The SAARC Artists Camp and Exhibition of Paintings 2017, was held very successfully in Nepal, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Government of Nepal for 4 days from the 28th to the 31st of July 2017.
Participation was very encouraging with official nominations for the Programme from the SAARC Member States of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The participating Artists were given the opportunity to create works of artistry and expression, inspired by the scenic, tranquil and picturesque Gokarna Forest Resort in Kathmandu. The themes for the 2017 Artists Camp were ‘Sacred Sites’ and ‘The Beauty of Nature’.
This year’s Programme commenced with the Inauguration Ceremony Chaired by the Secretary to the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, with the newly appointed Cultural Minister of Nepal as the Chief Guest of the Event. The Event was officially declared open following welcome speeches by the Members of the Head Table, which also included the Director of the SAARC Cultural Centre and the Director Education, Security and Culture of the SAARC Secretariat. Honoured High Commissioners and representatives from several SAARC Member States, Directors and officials of the SAARC Secretariat, the joint secretaries and under secretaries and other officials from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and the Foreign Ministry of Nepal, Chancellors of the Art Academy’s in Nepal, Artists from the participating Member States, distinguished guests, members of the Media and many other artist, well wishers and representatives from Artistic Entities were present.
Following the official Inauguration Ceremony, each delegation was introduced and presented with their artistic supplies for the duration of the Artists Camp. This included Canvasses, brushes, paints and many other items required for their paintings, with additional supplies being purchased as required/requested by the Artists.
The Artists continued with their creative interpretations through Art the following day (Day two) and on the third day there was a day trip to Historic and monumental sites in Kathmandu. This was followed by an informal Interactive Session between the Artists, co-chaired by the Chancellor of the Nepal Academy of Fine Arts and the Deputy Director (Programmes) of the SAARC Cultural Centre.
This was followed by preparations for the Exhibition of Paintings, displaying two paintings from each Artist, created over the course of the Artists Camp. The Exhibition was formally declared open by the Chief Guest of the Closing Ceremony, the Hon Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal, with His Excellency, the Secretary General of SAARC, in attendance. The Secretary to the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, other officials from the Ministry and the Foreign Ministry, Directors of the SAARC Secretariat, honoured Ambassadors/High Commissioners from the Honoured SAARC Member States, The Chancellor of the Nepal Academy of Fine Arts, the Artists, representatives of the media and many distinguished guests graced the Occasion.
The SAARC Cultural Centre is very grateful to the officials of the SAARC Secretariat, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and the Foreign Ministry of Nepal and the Chancellor of the Nepal Academy of Fine Arts for being particularly helpful in making this Event a success.
The SAARC Cultural Centre hopes to continue this popular annual Programme in 2018, giving Artists the opportunity once again, to build interregional relationships and enhance artistic collaboration. Most importantly, to promote new cultural ties to be formed in an atmosphere of friendship, where cultural connectivity and artistic exchange will remain the main objective of the event, and all of it facilitated through the beauty and wonder of Art.