Interview: Artist Sumita Acharya and Colors on Canvas

By Bidisha Bagchi

Sumita AcharyaSumita Acharya was born in Mumbai, grew up in Kolkata and like any true blue Bengali girl, was expected to learn art & music besides studies.. She was a total outdoor girl,more interested in sports, rock climbing, rifle shooting, rowing. But her love for art was always there somewhere hidden in the depths of her heart. After graduating from the University of Calcutta, she earned a degree in Fashion Design, as in the late eighties art was not considered to be a promising career where as fashion in India was an upcoming and challenging option. She launched her own ‘pret ‘ and ‘avant garde’ label for domestic and export market. Later she joined a multinational footwear giant and proved her marketing skills too at a national level. However, after 5 years of corporate career, meanwhile marriage, she eventually moved on to pursue her true passion ie art . She learnt painting, sculpture , mixed media under eminent artists of Kolkata and destiny brought her back to Mumbai. In the years that followed she held several exhibitions and her works got published in several newspapers magazines and art journals.

WBRi chatted with her to know more about her work, art and career prospects in the field of art.

What is art according to you?

To put it simply, ART according to me is a synthesis of personal feelings which I express on canvas/ paper with brilliant hues and bold brushstrokes. To me painting is like a dip in the chromatic pool and come out refreshed and recharged.Am glad today I can express my feelings, my identity, my surroundings, events that affect me, people who inspire me, through paint and brush.

Why do you call your art SMORGASBORD?

Well, Smorgasbord is a type of meal served buffet style on a table with various types of hot & cold food, originating in Sweden. Since I juxtapose hot and cold colours in a vibrant sequence on my canvas, I used the word Smorgasbord as a metaphor to describe my paintings for a certain collection of mixed themes.

What are your different collections of paintings?Tell us a little bit about the different ones.

I usually paint in series. My collections have been based on different themes like mythology, zodiac signs, Quaint Streets,Stock market and a mix of themes called Smorgasbord.Mythology is a theme close to my heart as we grow up  listening to stories about the awesome powers of the gods and goddesses and imagining them in their resplendent glory. My travels to medieval Europe inspired me to paint ‘Quaint Streets’ and “The Marketplace’’ was based on the recent recession which rocked the world .My collection Called “What’s My Rashee?’ apparently based on zodiac signs was actually a search of self identity.

You have held multiple cities of India. Are there any plans of coming to the United States with your work?

Yes, I have held multiple exhibitions in the most prestigious galleries in India. I have future shows in Dhaka and Dubai. I do get invites to showcase my works in the US but I’m waiting for the right opportunity and sponsor as travelling and transporting paintings and a show involves a huge cost.

How do you think the current generation sees art/painting as a career?

As current generation is more technology savvy, painting is not the only option. There are various fields which require skilled artists like animation, illustration, movies, comics and gaming which can offer excellent careers.

Do you plan to have an institute for those who are inclined towards the subject?

I have always enjoyed teaching art to those who have an interest in the subject but somehow missed the opportunity in early life due to various preoccupation. I  hold workshops or classes for them. I also participate in charity fundraisers workshops or artcamps usually organised by NGOs to teach art to the mentally challenged children or celebrity kids, for a good cause. Yes, I definitely want to open an institute someday, dedicated to art lovers and art enthusiasts and sp senior citizens.

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