Abirpothi

India’s only daily art newspaper

World Art Day fetes its second pandemic edition today

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Today marks the 9th edition of World Art Day being celebrated all over the globe — the 2nd in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It all began when the International Association of Art (IAA) in Guadalajara — a partner of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization or UNESCO — first put forward a proposal at its 17th General Assembly to declare this day on April 15, and it was accepted unanimously. The first celebration was held in 2012. This event was supported by all IAA national committees and 150 artists, including those of France, Sweden, Slovakia, South Africa, Cyprus and Venezuela, although the intention is universal, to promote awareness of creative activity worldwide. Later, it was also officially proclaimed at the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 2019.

The birthday of Leonardo da Vinci determined the date. He was chosen as a symbol of world peace, freedom of expression, tolerance, brotherhood, multiculturalism and art’s importance to other fields.

World Art Day has also been supported online, especially by the stupendous Google Art Project.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday tweeted, “Art is one of the most powerful ways we can express our humanity and forge bonds with one another. As we mark #WorldArtDay amidst a global pandemic, join me in thanking artists around the world for continuing to be a source of inspiration, solace, and connection.”

UNESCO mentions on its official website, “Each year, on April 15, World Art Day celebrations help reinforce the links between artistic creations and society, encourage greater awareness of the diversity of artistic expressions and highlight the contribution of artists to sustainable development. It is also an occasion to shine a light on arts education in schools, as culture can pave the way for inclusive and equitable education.”

Similarly, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay released a statement saying, “Bringing people together, inspiring, soothing and sharing: these are the powers of art, the importance of which has been made emphatically obvious during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. With hundreds of thousands of people directly affected by the virus and billions more either in lockdown or battling the pandemic on the front lines, this World Art Day is a timely reminder that art has the power to unite and connect in times of crisis.”

On this occasion, some famous words and works by artists of the world and India:

“The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind is itself unknown.” – Rene Magritte

“Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.” – Pablo Picasso

“If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.” – Edward Hopper

“A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.” – Paul Cezanne

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“Creativity takes courage.” – Henri Matisse

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