Pablo Picasso once said every child is an artist, but the problem is how to remain an artist when he grows up. That perhaps is the reason for the large number of art schools attempting to keep alive the art in a child-like mind. Art schools, however, do not just impart knowledge or art – but helps awaken the imagination and creativity that lies dormant in the mind.
To celebrate this creativity, the second edition of Prarambh- India’s 1st Student Art Festival, organised by The Art Route, will present a selection of contemporary visual artworks of talented students from well known institutions across India. The event will take place from 3rd to 8th December, between 11am to 7 pm, at MF Husain Art Gallery, Jamia Milia Islamia, Jamia Nagar, Okhla, New Delhi 110025.
The show is curated by Lubna Sen and Ujjwal Ankur who are the founders of The Art Route, an organisation specilaising in promotion, development and education of Visual Art. It will feature a variety of artworks in diverse mediums: oil and acrylic on canvas, watercolours, lithographs, digital manipulations, sculptures on natural materials, outdoor installations, 3D , performing Art, mix media art including painting on textiles etc.
The Art Route is committed to building an interactive community of contemporary artists with an objective to raise the interest and participation of people in Visual Arts. While building their vision, Lubna and Ujjwal, both Art History scholars, took inspiration from the 2000 year-old Silk Route. In the same manner in which this ancient trade route became the melting pot of culture between the West and the East, they want to create a medium that encourages cross-cultural dialogue between artists from different geographies, and people from different communities and disciplines.
Lubna Sen, who is also the Festival Director says, “The new India is not just about technology, it is also about social development which can be achieved through increased interactions between the artists and the society. The Festival itself is a means through which we want to widen the consumption of art. At Prarambh we are committed to showcase original artworks of student artists and make them accessible to the public. For the young and the uninitiated, Prarambh is a great starting point to pick up art.”
The first edition of Prarambh- India’s 1st Student Art Festival, held in October 2014, was a pioneering initiative. The most significant achievement of Prarambh was the exposure received by the student artists. Many talented students had their profiles covered in the media and their artworks sold for the first time, providing a major boost to the morale of the student artists, particularly to those who came from humble economic backgrounds.
Ujjwal Ankur, the Creative Director of Prarambh, says, “Students of Fine Arts faces a lot of internal conflict and insecurities. They need sustained motivation and encouragement in pursuing their profession, which the society often dubs as a “hobby”. At Prarambh, instead of questioning their career choice, we celebrate it. Their talent is not only recognized but also given a national level platform.”
Prarambh, like the name suggest, provides the first bridge that a student crosses to connect to the real world. The festival offers a platform to receive real market exposure and provide hands on experience towards the future careers of these students with critical feedback of their art from peers, experts and the public in general.
This year, through a broader participation and stricter evaluation criteria, the curators have selected 150 artworks, with more than 100 artists participating from over 40 plus institutes. These include the Faculty of Fine Arts, M. S University of Baroda; Faculty of Visual Arts, BHU, Varanasi; Faculty of Fine Arts, Jamia Milia Islamia; College of Art, Delhi Chandigarh; Department of Fine Arts, Kurukshetra University; Department of Fine Arts, Aligarh Muslim University; College of Arts and Crafts, Lucknow University; Government College of Art, Chandigarh; Department of Fine Arts, University of Hyderabad; and Assam University, Silchar.
There is also a greater diversity in mediums and styles of art, which will appeal to the collectors. The festival will recognize talented artists with cash awards and top 25 artists will also be selected for an exhibition in future in a prominent gallery.