The city of Bangalore boasts a rich artistic tradition. To celebrate this legacy, the city has organised a 10-day art festival titled, Art Bengaluru. The seventh edition of this festival is going on at UB City Mall here, which is slated to conclude this Sunday. Spanning many categories and disciplines, the festival combines the best of artistic ambition and creative economy. This year’s festival is directed towards a wider audience and not limited to art and design lovers alone. Its goal is to get the city talking about the role of art in resolving the challenges we face today.

The theme of Art Bengaluru 2016 is to “Celebrate the World with the Spirit of India”. This year’s edition aims to provide a platform for the global exchange of art and culture with participation from 8 international artists from France, China, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Israel and Peru, apart from an association with international cultural institutes including the Alliance Francaise, Instituto Cervantes, Italian Institute of Culture and the British Council.

Abhishek Naidu, the curator of the festival talks to Guardian 20 about the idea behind this festival. “This space (Art Bengaluru) has brought artist from India and abroad together on a single stage.  This is a place where people can fall in love with art. Being set up in a mall, this becomes a platform for everyone who even has a little interest in art. I met few artists and checked works of other artists’ online and hence reached out to them.”

The art festival is unique in the sense that it allows the visitors in the mall to directly interact with the artists after seeing their artworks.

More than 30 artists participated in the festival and about 150 artworks are displayed in the mall. The works spanning across a wide range of mediums includes paintings (abstract & figurative), sculpture (abstract, figurative and kinetic using a broad range of materials including steel, stone, bronze and wood), installations and photography (landscape & architecture).

With celebrated international and national artists coming together under one roof, screening of world cinema at the open air Amphitheatre, creative workshops for all age groups, talks by reputed artists and performances by global musicians, this year’s art soiree is a treat not just for art lovers alone, but also for anyone who enjoys art and culture in South India.

The theme of Art Bengaluru 2016 is to “Celebrate the World with the Spirit of India”. This year’s edition aims to provide a platform for the global exchange of art and culture.

Art Bengaluru welcomes a number of Indian and International artists like Photographer Daan Oude Elferink (The Netherlands), sculptor and painter Nele Martins (The Netherlands), sculptor Shay Peled (Israel), Adil Writer (Auroville), Amol Pawar (Pune), Atish Mukherjee (Kolkata), Barun Pramanick (Kolkata) among others.

Commenting on this year’s line-up of activities, Uzma Irfan who is the conceptualiser & organizer, Art Bengaluru and Director, Prestige Group said, “With art shoppers from around the world gravitating towards India, the market is a rapidly growing hotspot. In many international art discussions, the Indian market has been named as a destination to watch out for, with its growing auction market and the artworks themselves combining many global influences. Art Bengaluru strives to fuel this growth by giving an opportunity for artists to showcase their work, not just to art lovers but to the rest of the city as well. To keep the international spirit of our art alive, we have invited distinguished artists from different countries to display their work in the heart of the city, alongside our own national gems. We invite each and every one of you to come forward and make the most of this festival. We also encourage schools to bring in their students to create an increased awareness of art among them.”