Most people don’t realise just how much we have started relying on all forms of art, in our everyday life. You see, while art may not be vital to fulfilling our basic needs, it does make life joyful. When you look at the paintings on your walls, you feel happy. The sculpture or figurines in the kitchen window create a sense of happiness. Everywhere you go, art is evident. The parks use sculptures to add interest and to inform people. Posters on walls give information and motivation. Art is something that we literally find ourselves immersed in most of the time.
Training in visual arts has become very important. Various art colleges in the country are striving to synchronise with the rapidly-changing means and modalities in the field of art. These are merely institutions to equip the students with skills and adorn them with a formal degree, but are primarily facilitators to enable learners to think and conceptualise independently, to find their voice and form a personal visual language to face the demanding, ever-changing scenario.
Students learn about the principles of visual fundamentals and basic design experience and promote visual and textural sensibility, formal perception, and manual and neat-handedness. The objective of the one-year foundation course, common to the five disciplines of applied art, painting, printmaking, sculpture and visual communication, is to provide fundamental training in drawing, design, colour, clay modelling, printing, and geometry and perspective as practical subjects. In theory, history of appreciation of art is a compulsory paper, as are English and Hindi languages.
The applied art specialisation caters to the new technologies of photography, films, television, printing and use of computer as a visual problem-solver. The focus is on development of creative ability and professional skills through study of subjects such as design, lettering and typography, drawing and illustration and subsidiary subjects of computer graphics, photography, silk screen printing, offset printing, packaging and display design as practical, and aesthetics, history of art, and advertising profession and practice as theory papers. Thus the art history subject which is being taught facilitates the understanding of works of art within their historical context by examining issues such as politics, religion, patronage, gender, function, and ethnicity through both contextual and visual analysis; it is aimed also at developing an understanding of origins and functions of art within specific world cultures.
The objective of the specialisation in painting is to provide training in the practice skills for original and creative visual expression. The course seeks to cultivate in the students their personal aesthetic growth and professional responsibility. Concepts of individuality in visual creations are enriched through subjects such as drawing, painting and composition, life and portrait, outdoors and still life. Students are also offered practical subject of printmaking, mural and weaving.
The specialisation in printmaking transforms into a means to have a direct relation to society’s needs and improve various types of graphics, including those of adverting and printing industry. Further, printmaking is a certain means of communication and dissemination of ideas. Students are also exposed to the opportunity to benefit from new materials and techniques.
The sculpture specialisation offers exploration of the nature of three dimensional forms with training in subjects like study from life, composition, metal, casting, wood carving/stone carving, ceramic, assemblage in practical subjects and aesthetics, history of art, and methods and material as theory papers.
The visual communication course is meant to provide the training essential for conveyance of ideas and concepts basically associated with two dimensional images.
Drawing, illustration, composition, photography, video, traditional 2D/3D animation, film editing and interface design for interactive CD-ROMs using basic tools enable an exploration of design. Exercises in creative writing, copywriting and screenplay writing are also emphasised.
The ever encouraging environment helps them to develop a multi-faceted personality where they are not only trained but encouraged to learn all kinds of skills, be it from teachers or senior friends. The training helps our students to work as animators, filmmakers, ad gurus, freelance artists, printmakers, curators, exhibition organisers, teachers, professors, journalists, art historians, photographers and the list is endless.
Some of the best institutions offering UG & PG courses
* College of Art, New Delhi
* Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Puspha Baug, Vadodara
* Government College of Fine Arts, Palayam, Thiruvanathapuram
* Kala Bhavana, Viswa-Bharati University, Santiniketan
* Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts, Mysore
* Department of Fine Arts, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
* Government College of Arts & Crafts, Guwahati
* Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai
* College of Arts & Commerce, Dept of Fine Art, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam
* Government College of Art, Chandigarh
* BK College of Arts & Crafts, Bhubaneswar
* Faculty of Visual Arts, Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata
* Bharathiar Palkalaikoodam, Bharathiar Centre for Performing & Fine Arts, Puducherry
* Faculty of Visual Arts, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
* Government College of Art, Panaji, Goa
The authors are principal, College of Art, Delhi and head, department of art history, CoA, respectively