On June 7, Sonipat, Haryana based World University of Design organised a seminar in collaboration with think-tank of eminent artists, art educators, curators and industry leaders in an effort to rethink the existing education framework and move towards a futuristic and contemporary understanding of art education.
Organised by the School of Visual Arts, World University of Design at the Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi, the event witnessed great minds in the world of art came together to discuss the issues and challenges faced by art education in the face of an evolving eco-system that is majorly influenced by technology, society and demographics.
The seminar elaborated on the emerging education landscape especially in India in the coming years and how institutions are responding to these changes and challenges. Some of the eminent personalities and artists who graced the seminar were Adwaita Charan Gadanayak (Dir Gen, NGMA), J Manu Parekh, senior artist, Suresh Goel (Dir General, EEMA and ex-DG, ICCR) and Sushma Bahl (former head (Art & Culture), British Council), among others.
Addressing the seminar, Dr Sanjay Gupta, vice chancellor, World University of Design said, “The world of art is undergoing a rapid transformation. Even as contemporary art continues its movement in the conceptual and experiential direction; object-based, archival art continues to hold its ground. These are crucial times for art education too. The last document on art education in schools was made by CBSE a decade back and there has never been any study in the higher education domain. Almost all our visual art degree institutions continue to be modernist in their structures. Though some have opened up to material and conceptual explorations, they are not in a position to provide the pedagogical, structural and material infrastructure. Besides education fields like curatorial practices, and art management have emerged as key areas of cultural practice and can no longer be seen as auxiliary to the visual art industry (which has traditionally kept art making as its center).”
Some of the other dignitaries present were Kishore Singh (head, Exhibitions & Publications – DAG), Ganeev Dhillon (curator Partition Museum), Dr. Rajkumar Mazimdar professor, Dept of Visual Art, Assam University, Silchar), Shivani Gandhi (outreach associate, Partition Museum), Ritika Lal Chakravartty (assistant editor, Art & Deal Magazine), Argha Kamal Ganguly (assistant curator NGMA ), Dr. Ruchika W.Singh (independent educationist), Ritu Vajpeyi-Mohan (publisher DAG), Gopal Namjoshi (senior artist), Shankar Barua (director, Festival of e-creativity) and Pramod Kumar KG (managing director, Eka Cultural Resources & Labs)
On the occasion, Gadanayak said, “Art does not have a fixed way of teaching, but the role of the teacher is key students to get motivated and excel.” Recounting his days at the College of Arts he said how teachers like Gogi Saroj Pal, Dhiraj Choudhury prepared them to be artists in a fast-evolving world with its changing material culture.
Parekh said, “The relation of an artist to his immediate social and cultural environment is key to quality of art and depth of practice. Even after many years of independence we still have not evolved our own approach to art education. Our colleges still rely heavily on studio-based practice and have no space where the student engages with the society and his/her larger cultural environment. It is important for new art schools to embrace this issue and develop models towards the future.”
S M Kulkarni, dean, School of Visual Arts, WUD added, “WUD has one of the largest portfolio of art and design courses in India, the university offers a number of cutting edge programmes in digital art and illustration, curatorial practices in art, contemporary art, fashion art and art education, among others. We strive to balance the delicate nature of the course with the standard educational concepts. Working and playing with colors and Canvas is not just art education, but it is far more beyond, it helps to bring out one’s creativity through videos, photography and craft. It is a platform where a ‘critically-thinking’ practice emerges and acts as a tool for providing knowledge to students in the field of arts in combination with other area of education.”
The programmes offered by WUD include a first in India MVA in Curatorial Practices in Arts, a unique two year master’s programme that prepares students to expand the role of curators in connecting art, artists, and communities; engaging audiences more effectively by proposing alternative models of exhibition-making, institution-building and social justice through art.
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