Khaira: Young artist Susant Kumar Behera has become a household name in the Khaira block of Balasore district.
When asked about his journey from a boy next door to an artist with many feathers donning his hat, the 26-year-old said he owes it to his determination and the support of his family and friends.
As a child he used to assist his father Muralidhar in making clay idols. Since then a taste for the fine arts grew in him. Subsequently, he learnt the nuances of idol making from his father.
Like the saying morning shows the day, his family was surprised to see the budding talent in Susant from a very young age. His artistic skills vowed everyone. His family also began to encourage him and helped him polish his skills.
Since then there has been no looking back for Susant. After school, he joined BK College of Art and Crafts in Bhubaneswar and completed graduation. Now he is pursuing PG in Fine Arts from a Delhi-based Art College.
Susant has carved a niche for himself as one of the finest painters in his area. He is the first one sought for paintings in the event of marriages, functions and other purposes. He is also skilled in making beautiful structures using iron wires and in sculpture.
He has attended many exhibitions and has won accolades for his unique skills. To his credit, whatever he does, he does with utmost concentration. Over the years, his works have become his identity, and he has been felicitated on many occasions.
Susant’s sincerity, hard work and love for art got him the ‘Youth Artist Scholarship’ in 2016-17 and the IPCA scholarship from the state government in 2017-18.
The Prafulla Dahanukar Art Foundation in Mumbai conferred its state award on him in 2017-18 and his alma mater, the BK College of Art and Crafts, felicitated him with the Colourwave Award.
He has also participated in around 20 national and state-level art expos including the New Delhi Art Exhibition in 2018 and the 57th National Painting Exhibition at Lucknow in 2015.
He has also participated in events like the national-level children’s festival ‘Anjali’ in 2012-13 and the state government’s workshop on ‘Forest Conservation’ in 2014. He was recently felicitated by ‘Prativa’.
Susant would like to set up an art school in his locality to train children. “Without government assistance, the dream can never be fulfilled,” Susant said.