Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik to head Odisha Lalit Kala Akademi

Bhubaneswar: Internationally acclaimed sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik was appointed president of Odisha Lalit Kala Akademi by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today.

Pattnaik’s appointment as the chief of the State’s apex body for fine arts came after the resignation of former president of the academy, Raghunath Mohapatra, who was recently nominated to Rajya Sabha.

A selection committee headed by the Vice-chancellor of Utkal University of Culture had recommended three names for Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s consideration for the prestigious post.

On being asked about his new role, Pattnaik said, “I would like to thank the Chief Minister for giving me a chance to promote art and culture of the state. I’ll work to uplift artists.”

Sudarsan was conferred Padma Shri in 2014, the fourth highest civilian award for his contribution to sand art.

Sudarsan is also known for actively pursuing awareness campaigns through his sand arts over important issues like climate change, pollution, conservation, socio-economic development among others.