Kala Pola 2017: Colombo’s annual open-air art fair unfolds on 22 January | Sunday Observer

Kala Pola 2017: Colombo’s annual open-air art fair unfolds on 22 January

15 January, 2017

A media conference was held at the Duke’s Court, Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo recently to announce ‘Kala Pola 2017,’ Colombo’s annual open-air art fair. Kala Pola will be held for the 24th time this year with a riot of colour and camaraderie along the sidewalks of Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha in Colombo 7. It is free of charge and open to the public. High Commissioner of Australia to Sri Lanka Bryce Hutchesson will be the Chief Guest at the official ceremony of Kala Pola.

The art fair kicks off at 8.00 am on Sunday, January 22, 2017 and will continue through the day, attracting thousands of visitors from various parts of Sri Lanka. There is also a large number of resident, visiting expatriates and tourists from around the world, who throng the event and purchase a variety of Sri Lankan art on offer, in a fun-filled ambience of music and entertainment. A fascinating and spellbinding display of cultural entertainment takes centre stage from the time of the official ceremony at 5.00 pm into late evening.

Presented by the George Keyt Foundation in association with the John Keells Group, Kala Pola has over the past 24 years been a major cultural and tourist attraction. Since its inception way back in 1993, it has drawn inspiration from similar open-air art fairs in Europe, specially, the iconic and legendary Montmartre in Paris.

Kala Pola has now evolved into a rich cultural event of its own. Today it is a long-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 and dynamic partnership of the John Keells Group over the past 23 years under its corporate social responsibility program which is committed to supporting the development and promotion of culture and the arts in Sri Lanka.

The George Keyt Foundation says that Kala Pola has played an important role over the past two decades in creating a keen appreciation of art among the Sri Lankan public. “A number of artists and visitors have grown dramatically and this year too we expect a record turnout.

While promoting the creation and appreciation of good art, Kala Pola is also a very good source of income for the artists. We are thankful to the John Keells Group for its invaluable patronage and tremendous source of strength it has been to us,” said Cedric de Silva, Chairman of the George Keyt Foundation.

Head of CSR John Keells Holdings PLC, Nadija Tambiah said, “The benefit of Kala Pola to the Sri Lankan art community is two-fold. It allows a forum for the interaction and exchange of ideas between artists as well as allowing the art loving public an opportunity to sample the new and old.

We are humbled that this fair has fulfilled John Keells Foundation’s vision of ‘Empowering the Nation for tomorrow’ by launching the careers of several artists at national and international levels.”

The John Keells Foundation 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. Approximately 300 local painters and sculptors will be participating this year.