Colombo comes alive in a massive riot of colour on Sunday, 31 January 2016 as Sri Lanka’s internationally acclaimed open-air art fair, Kala Pola, opens along Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha in Colombo 07.
Kala Pola is presented by The George Keyt Foundation in association with the John Keells Group. It opens at 8.00 am and will continue until 9.00 pm the same night.
As it has done for the past 22 years, Kala Pola is billed to attract several thousands of visitors from all parts of the country. Added to this are the large numbers of resident and visiting expatriates from different parts of the world who patronise the event as a happy hunting ground for a variety of Sri Lankan art on offer in a fun-filled atmosphere of music and entertainment.
Since its inception in 1993, Kala Pola has drawn inspiration from similar open-air art fairs in Europe, especially Montmartre in Paris. It has evolved into a rich cultural event over the years and is today a much-awaited and not-to-be-missed event in Colombo’s annual cultural calendar.
Presented by The George Keyt Foundation, Kala Pola has continued to enjoy the generous patronage and strong partnership of the John Keells Group over the past 22 years under its corporate social responsibility programme which is committed to supporting the development and promotion of culture and the arts in Sri Lanka.
Chairman of The George Keyt Foundation, Cedric de Silva said, “Kala Pola has played a significant role these past two decades in creating a greater appreciation of art among the Sri Lankan public. Records show us that the numbers of artists and visitors have grown exponentially and this year too we expect a very large turnout. In addition to promoting the creation and appreciation of good art, Kala Pola is also a very good source of income for the artists. We are once again thankful to the John Keells Group for its invaluable patronage and the tremendous source of strength it has been to us during these two plus decades”, de Silva added.
Head of CSR John Keells Holdings PLC, Ms. Nadija Tambiah, said that the John Keells Foundation’s vision of `Empowering the Nation for Tomorrow’ is manifest in the benefit that both artists and the art-loving public derive from Kala Pola. “An important launch pad for artists and sculptors to embark on and build their careers, Kala Pola has also launched several artists at national and international levels. It provides a chance for artists to learn from one another and enables society at large to appreciate local art, thus fostering Sri Lankan art in a multitude of styles and genres. From very modest beginnings way back in 1993, Kala Pola has transformed itself into an international event and we are delighted to see more original Sri Lankan art adorning the walls of offices and public institutions both locally and overseas”, she added.
The John Keells Foundation meanwhile continues to host Sri Lanka’s first and only corporate digital art gallery ( www.srilankanartgallery.com) enabling Sri Lankan artists to showcase and sell their work throughout the year to local and foreign buyers. The main website, Sri Lankan Art Gallery, also hosts the ‘John Keells Art Gallery’ which is a platform for a collection of curated art, selected by a panel of curators who are experts in their field. The curated site thus provides an aspirational element to the artists who are registered on the Sri Lankan Art Gallery as they are able to benchmark their work against the curated selections for their own development and growth.
As always, Kala Pola is free of charge and open to the public. Now a top tourist attraction, it is expected to attract thousands of visitors from all parts of Sri Lanka and from different parts of the world on Sunday, 31st January at Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha as they enjoy the art, the cultural entertainment and the infectious feeling of an exciting summer art-fest right in the heart of Colombo, Sri Lanka.