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A recap of FIRST TAKE 2021: Emerging artists beat all odds amid a pandemic #ArtWorld2021 #YearEnder2021

Nothing exemplifies the indomitable nature of art more than its ability to create beauty and inspire thought through every challenge thrown its way. And equally indefatigable is the artist, who forms the cusp between the art that nourishes souls and the society that experiences it wholeheartedly.
Emerging as an established artist in this same society can often come with its own tests — which belies that there are thousands of incredibly talented, thrumming-with-energy artists out in the world, just waiting for a chance to put forth their pride and glory.



A sufficient indicator of this could just be the fact that this time’s annual pan-India competition for emerging artists organised by Abir India — titled FIRST TAKE 2021 — saw a whopping 2,500 artworks submitted, all bustling for an opportunity to shine, hailing from over 250 pin codes that include the farthest reaches of India.

This would be the fifth edition of the contest. For the last half decade, FIRST TAKE has attempted to actualize the vision of supporting young and emerging artists, by providing a platform for art students, recent graduates and more to submit their works in painting, printmaking, ceramics, and sculpture disciplines.


Only 100 works out of the mind-boggling quantity (and incredible quality) of entries usually received are selected in the first tranche, and this is further sifted into a top 10. For this next step, naturally, an important aspect of Abir India’s endeavour is to secure a panel of eminent jurists, who are endowed with the expertise and eye to appreciate, analyze, and select such artworks.
In the past, eminent jury members have included the likes of Brinda Miller, Muzaffar Ali, and Subodh Kerkar, to name only a few. This year, the FIRST TAKE 2021 jury comprised of luminaries like Kristine Michael, Rm Palaniappan, KS Radhakrishnan, Vasudevan Akkitham, and Hartmut Wurster.


How does one compare art? Is its appreciation instinctive or technical… or both? These and many more were the questions that cropped up during the in-person selection held in Ahmedabad, when the eminent jury of five got together and spent literally hours perusing the submitted entries, ensuring that each work got its due attention and deliberation.
Finally, 10 winners were cherry-picked from an immensely talented pool, and each awarded a trophy and gift of INR 50,000, besides plenty of heartfelt encouragement, mentorship and the wishes to go far in their prospective artistic careers.


The winners were Asif Imran, Kinnari Jitendra Tondlekar, Chhering Negi, Jintu Mohan Kalita, Rutvik Mehta, Priyaranjan Purkait, Sriparna Dutta, Jithin Jayakumar, Shubhankar Chandere, and Mausham R Manglla — some even hailing from the remotest regions of Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, and Assam, to name a few.

The advent of the pandemic in 2020 may have put a pause in the step for many, but the unflinching conviction of Abir India Founder Ruby Jagrut and her team ensured that this year’s edition of the contest did its bit to discover fledgling artists in their nest, and given them the cheer they needed to fly high. And meanwhile, rallying forward with the same motivation in the name of art, we are all already looking forward to FIRST TAKE 2022 — are you?
Read more articles on FIRST TAKE 2021 here. 


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