Talk by Azara Jaleel at The Club Hatton National Bank

The development of any art scene takes place alongside economic growth and it is essential that stakeholders sustain the momentum and strategic direction. In 2019, global sales of art were estimated to have reached $64.1 billion and this year, it has only had 36% reduction in sales, even during the pandemic, according to cultural economist Clare MacAndrew. The resilience of the art market locally and internationally is shaped by many forces, of which the private sector and corporates in Sri Lanka have contributed significantly to the fuelling of ARTRA’s operations in providing a platform to celebrate Sri Lankan Modern & Contemporary Art. ARTRA’s growth is now strengthening in its influence in sustaining the local art ecosystem through its partnership with The Club HNB, Hatton National Bank’s Private Banking center in the capacity of Art Advisory Partner. On the 17th of September 2020, The Club Hatton National Bank hosted an evening of art & conversation where Azara Jaleel, Founder & Editor-in-Chief of ARTRA was invited to talk about the cultural economy, locally & internationally.

Hatton National Bank is a private sector commercial bank operating in Sri Lanka with 251 branches spread across the island. The bank has been internationally recognized by the Asian Banker Magazine as the ‘Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka’ on ten occasions from 2007 to 2017. In creating an art advisory space for their exclusive clients, The Club Hatton National Bank partners with ARTRA to strengthen the industrial infrastructure to promote local art & culture. Azara Jaleel, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ARTRA, led the talk as she presented the nature and growth of the cultural economy in educating and nurturing a sense of appreciation for all forms of art including that of visual, performance, applied, written and the culinary. In discussing these aspects, Azara Jaleel explored the local & global art industry whilst shedding light to its potency during the pandemic.

The talk imparted understandings of the Sri Lankan Modern and Contemporary art scene and the value of investment, the financial aspects and matters relating to its impacts following the economic downturn, of which the global art industry and economy has found a sense of stability despite loss of footfalls at art spaces. The talk also addressed ARTRA’s initiatives in promoting the Sri Lankan contemporary art scene including our recent ventures ARTRA Canvas & our partnership with Port City Colombo. Azara mentioned that ARTRA Canvas, which was launched on the 17th of July on is dedicated to enhancing voices of artists from all nine provinces of Sri Lanka under curated exhibitions in providing opportunities to uplift the lives of artists from all parts of the country while creating accessibility to a larger audience via the online medium.

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15th October, 2020 Visual Art | Art Talks & Panels