THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Many artists from the state are forced to leave due to insufficient support and appreciation for art here, said director of programmes for Kochi Biennale Riyas Komu.
“We as a society are not properly aware of contemporary art as we are of literature or cinema. It is in the context that we thought of creating art programmes for school children through Art by Children (ABC) to train children in art appreciation at an early age,” he said addressing media persons in Kochi to announce the completion of the first phase of Art by Children (ABC) outreach program of Kochi Biennale, supported by the Department of Education, Government of Kerala and sponsored by Merck.
ABC outreach program has reached out to over 2,000 students across 40 schools across the state. The program aims to reach 100 schools across all 14 districts of Kerala and engage over 5,000 children and school teachers through the artist facilitators until March 2017, the organisers said.
Over 75 teachers covered in the Teacher Training programs, will continue to work with the broad strategies and new education techniques passed on at these interactions.
Talking about the success of the program, Anand Nambiar, managing director, Merck India said, “ Since 2017 is the 50th year of Merck in India, it is a fitting occasion for a unique partnership with the art world. Art By Children is a program that aligns perfectly with Merck’s commitment to promote healthy living and spark the curiosity and innovation in young minds.”
The two sites of the ABC at Biennale are The ABC Gallery and The ABC Canopy. The ABC Gallery- at the Aspinwall House is the country’s first art exhibition dedicated to the work by children. The exhibition which was curated by Riyas Komu and Manu Jose, has a new set of works by the children of ABC program which are displayed every few weeks.
The ABC Canopy- is an open air space, located under a crop of mango tress in the centre of Apsinwall House. Equipped with drawing boards and art material, the canopy invites children of all ages to create art in response to their experience of contemporary art at the Kochi Muziris Biennale.