Artistica 2014: “An amateur photography exhibition” Overview.


Date: 1st to 3rd March 2014 at Chhandomayi Hall, Venue:Kusumagraj Smarak, Nashik

Sponsored by "Suyojit Viridian Valllis"
Sponsored by “Suyojit Viridian Valllis”

Last year we decided to showcase the talents of amateurs. We thought of organizing an exhibition. To start with, Photography was chosen. It is one of the widespread but underrated arts in India. ‘Artistica’ name was decided for every such event organized in future. And as all know, ‘Artistica 2013’ was a huge success. Though organized with considerably less budget, ‘Artistica 2013’ was immensely successful. Over 5000 people visited this two day exhibition. Due to limited space, we could only take 40 participants then. Feedback was so positive that we were forced to organize ‘Artistica’ this year too. The story of ‘Artistica 2014’ follows

Make it Large…

While planning ‘Artistica 2014’, we had one motto i.e. “Make It Large”. Many ideas were discussed. Some things were retained from last year and many things were introduced out of nowhere. One of the new ideas was to go On-line. As we are online magazine, we decided to make a separate website for Artistica (www.Artistica.in) to handle all the processes.

Helping Hand…

Sometimes, it is not possible to achieve something great without having help. We were most certain to go to the limits but lacked support. That support was provided by SUYOJIT. Name of the SUYOJIT is not new to any Nashikkar. They supported us in every possible way. SUYOJIT VIRIDIAN VALLIS came to aid when required. Without their support, anything that follows wouldn’t have happened.

3 Themes to separate them all….

Last year, participants were not bound by theme. This year, we gave 3 themes to participants, viz. Macro, Nature/Landscape, Street/People. All participants were requested to send maximum 3 photos, so we can upload them on ‘www.Artistica.in’. Once competition was announced, Artistica’s email-id was flooded with entries. Thanks to news in Maharashtra Times (Dated 23/02/2014), we got so many entries that date of On-line photos submission was changed from 22nd Feb to 24th Feb. Participants were from Nashik, Pune, Mumbai, USA and UK as well. Many filters were used and 75 participants’ photos were uploaded to ‘www.Artiistica.in’. Each participant was provided with unique link that he/she can share publicly and earn votes.

Let the voting begin…

3 days were given for on-line voting. The response which we saw was humongous. ‘www.Artisitca.in’ was had over 38,000 views during this period. In online voting, top voted participant was carrying 500+ votes. Considering the size of event, the response we got was 50 times more. Visitors were not only from India but from 20 different countries like USA, UK, Singapore, Japan and many more.

Selection time…

Those participants who made it to Level 2 of Artistica 2014 were selected from Online voting as well as Judge’s opinion. 60 participants were chosen to be a part of exhibition. Registration for Level 2 was done on 27th and 28th February. In total, 150 photos were part of ‘Artistica 2014’.

It’s SHOWTIME…

Maximum 3 chosen photos of each participant were printed in 10”X15” size and were displayed at the venue.  JustNashik team members took many efforts on making the display as attractive as possible. We tried to avoid any kind of disturbance which might lead to distract audiences’ vision from photos.

On 1st March, formal inauguration of ‘Artistica 2014’ was done by Mr. Abhijeet Tamhane (Editor, Visual Arts, Loksatta) at 5 PM. We were blessed by presence of Mr. Lokesh Shevade (Kusumagraj Smarak) and many more elderly figures that showed their support. We are and will always remain grateful to them. The ceremony was enriched by short talks of Mr. Tamhane and Mr. Shevade. Guests looked whole exhibition and they were all praise. We were on seventh heaven, our efforts were being appreciated. But we controlled ourselves and prepared for battle of remaining two days.

Two and Half a Days…

1st March was gone and remaining two days were yet to happen. We were going to face either extreme praise or extreme hate, prepared for both, ‘Artistica 2014’ Day 2 started. Within few hours of Day 2, people were coming in bunches. People got up on Sunday and came to appreciate really good art. Feedback book was half filled when Day 2 came to end. When we went through the feedback book, we found quotes, poems appreciating what we did. There were suggestions that we expect to make happen next year.

‘Artistica 2014 Day 3’ started and the toughest part came. Selection of 6 best photos from 150 is not so easy and especially when you have so much quality. To motivate the talent, we decided to pick 2 photos of each theme. Mr. Pravin Aswale, a renowned photographer agreed to be the judge. And we came to know why he is so famous. He looked at each photo carefully giving every choice the attention it deserved.

Later that evening, closing ceremony was arranged. Mr. Pravin Aswale himself was the guest of honor. Mr. Lokesh Shevade was also present to motivate us. Awards were distributed by Mr. Aswale. It was not about winning or losing but to showcase your talent in front of large number of audiences. Ceremony ended on joyous note. People were still coming as we had to close our doors on Day 3 of Artistica 2014.

What ‘Artistica 2014’ gave us?

What we know and what have we learnt? The sole question in our mind was ‘what next’. Once we knew that if you are doing good work, people will always come to help, it was very easy for us to make this whole thing happen. To be specific, over 6400 people visited ‘Artistica 2014’, ages ranging from 5 to 85. Our feedback book had over 200 people writing their feelings.

But team JustNashik is not happy. We had many ideas that did not work due to some reasons. Last thing we want to do is giving excuses. Out of feedback we got, 99% were praises and 1% was criticism. Why to leave that 1% unsatisfied. There is saying, “If you are facing criticism, it means you are growing”. We are growing and will always be.

Lastly, this wouldn’t have happened without the efforts of Team JustNashik.  I haven’t mentioned any names here. We do not work as each for an individual. All the praise and hate is faced as a team.

Next goal is amalgamation of many arts at single venue. Nashik’s very own art festival is sure thing to happen. With the support which was shown to us, this thing would happen in near future. Till then remember,”Art is reflection of the society”.

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