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The world’s your canvas

The alma mater of greats such as MF Husain, Jatin Das and SH Raza, the JJ School of Art in Mumbai is the perfect setting for aspiring artists

education Updated: Aug 15, 2012 14:46 IST
Gauri Kohli
Gauri Kohli
Hindustan Times

Ciby Samuel, an aspiring artist and student of the BFA programme at the JJ School of Art in Mumbai can’t have enough of its green open spaces and the beautiful architecture. Besides spending hours on campus and working in the art studios, he is a regular at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Jahangir Art Gallery and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, both located nearby. The proximity of the campus to some of Mumbai’s best museums and art galleries allows students like Samuel to explore, learn and connect with eminent artists.

Renowned for its heritage structures and exhibition venues, the school has an illustrious alumni list, including legendary and contemporary artists such as MF Husain, Jatin Das, SH Raza, Jitish Kallat, Valay Shende and Atul Dodiya. Guest lecturers include prominent artists such as Deepak Shinde and Vasudev Kamath.

USP: “The academic programmes offer specialised study to students in the subject of their choice. They have facilities for tuition and individual guidance from professors, spacious studios, workshops and a rich reference library. Criticisms and talks by the members of faculty, visits of distinguished contemporary artists are also arranged. Outdoor education comprises visits to museums, art exhibitions and scenic spots. Subjects like history of art and aesthetics are taught with visual aids like slides, films and coloured reproductions,” says Vishwanath Sabale, dean.

Programmes: Undergraduate - BFA painting, BFA sculpture, BFA metal work, BFA textile design, BFA ceramics, BFA interior decoration (all four-year programmes); postgraduate - MFA painting (by papers) in portraiture, MFA painting (by papers) in graphic, MFA painting (by papers) in creative, MFA painting (by papers) in mural; diplomas - sculpture and modelling (four years, full time, after foundation), art teacher (two years full time), art education (one year, full time); art master certificate (one year, full time)

Faculty: There are about 23 permanent, seven ad hoc and 10 faculty members on contract basis

Infrastructure: The school has libraries, laboratories and studios for each department and ample open spaces for the artists to give vent to their creative urges. Audio-visual facilities are available for presentations. There are two canteens, one each in the commercial and fine art departments, a gymnasium and common rooms for men and women. Hostels are located off campus - one in Bandra for men and the other in Charni Road for women. The school owns about 2000 paintings made by alumni, including illustrious artists. Replicas of famed Greek and Roman sculptures are used for training.

IT quotient: The institution has four computer labs for all departments spread across campus equipped with Mac PCs, as well as a graphic suite of software. Students can access the internet and work on assignments, presentations, reports and projects.

Clubs and societies: Members of Kaladeep participate in cultural activities such as sports, landscape outdoors, sketch club and workshops etc. Students also participate in all national and international painting and sculpture competitions conducted by academies such as Bombay Art Society, Art Society of India and state art exhibitions.

Studentspeak: “There's a lot of independence on campus. You can just sit and paint anywhere you like. We are sent on study tours to historical sites and participate in exhibitions, workshops, seminars and competitions throughout the year. The huge studios available are amazing. The best thing is that in the first year you are taught the nuances of all streams such as painting, sculpture, ceramics, metals, textile design and interior decoration. Because of its practical nature, we do most things ourselves. The beautiful campus boosts our creativity,” says Samuel.

Founded in March 1857, the institution is one of the oldest art schools in Mumbai. In 1866, the government of India took over the management and started courses in decorative painting, modelling and ornamental wrought iron work. In 1958, the school was divided into the JJ School of Art, Sir JJ School of Architecture and Sir JJ Institute of Applied Art

Students say they would like more visits by eminent artists and training sessions with them

First Published: Aug 15, 2012 14:43 IST