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Art’s summer fixes

Awards, scholarships and residencies to keep city artists busy this season.

art and culture Updated: May 30, 2011 01:43 IST
Aakriti Sawhney
Aakriti Sawhney
Hindustan Times

As Delhi bakes in the heat, its art prepares for a retreat. This year, artists in the city have some interesting summer activities to look forward to, including residencies, scholarships and awards.

One of these is the Skoda Prize for Indian Contemporary Art. “The aim behind these awards is not only to honour Indian artists, but also take their work to a wider audience, both nationally and internationally,” says Martin da Costa, one of the masterminds behind these awards.

Last year, the award went to Delhi-based artist Mithu Sen, who was felicitated by world-famous artist Anish Kapoor.The art fraternity says such programmes are a great away to give art a boost and make artists feel rewarded. “Awards and residencies are good as they get recognition to an artist and his artworks. But then, these should be conducted in a meaningful way, where an artist after receiving the award gains out of that honour in terms of more exhibitions and showcasing of work,” says Alka Raghuvanshi, artist and curator.

The Khoj International Artists’ Association, too, has a concept called Peer — an annual education and outreach residency programme that brings together five recent graduates from art institutions all over India. For four weeks, these young artists work together in a discursive space that stresses the role of free experimentation and risk-taking in art practice.

And, there’s much more to not just these, but also other art programmes this season. Here’s everything you wanted to know about them — what they involve, how to apply and the last dates.

Foundation For Indian Contemporary Art (FICA)

Launched five years back, FICA’s Emerging Artists Award supports young artists who demonstrate extraordinary skills in the visual arts, and are studying or practising in India. An independent jury of artists and professionals select two winners each year. The award includes an eight-week international residency and a solo exhibition at the Vadehra Art Gallery. In order to be eligible for this award, the applicant should be under 35, and an Indian citizen residing in India. The last date to apply is July 15.
You can download the form at

Khoj International Artists’ Association Initiated in 2003 with support from the IFA (India Foundation for the Arts), Peers is an annual residency programme that gets together five recent graduates from art institutions all over India. Artists are provided with shared accommodation at the Khoj Hostel, and a studio each at the Khoj studios in Khirki Extension. They also provide digital laboratories and an extensive research archives to these residents. The residency culminates with an Open Studio Day, where the larger artists’ community and the general public are invited to view the Peers projects and interact with the artists. Peers is held for 4 weeks from mid-May to mid-June. Participation is open to all. For application details and more, log on to

Bhiku Ram Jain Foundation

Any artist in India or abroad, and above the age of 18, can apply for this award. Even foreign artists living in India for more than 3 years are eligible for this award. Firstly, the artist is required to send a photograph of his art work. If his work gets shortlisted, the original work needs to be sent for final selection. The art works can range from paintings and graphics to drawings, sculptures and photographs. All the winning art works are displayed in an art exhibition. The prize is awarded to 30 artists, and the prize money ranges from Rs 50,000 to Rs10,000. Last date to apply is November 30, 2011.
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Skoda prize for Indian Contemporary Art

This contemporary art award was instituted in 2010 to recognise and reward one Indian artist under the age of 45. To qualify for the prize this year, artists will need to have held a solo show between May 1, 2009, and April 30, 2010, in India. Any medium is acceptable, including but not limited to painting, sculpture, video, photography, installation and performance. The top 20 shortlisted artists will be featured in the catalogue and the artworks of the final three will be exhibited in Delhi. The runners up will get a chance to attend a four-week residency in Pro Helvetia in Switzerland and the winner will be awarded Rs10,00,000. Last date for submission is August 30, 2011. You can download the form at

First Published: May 29, 2011 16:51 IST