The Ojas Art Award, instituted by Ojas Art Gallery, was awarded this year to a couple of Bheel artists from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh at the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) 2017. Lado Bai, a prominent Bheel artist, was awarded under the Master Artist category, winning a sum of Rs 51,000, and artist Subhas Amaliyar was felicitated with Rs 31,000 as prize money in the Protégé Category.

The award was presented by Sean Anderson, who works as the curator of architecture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Speaking at the occasion, Anubhav Nath, the director of Ojas Art Gallery, said, “We are delighted to present this award to both the artists. Every year we decide on a particular theme and this year we focused on Bheel art. The works by the artists will travel to the JLF program in Colorado city of Boulder, USA in September.”

Nature is the dominant theme in Lado Bai’s artworks. One can see the animal kingdom, Bheel rituals and festivals in her paintings. Her work has been included in several exhibitions. Subhas Amaliyar’s work focuses on imagery inspired by animals and birds. He has also published a book titled, Visit the Bheel Carnival, published by Tara Books, which is about his artworks on the Bheel Carnival.