Theertha over the years have developed a strong local art program that has taken into consideration the lacks, needs, expectations and aspirations of the growing contemporary art community. Although Theertha was first established with the primary ideas of supporting and facilitation international art exchange, it soon realized that in order to maintain a successful and healthy art exchange internationally, one has to seriously invest in energizing and supporting an innovative and evolving art scene within Sri Lanka. This realization has made Theertha to be sensitive to the needs of the artists’ community and to give direction that would support and sustain the innovation, keep the artists community connected with the outside world.
From 2004 onwards Theertha went on to engage in a more holistic approach to art exchange. In order to support the art education, Theertha started art teacher training in regional and economically difficult areas and publication on art and culture for university level art student.
Local art / craft workshops were designed to encourage art appreciation, art practices and to encourage the local artists in regional areas to connect with the larger discourse on Sri Lankan art.
From 2004 Theertha programs also gave emphasis to supporting the young women artists who graduate from Art College to continue their art practice and to experiment with new ideas, to initiate the process of forming their own identity as artists. The woman Artists’ Colloquiums (and International Women Artists Residency program) was initiated during this period.
Theertha also added programs that emphasized art as heritage management where they worked with communities to rediscover their own cultural heritage.
With so many exhibition events forming part of Theertha activities it refocused its attention to building audiences. Local exhibitions have remained an integral part of Theertha’s activities as an art educational effort as well as to support experimentation and innovation in art.
In addition, Theertha also supports art festivals that would encourage contemporary art innovations and to go beyond its established boundaries.