Institutions of learning big and small prepare their students for the world. The year-long Teaching Fellowship programme by Artreach India and the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) in partnership with TARA Homes, Delhi, has culminated into the online exhibition Moving Worlds.
It showcases the works of 18 aspiring artists through expressive charcoal drawings, vibrant collage still-life works, captivating stop-motion animations, clay-relief tiles, reflective self-portraits and detailed nature drawings. Christie’s recently launched online exhibitions of the works of child artists.
Studio in a School is the first in the series. Participants range from pre-schoolers to XIIth-graders. Closer home, the KNMA is doing the same. With any number of workshops and short courses, the academy is bridging the gap between art and the young. From the beginning of March, they moved to online workshops, to counter coronavirus. These are futuristic reflections on the world after the Covid-19 pandemic. The drawings, paintings and zines in the online show have been created after the contagion changed life as we knew it.
“Inspiring appreciation and engagement with the arts, and conceptualising and organising platforms and programmes for innovative art education in India are the most important goals of the KNMA. Over the years we have been running numerous programmes for schoolchildren, teachers and educators. By funding the Artreach Teaching Fellowship, we aim to extend our support for art education at grassroots level. The initiative is also meant to support experimentation and development of informal ways of art learning, which classroom structured education at times fails to do,” says Roobina Karode, Director.
Artreach India’s Teaching Fellowship programme that took root in 2015 encourages young people to use art as a tool to critically explore the world. The initiative backs adult artists to work with talented and passionate children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. This year, in partnership with TARA Homes, the programme was visualised and led by artist Tahsin Akhtar. Eighteen participants between the ages 11 and 17 were selected based on interest and aptitude. Apart from weekend workshops on observation drawing, collage, still life, character design, clay modelling, animation and nature studies, not to mention online Zoom classes, the group was taken for a curated walk-through and workshop at the India Art Fair in February.
“Our hope is that the Teaching Fellowship will open young people’s eyes and minds to new ways of seeing themselves and the world around them and that they find confidence, support and direction to pursue their artistic journeys, whatever they might be,” says Charty Dugdale, Founder, Artreach India. The Fellowship was guided by a distinguished panel of artist-educators and curators: Atul Bhalla, Kristine Michael, Susanta Mandal, Vandana Kothari, Deeksha Nath, Anni Kumari, Sonam Chaturvedi, Megha Madan and Akansha Rastogi. Sponsored by the Shiv Nadar Foundation, the KNMA’s mandate is to bridge the gap between art and the public. It aims to become a place for confluence, dialogue and collaboration through school and college workshops.
Says Hasina Khan, TARA Homes co-ordinator, “Thanks to this programme, the participants today are more expressive. Previously teachers used to instruct them exactly on what to do and how it should be done. But now they’ve begun to think on their own. Also, there is a marked change in the ways they communicate. Earlier they would hesitate to talk about themselves, but now they express their vulnerable side through different visual mediums.” Art is growing up from child’s play and it is opening the complex
world of the young to prosaic and regimented forms of creative thought.
“By funding the Teaching Fellowship we aim to extend our support for art education. The initiative is also meant to support experimentation and development of informal ways of art learning.”
Roobina Karode, Director, KNMA