Kala Pola 2024

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –  Kala Pola, Sri Lanka’s Annual Open-Air Art Fair, was held on 18th February 2024, marking 31 years since its inception. Conceptualised by the George Keyt Foundation in 1993, the event has, since 1994, been held with the continued patronage and implementation support of the John Keells Group.
Kala Pola provides the country’s largest platform for visual artists to connect with buyers and the art community, providing both a marketplace and a space for knowledge transfer andcollaboration, furthering the creative economy of the nation.
This year’s event showcased the works of over 350 local artists hailing fromthe different provinces of Sri Lanka.

His Excellency Santosh Jha, Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, graced the official ceremony of the event as the Chief Guest.



  • Kala Pola, Sri Lanka’s annual open-air art fair, marks its 31st anniversary on 18th February 2024,celebrating over three decades of fostering the livelihoods of Sri Lankan visual artists.


  • Kala Pola takes inspiration from the world-famous outdoor art fairs in Montmartre, Paris, and the Turl Street Art Festival in Oxford and has evolved as an eagerly awaited event of the art and culture calendar of Sri Lanka.
  • This uncurated visual art fair aims to consistently elevate the visitor experience, expanding its reach to include more artists and attract a broader audience of both local and international art enthusiasts, consequently generating increased participation and income for the artists, not only through sales at the event but also through potential commissions thereafter.


  • The event’s success also stems from its networking and learning opportunities, with Kala Pola being an event at which artists from different levels of seniority and provinces of Sri Lanka converge, fostering an environment of collaboration.


  • The John Keells Group has funded and co-organised the event over the past three decades which has enabled Kala Pola to sustain and evolve. Kala Pola is now a major tourist attraction having established itself as one of Colombo’s iconic art events. The Sri Lankan Art Gallery – a digital art gallery hosted by John Keells Foundation free of charge to artists – provides a year-round platform for visual artists to showcase their work and engage with buyers.


  • The John Keells Group also strives to showcase and promote the economic potential of the country’s creative economy while supporting the development of an ecosystem that nurtures creativity.


  • About the John Keells Group and John Keells Foundation – Arts & Culture is one of the six focus areas of John Keells Foundation – the CSR entity of John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH), the largest conglomerate listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange, operating with over 70 companies in 7 diverse industry sectors. With a history of over 150 years, John Keells Group provides employment to over 14,000 persons and has been ranked as Sri Lanka’s ‘Most Respected Entity’ for the last 18 Years by LMD magazine. John Keells Holdings PLC was ranked first for the third consecutive year in the ‘Transparency in Corporate Reporting Assessment’ by Transparency International Sri Lanka. Whilst being a full member of the World Economic Forum and a participant of the UN Global Compact, JKH drives its CSR vision of “Empowering the Nation for Tomorrow” through John Keells Foundation and through the social entrepreneurship initiative, ‘Plasticcycle’, which is a catalyst in significantly reducing plastic pollution in Sri Lanka.




  • About the George Keyt FoundationThe George Keyt Foundation has significant contributions to the promotion and revival of arts and culture since the 1980s by organising and presenting exhibitions and presentations, giving emerging artists the opportunity to develop and present their work to a broader audience and the opportunity to be discovered. Over the years, the foundation has led many initiatives such as Young Contemporaries from 1991, for artists below forty years of age. Sculpture and Painting, now named Sri Lankan Art to include senior artists by invitation, has been held annually since 1991. Kala Pola is an open-air Art Fair that was presented initially in 1993 and annually thereafter other than in 2001 and 2007. Nawa Kalakaruwo, which commenced in 1994, is an annual exhibition presenting new and emerging art from both established and emerging artists. The George Keyt Foundation has organised hundreds of presentations, exhibitions of Sri Lankan painting and sculpture, exhibitions of groups of artists, month-long exhibitions of featured painters, individual exhibitions of Sri Lankan and overseas painters and also exhibitions by SAARC painters.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *