of Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha in Colombo 07, alongside and opposite the National Art Gallery, came alive on Sunday 23rd January 2011 with Sri Lanka’s popular open-air art fair ‘Kala Pola’. This colourful event, once again, promises to offer visitors a myriad of artistic creations representing a kaleidoscope of talent and skill of the Island’s artists and sculptors. The event changed through the changing light of the day, bringing a varied palette of colour, sights and sounds to the city of Colombo, until dusk finally settles over its skyline.
Presented by the George Keyt Foundation, Kala Pola has continued to enjoy the patronage of the John Keells Group for 17 consecutive years. Launched back in 1993, Kala Pola drew inspiration from the open-air summer art fairs in European capitals such as the legendary Montmartre in Paris. The deep-rooted rationale for its existence goes beyond the mere search for fascinating colour, exuberance and camaraderie.
Kala Pola is a key platform for artists and sculptors to launch and build their careers. Not only does it helps them build a steady clientele, but also promotes art as a lucrative and professional career. Because of Kala Pola, many artists have become successful professionals: some have even gone on to launch careers in the international arena.
The event will feature almost 300 artists and sculptors who will showcase their creativity to a rapidly growing Sri Lankan and expatriate clientele in an atmosphere filled with music, fun and contagious bonhomie.
This year’s Kala Pola will also include the novel feature of an art auction, where some of the best creations of artists who have participated in Kala Pola over time will be on offer. This is possibly the first such art auction to be held in the country.
The John Keells Foundation – the CSR arm of the John Keells Group dedicated to make a positive difference and enrich the communities in which the Group operates, sponsors Kala Pola. The Foundation has continued to espouse and implement sustainable initiatives under various focus areas of corporate responsibility, earning the company many an accolade over the years.