Lucknow : The first exhibition organised by the UP Mati Kala Board will be held in Lucknow from November 4 to 13 where artists from various districts will display their wares made from clay.
Artisans from Azamgarh, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Varanasi and other districts will put up idols of Laxmi-Ganesh for Diwali at the exhibition-cum-sale.
These idols will be made through standardised moulds which will ensure uniform size and shape. At least 30 stalls will be set up for the sale of wide range of clay products.
Besides machine-made diyas, terracotta products, decorative items, toys, vessels, ‘nariya’ and ‘thapua’ (used for making roof) made of clay will also be available.
The initiative is designed to curb the sale of Chinese idols and products during festive season and to reclaim domestic market.
The state government has helped empanelled artists to prepare standardised moulds for artisans who have been making clay products.
Artisans were also trained in the use of moulds for better results.
The Mati Kala Board will be bearing the expenses of boarding and lodging for the artisans for 10 days and they will not be charged for the stalls.
The range of products will include terracotta- Gorakhpur; black pottery — Azamgarh, earthen cooker — Khurja, and other clay products from Agra, Lucknow, Mirzapur, Azamgarh, Chandauli, Unnao, Ballia, Kanpur, Pilibhit, Allahabad, Varanasi, Ayodhya, and Banda.
The Mati Kala Board was established in July 2018.
According to the government spokesman, “This is the first time that the Board is trying its hand in marketing. The aim is branding and promotion of the board as well as artisans.”
If the response is good, the Board may set up a permanent exhibit area for clay products in the city to support artisans.
Additional Chief Secretary, UP Khadi and Village Industries Board, Navneet Sehgal said, “Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath wanted the artists to get better life, he is leaving no stone unturned for this. Under his guidance, the Mati Kala Board is trying to increase and improve the production capacity and make them competitive in the market. To bring the best of the products, the artists were also connected with the professionals and the National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFD) for training to hone their skills.”