Shimla art festival a big draw

Art aficionados turned up in a large number to witness the rare works of talented artist HC Rai at the five-day Centenary Art Festival that started at the Gaiety Theatre here today. Chief Secretary Prabodh Saxena inaugurated the festival.

Many of his old students are attending the art workshop as a tribute to their teacher and celebration of his artworks. Rai has left behind a collection of more than 3,000 artworks to inspire and nurture young artists.

Rai, who belonged to Bareilly in Uttra Pradesh, dedicated his life to promoting various forms of art in Himachal. He continued to paint till October 31, 2018, when he passed away at the age of 96 in Mumbai. Rai, who exhibited his interest in art at the tender age of four, studied at the Government School of Arts, Lucknow, and JJ School of Arts. Besides, he remained under the tutelage of AK Haldar, N Roychowdhary, LM Sen and Shridhar Mahapatra.

"The art festival is in the memory of my father. It is a reflection of a very talented person, who had mastered various art forms like water colour, dry pastels, oil pastels, oil colours and clay," said his daughter Amla Rai, an pass-out.

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