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Of Public Fairs And The Art Fest In Vadodara

Aparna Roy Baliga

The great purpose of the city is to permit, indeed to encourage and incite, the greatest number of meetings, encounters, challenges, between all persons, classes and groups, providing as it were, a stage on which the drama of social life may be enacted, with the actors taking their turn as spectators and the spectators as actors.- Lewis Mumford

The fair incorporated popular images like that of the hulk and there was also emulation of a public photo booth. It touched upon all the signposts of popular culture and thus became an interactive platform for the students and the populace of Baroda initiating them to the art world which is not exclusive or for privileged few. Each visitor would be able to carry a piece of art which was affordable.

Vadodara offers such a stage of interaction from the very making of the city which is well planned and the erstwhile ruler Sayajirao Rao Gaekward made all effort to inculcate the aesthetic sense in the city dwellers. The beautiful Indo-Sarasenic architectures, the museums bear witness to this. He also became patron to musicians, theatre personalities etc. like Balagandharva and Ravi Varma. The other most important contribution by him was the establishment of the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. The university had its Fine arts faculty in 1950.Two events brought the public sphere within the educational institution: the Garba and the Fine Arts Fair.

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