12 Feb, 2016
The annual open air art fair “Kala Pola 2012” was held on the sidewalks of Nelum Pokuna Mawatha (formerly known as Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha and Green Path) recently. The event was declared open by High Commissioner for United Kingdom in Sri Lanka, H E John Rankin who was the Chief Guest at this event.
“Kala Pola”, Colombo’s open air art gallery cum art fair presented by The George Keyt Foundation, spread the sidewalks of Nelum Pokuna Mawatha (formerly, Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha), Colombo with an array of colours yet again on Sunday, 29th January 2012. 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 upcoming and prominent painters and sculptors from all over Sri Lanka.
Begun in 1993 with only 35 artists, Kala Pola 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 infectious warmth and bonhomie, this year’s Kala Pola yet again will feature over 300 artists and sculptors who will showcase their inspired and innovative creations to an ever-increasing Sri Lankan, expatriate and foreign clientèle.
Through the years, Kala Pola has provided artists an encouraging boost by giving them a platform to be successful and launch careers in both local and international arenas. It promotes art as a fruitful and professional career and helps them broaden their horizons and build a steady clientèle.
Chairman of the George Keyt Foundation, Mr. Cedric De Silva said, “Each year Kala Pola attracts hundreds of artists from all parts of the country and walks of life 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 sizable 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 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 drew more artists from the North and East. In addition, this event, which attracted 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.