TEHRAN, Feb. 1 (Mehr News Agency) -- The First Fajr International Visual Art Festival opened on Saturday with a ceremony at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.
Deputy Culture Minister for Artistic Affairs Mohammad-Hossein Imani-Khoshkhu, advisor to the culture minister Mohammad-Hossein Nirumand and the director of the Visual Office of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mahmud Shaluii attended the ceremony.
Veteran artists including Iranian painting master Mahmud Farshchian, Ahmad Esfandiari Mahmud Javadipur and Habibollah Ayatollahi were also among the participants.
At the beginning of the ceremony, Farshchian expressed his approval over holding the festival and encouraged Iranian artists to support such events with their activities.
Afterward, Nirumand recited the message of Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad-Hossein Saffar Harandi for the participants. In his message, Saffar Harandi alluded to the importance of art in conveying the values of the Islamic Revolution.
"Over 2200 artists submitted more than 6000 works to the secretariat of the festival that hosts 700 artists, half of whom are young artists. The Fajr Visual Arts Festival will be held along side of the art biennial from January 31 to March 2," Shaluii mentioned during the ceremony.
The improvement of visual arts to promote Iranian art and culture is important, especially after the Islamic Revolution. Many participants of this gala are young artists who were born after the revolution, the secretary of the festival Gholamali Taheri mentioned.
"Visual art has an expand range which is not fully covered in an annual festival and I believe that there has not been enough incentive to introduce improvements in the arts in Iran up to now," Khoshkhu lamented.
The budget dedicated to cinema is not comparable to that of visual art. Whereas artists active in visual arts received more than 700 awards in international galas, he noted.
The festival consists of the five main sections of painting, sculpture, poster, photography and cartoon, and three subsidiary sections of exhibitions, workshops and conferences.
The Iranian Artists Forum, the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, the Niavaran Cultural Center and the Azadi Cultural Complex are playing host to the festival that runs from January 31 to March 2.
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