The 26th edition of – Kala Pola – Sri Lanka’s renowned open-air art fair of visual art – was held on Sunday, 24th February 2019 along Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha in Colombo 07. Presented by The George Keyt Foundation (GKF) in partnership with John Keells Holdings PLC, this year marked the 25th anniversary of the JKH’s continuous sponsorship of the event.
The event saw the participation of 357 artists and sculptors from various parts of Sri Lanka generating sales of approximately 17.5 million and drawing over 31,000 visitors comprising both local and foreign, adults and children. The Children’s Art Corner conducted at the Public Library drew 235 kids who engaged in painting and clay work under the guidance of teachers of the Cora Abraham School. 107 John Keells volunteers supported Kala Pola 2019 in various capacities.
Focused on showcasing and promoting Sri Lankan art, Kala Pola has primarily functioned as a platform for painters and sculptors of all kinds to showcase their work. It also provides lucrative opportunities and networking possibilities among artists and an ever-appreciative audience that has been bourgeoning over the years. Kala Pola has served as a launch pad for many local artists to gain recognition and propel their work into the international arena.
The official ceremony took place at 5 pm under the patronage of the Acting High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Sri Lanka, Mr. Mohammad Hazrat Ali Khan and Mrs. Ali Khan, Chairman and Trustees of GKF and Chairman and Directors of the John Keells Group. Celebrations also included cultural entertainment towards late evening.