Getting arty hearty

The JJ School of Arts and Bombay Art Society’s open air art initiative demystified art and bridged the gap between artists and aficionados

The hallowed halls of the Sir JJ School of Arts, Fort reverberated with the sounds of its alumni setting canvas, brushes and chisels for an all-day interactive art demonstration on campus. With soft classical music playing through the day, the lush green lawns of the school were dotted with artists from across the State.

An enthusiastic crowd took organisers by surprise. More than 35 artists demonstrated their artwork. Pics/Bipin Kokate
An enthusiastic crowd took organisers by surprise. More than 35 artists demonstrated their artwork. Pics/Bipin Kokate

They painted, sculpted and weaved to breathe life into their works. They had an enthusiastic crowd of art lovers as cheerleaders. From textured paintings, oil on canvas, abstracts, clay sculptures and textile designing, the campus was transformed into an art fair.

Painter Suhas Bahulkar gives finishing touches to his painting
Painter Suhas Bahulkar gives finishing touches to his painting

It was nostalgia time for most JJ alumni. Carrying a packed lunch from home, Arvind Hate, an abstract art expert from Thane insisted on sitting on the laal katta (the red parapet) on campus with his classmates, giving the organised lunch a miss.

An artist models a sculpture at the live art demonstrations
An artist models a sculpture at the live art demonstrations

“It was on this katta that we discussed Aristotle and Peter Rubens and understood their genius during lunch break. I was most enthused about this part of the day, reliving my life at JJ College.” Suhas Bahulkar, through his painting paid tribute to this alma mater.

“I have painted my love for this institution through pictures of alumni, professors and history against the backdrop of the college,” said Bahulkar as he gave finishing touches to his artwork. The crowd mingled with the artists. Children from nearby shanties trooped in, clueless about the hullabaloo in the otherwise sleepy campus.

They ended up climbing trees, watching the artists go about their work. As the clock ticked on, blobs of clay transformed took shape as sculptures, pieces of paper turned into miniature dolls and colours on palettes transformed into paintings.

“Today, this has turned into a school without walls as novices saw experts at work. We wanted to bridge the gap between art lovers and artists and let people know the journey behind a painting or artwork,” said Vasudeo Kamat, president of the Bombay Arts Society.

Dinesh Kurekar, a well-known name in textile designing said, “Very few people appreciate all forms of art. Textile designing, which is a traditional form, has fewer takers. Creating a single piece of this artwork is a painstaking process. Dipping cotton and woollen threads in natural dyes and then weaving them into images takes more than 40 days.”

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