Alva's Education Foundation, Moodbidri, has selected Shri Sathyapal for confering on him the prestigious award of Alva's Varna Virasat - 2012.
Alva's Virasat is a National cultural festival conducted once a year in Moodbidri. a small temple town in Karnataka.
Alva's Education Foundation is a rare and unique educational institution in Karnataka and India at large by providing a caring environment in the field of Visual and Performing arts that includes architecture also, enrolling students from different cultures and backgrounds and guiding them within a wide range of graduate and post graduate programmes.
The magnificent hilly landscape, rich in vegetation, being nature's ambience for studies, is supplemented by many cultural and literary festivals and workshops like AIva's Virasat, Varna Virasat, Shilpa Virasat, Nudisiri , Shilpasiri and Chitrasiri. Thus a small temple town, Moodbidri, attracts attention far beyond its boundaries.
By bestowing the honour of this year‘s Alva's Varna Virasat Award on Shri Satyapal, an exceptional artist
His perception of life and of his own culture, his search for identity and his love for nature and people has had an influence on his style of painting.
Shri Sathyapal's special interest in the life of the indigenous people of lndia has made him to travel through the whole country and to live with the tribes in settlements like Bastar, Ektal, Gadabengal, Amarkhnadak, Barsur, Mardum, Bindha, Karampur, Chilkutty, Sarguja, Kondagon, Anjar, Keralapal, Narayanpur, Mahasamud (all CHATTISGARH), Khoraput (ORISSA) and Chitrakoot (MADHYA PRADESH), and Kabir Chabutra.
All his experiences and reflections have resulted in an impressive oeuvre.
As the previous Secretary of the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi he has proved how a man with a mission and a vision can have an impact, having brought art traditions to the public awareness through exhibitions, workshops, lectures and publications that have been rather neglected or sidelined.
Kerala's people have for the first time ever had a chance to see and experience art work of the natives of this country, for which Sathyapal is an enthusiastic promoter.
Shri Sathyapal has edited 17 Books on various subjects related to art and culture.
The documentations as editor on Native Art as well as on Kalamezhutu -- the traditions of pictures drawn with powder and closely connected with ritualistic spiritual traditions in Kerala will stir the interest of scholars the world over.
The National Painter's Camp is part of Alva's Virasat, the National cultural festival.
Moodbidri, the ancient small temple town in the South of Karnataka is with its 18 Jain temples (Basadis) also known as ‘Jain Kashi’ (sacred place for Jains).
The finest and most famous among them is The Thousand Pillars Temple (Saavira Kambada Basadi or Tribhuvana Tilaka Chudamani) , built by the Chowta ruler Devaraya Wodeyar in 1430 with additions made in 1962.
The Jain havelis (palacial houses) of Moodbidri, built in the coastal style, with tiled, long-sloping roofs and spacious balconies, the doors and windows of solid wood, reflect the beauty of traditional architecture.
A stone column - Manastambha of about 50-60 feet high and topped by four ‘Tirthankara’ images, erected by Chowta Queen Nagala Devi at the entrance to the temple, catches the eye before reaching the premises.
The temple has three long hallways with a rich variety of beautiful carved pillars, reflecting precision and skilfulness .
It is significant, that this up to now undeclared heritage town as a centre of Jain religion, culture, literature, art and architecture and one of the largest Jain pilgrimage centres of the world may now under threat.
A four-lane highway has been planned that would cut right through the town and thus damage irreversibly the towns sanctity.
Building a by-pass would be the suggested solution of all those concerned to avoid just this.