The fans of painter and calligrapher, the late Bashir Ahmed Kanwar, have opened the Bashir Kanwar Art Gallery in the Sialkot city without any government help.

Gujranwala Arts Council Director Dr Abdul Halim Khan inaugurated the gallery for the public at a ceremony on Wednesday.

Author and poet Ashfaq Niaz, who has been Kanwar’s friend for 27 years, will act as the chairman of the gallery.

Also read: 'Pride of Sialkot' Bashir Ahmed Kanwar is no more

He told Dawn the art gallery would promote art and keep exhibiting artworks of the late Kanwar for the public. Kanwar had died on Aug 15 this year.

The first ever gallery in the city has displayed hundreds of the paintings and calligraphy pieces of the late Kanwar as well as of the Gujranwala Arts Council.

Mr Niaz said the gallery would provide opportunities to local painters and artists to display their art work there.

He urged the Sialkot District Council and the Sialkot Municipal Corporation to patronise the gallery.

During his life, Kanwar tried to establish the gallery but his financial constraints and government’s indifference did not realise his dream.

Originally published in Dawn, December 28, 2017