Rajeshwar Singh ‘Raju’
If we talk of inclination of artists towards sculpture in our state, then it’s a fact that there are so many enthusiasts who wish to become sculptors one day. But lack of support from cultural organizations and art promoters dent their morale and ultimately they realize that it is very tough on financial fronts to earn livelihood as a sculptor.
Now, in temple city, we boast of encouraging art and the artists quite often, but when it comes to real terms the same zeal is not found. In sculpture, we have only a few names who have carved a niche for themselves and Ganesh Kumar Sharma is one among them at present.
Hailing from border village Sanoora, Rajpura in Samba District Ganesh Kumar was interested in painting since his childhood which inspired him to complete Diploma in Painting from NTC. Although none of his family members has art in their genes, but he was fully supported by his parents to join Institute of Music and Fine Arts (IMFA) Jammu. Here, after initial two years in paintings, he took sculpture as a specialized subject mainly because of Lt. Vidya Rattan Khajuria, who inspired so many to go ahead in this particular art field.
Ganesh Sharma finds himself lucky that he got a Government job after completing Diploma in Fine arts. It helped him to get rid of financial crisis quite synonym with artist fraternity and inspired him to concentrate on his passion for sculpture in a better productive way.
As per his own words,” Sculpture demands huge investment but results in minimum returns because of the fact that sculptures are seldom purchased by art promoters here and one has to look for market in metropolitans from commercial point of view.”
Ganesh Sharma uses different mediums like Rajsthani marble, Kashmiri stone, wood, clay, cement etc. to give different dimensions to his creativity. He opted for modern art and his favorite subjects are Birds, Faces, Torso, Heads, Male, Female and couple. He has almost 350 collections of sculptures with half of them having been made up of wood and rests are made up of other materials.
But to reach to that level where your works are welcomed, one has to put in best of efforts and invest not only financially but years of struggle also so as to carve a distinct position in art field which is possible only when you just devote fully towards your passion. For that sake participation in high profile exhibitions all over becomes a vital part of artists’ journey towards desired destination.
Ganesh Sharma stepped ahead quite firmly and has participated in numerous exhibitions throughout India and abroad as well and has won critical appreciations for his creative pursuits. Now, for an artist, his collections at different prominent places always give him a feeling of satisfaction. He has his collections being exhibited at Govt. Industrial training Institute Jammu, Kathua, Hira Nagar, J&K Academy of Art Culture and Languages, Jammu, Dogra Art gallery, Jammu, Lalit Kala National Academy, New Delhi, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, New Delhi, Kala Kendra Jammu and many Private Collections in India and Abroad including U.S.A ,Japan, Canada, Australia, Germany etc.
He has organized numerous Solo Shows at different places like Kathua, Jammu, Chandigarh, Karnal, Suraj Kund, New Delhi etc. and has been a member of many Group shows at Kathua, Chandigarh , Jalandhar, Jammu, Gurgaon ,Amritsar under different banners. At the same time, he has been a member of Contemporary Art Society Jammu, J & K Handicapped Welfare Association, Research Board of Advisors, American Biographical Institute U.S.A, National Lalit Kala Academy New Delhi etc. At the same time he has been awarded and honored by different Government and Non- Government Organizations for his contribution to sculpture.
In 1991 Ganesh suffered from a major road accident with 19 fractures and was bed ridden for almost two years and could not recover fully from multiple injuries but his dedication for his passion was never at low. He used to work even during that period and admits that his inclination towards art rather helped him to get rid of psychological set aback also. After having retired from Government job, he is fully devoted towards sculpture now and has collected all his creative works at an art Gallery at Hira Nagar, Jammu.
One should hope for same zeal from all artists irrespective of their field and it should be kept in mind that only dedication pays in the long run as is in case of Ganesh Kumar Sharma.