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Indian-Australian Entrepreneur set to give Indian artists a unique platform

Pune : Despite India exporting 129.99 billion worth of handicrafts, Indians finds it difficult to accept art as a career choice. Handicrafts of India are highly placed in overseas market. It is due to this demand that India exported around Rs.129.99 billion worth handicrafts in the year 2016-17 which has increased by 18 percent from Rs 109.89 billion in the year 2015-16. The industry therefore is one of the highest contributors to the country’s GDP. Despite this fact, artists in the country are not given their due, and at times, even forced to live in poverty. It is to correct this imbalance and give an impetus to such artists, a mega exhibition event called as SPART (SPort+ART) has been organized in Pune on April 29th 2017. 

The event is set to be inaugurated by Legendary Australian cricketer Brett Lee who will be appearing for any event for the first time in India. The exhibition is open to all from 9 am to 6pm and will be held at Collonade Hall, Residency club Pune. The inauguration and talk show by Brett Lee followed by lunch buffet will happen between 11am to 2 pm. However the talk show would be a private event for 220 people with a ticket charge for Rs 3000/- 

“Brett Lee himself is an artist at heart. The common point between me and him is that his work was mainly in Australia but has strong ties to India through his art as well as his social cause of training clinical music therapists and introducing this therapy as an integral tool in healing the physical, mental and emotional wounds of marginalized children through his Foundation called Mewsic. I on the other hand started my enterprise in Australia and am now giving a platform to Indian artists, so they can portray and sell their art without having to spare selling commission. This is the reason why he connected to the cause and was ready to inaugurate the event,” informed Akshaya Borkar, founder of The Art and Craft Gallery who is hosting this event. 

Sharing his views on the condition of artists in India, Debabrata Pal who is a painter and works with an automotive designing company said, “ In India, artists are not given their due. Only some certain identified professions are considered to be noble and children are not encouraged to take up art. The event would help in changing this psyche.” Pal believes it is against this backdrop, the Gallery has provided him great support. “I practice Chromotherapy (science of using colors to adjust body vibrations to frequencies that result in health and harmony) . Through this platform, my art reaches the right people and in future when I start becoming successful, I will quit my job to concentrate on art,” he said. 

Anjali Hugay who studied electronic engineering and now has her own studio also echoed similar sentiments. “ Certain professions are pushed forth for people to follow as they are said to be the ones with guaranteed source of income. This is mainly because in India, people still think twice before spending fairly large amounts on paintings which is not the case in western countries. Such an initiative will definitely help in changing people’s perspective towards art.” Anjali makes landscapes and figurative art in oil paints. 

About Akshaya Borkar, Founder of The Art and Craft Gallery 
Akshaya Borkar – Shaya – is an award winning, first generation immigrant to Australia’s sunny shores. Her art has won awards and showcased in London Gallery in 1998 1999 and her business, the Art and Craft Gallery,a social enterprise launched to the world in 2015 to support creative worldwide, has been finalist in 6 business awards in 2015 out of which she bagged 4 of them. The awards were namely as follows  

- Best Web Space Award in the 2015 Brilliant Biz Mum Award She was also nominated for the best Creative Marketing on a Budget, and was a runner up. The Brilliant Biz Mum Conference & Awards is a celebration of amazing mums in biz - by way of showing off their products and services, listening to their amazing stories and celebrating their achievements. The Brilliant Biz Mum Awards are all judged - there is no social media voting - so all winners are determined based on merit.The judging panel is made up of the Award sponsor (a Biz Mum who has experience within the field and is managing the category) and two guest judges.  

- Honours Mention in recognizing 30 entrepreneurs under the age of 30 in Australia by Anthill Magazine.  

- Bronze Stevie Award for ” Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2015″ and Bronze Stevie Award for ” Startup of Year 2015″ by Stevie Awards for Women in Business, New York, USA.The Stevie® Award trophy is one of the world's most coveted prizes. Since 2002 the Gold Stevie Award has been conferred for achievement in business to organizations and individuals in more than 60 nations. 
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