Pattachitra prodigy: Smrutiranjan Ojha's artistry echoes Odisha's cultural heritage

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | May 28, 2024 IST

Bratati Baral

Smrutiranjan Ojha, a talented painter hailing from Niali, Cuttack, Odisha, has showcased his artistic expression through various mediums including Pattachitra, sarees, dresses, and repurposed materials like unused bottles. His passion for Pattachitra, a traditional mythological art form, has been evident throughout his artistic journey. Renowned for his mastery over the medium, Smrutiranjan's paintings reflect his deep connection with Odisha's rich cultural heritage.

Beyond his remarkable skills in painting, Smrutiranjan also indulges in singing and photography during his leisure hours, showcasing his diverse artistic talents and interests.

Smrutiranjan, son of Anjana and Harekrishna Ojha, discovered his passion for painting during his school days. Despite initially being more inclined towards music, his artistic journey began under the guidance of his mother, who herself possessed artistic talents. Encouraged by her, Smrutiranjan participated in school competitions, where he showcased his budding skills and often secured prizes.

However, it wasn't until his time after intermediate studies in Niali, when a visit to a relative's house in Bhubaneswar changed his artistic trajectory. There, he encountered a mesmerizing portrait of Pattachitra, igniting a spark within him to delve deeper into this traditional art form. Intrigued by the painting, he expressed his desire to learn it, which led him to enroll at the State Institute for Handicraft and Training Centre.

Under the tutelage of Bhikari Maharana, Smrutiranjan honed his skills in Pattachitra. His dedication and passion for the art form further blossomed when he began training under Guru Gokuli Bihari Patnaik, a renowned figure in the field and a source of inspiration for Smrutiranjan, alongside his parents.

Anjana, Smruti's mother, recognized her son's innate artistic talent from an early age and consistently encouraged him to pursue painting alongside his academic endeavors. However, Smruti's passion for painting eventually consumed him to the extent that he diverted his focus entirely from his studies.

Despite concerns from his mother about his academic future, Smruti remained steadfast in his pursuit of becoming a skilled painter. He reassured his mother that his dedication to painting would lead to success, promising her that one day she would take pride in his achievements. Over time, Smruti's commitment to his craft paid off, earning him recognition as a prominent young artist within the state.

His accomplishments include receiving a prestigious scholarship for young artists from the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Government of India, in 2013. This acknowledgment highlighted his talent and dedication to traditional and indigenous art forms. Furthermore, in 2015, Smruti was honored with an award from the Being India Foundation, further solidifying his reputation as a notable artist.

Additionally, Smruti's talent was acknowledged on a national level when he secured a position among the top five in the Uchaan, an all-India online art competition held in New Delhi. These accolades stand as testaments to Smruti's artistic prowess and dedication, bringing fulfillment to both himself and his supportive mother.

Following his success with Pattachitra, Smrutiranjan expanded his artistic horizons to include sarees, dresses, and various other materials, garnering significant acclaim both within and beyond his home state. His innovative approach and unique designs propelled him to popularity, attracting attention from organizations far and wide.

 As his reputation grew, Smrutiranjan began receiving invitations to conduct workshops and events. To date, he has organized around 100 workshops in various cities, including Delhi, Gurgaon, and Bangalore. His expertise has also led to frequent invitations to schools and fashion institutes, where he shares his skills as a seasoned painter.

Previously, Smrutiranjan also dedicated his time to teaching students the art of Pattachitra and other forms of artwork. However, due to the increasing demands of his own work, he has had to suspend these classes. Nonetheless, his prowess as an instructor has earned him invitations from esteemed institutions such as Lovely Professional University of Fashion and Uchhan Art Gallery in Haryana, where he continues to inspire budding artists with his expertise and passion.

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