Some of the people whose statues are here are alive, and some are dead. It's important to know that, since they all look alive.
Chitramayee, State Gallery of Fine Arts, is organising an exhibition of sculpture by K Venkateshwara Rao from Tenali, from 13th to 29th April. About 30 statues of eminent personalities like Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi, Mokshagundam Visveswaraiah, Rajiv Gandhi, Atal Behari Vajpayee, Potti Sreeramulu, P V Narasimha Rao and Dr Samuel Hahnemann, and many rural women, are on display.
The highlights of the display are definitely the charming and pretty rural women, in their various lifestyles. These statues are lively and attractive. The collection consists of a tribal woman with a pot on her head, a woman selling fish, a corn vendor, a green grocer, a black beauty with wood on her head, a woman who's just bathed and is fetching water in wet clothes, a young woman bathing, and various other beauties in different styles. All these figures have been moulded with fibre.
Then there are eight panchaloha idols and a copper-bronze idol of Ardhanareeswara. Another attraction in the display is the 9-foot fibre statue of Mother Teresa with an infant in her hands.
These have all been created by Katuri Venkateshwara Rao, who was born in a family of sculptors, who've been inheriting this art from generations. His father Katuri Koteshwara Rao was a renown temple idol crafter. With no formal education, Venkateshwara Rao learnt this art from his father, and thereafter, bronze work from Ancha Radhakrishna Murthy, an international sculpture and a bronze statue specialist.
His multi-faceted talent in construction of temples and churches, bronze, panchaloha, silver, cement, plaster of Paris and paper powder statues has helped him craft a variety of sculpture, and life-size statues of various personalities that have been installed at various towns and cities. His sculpture has been appreciated by many who felicitated him, like Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, K Rosaiah, N Chandrababu Naidu, K Jana Reddy and Dr C Narayana Reddy, and cine actors Sharada, Balakrishna and Akkineni Nageshwara Rao.
Venkatesh currently runs a sculpture training school in Tenali called Surya Silpasala, in which many students are learning his art.
For further details, please contact the gallery at 2311-3308/98486-66262.