|Imparting Creativity, the art exhibition by amateurs, at Birla Academy of Art and Culture, on till Sunday; (top right) Syed N. Azhar in front of his canvases. Pictures by Arnab Mondal
Around 110 artworks produced by 45 participants aged 12 to 60. That’s no mean feat, considering the artists have been at it for just two years, some for a few months only! Imparting Creativity, the exhibition organised by Impart at Birla Academy of Art and Culture, is the labour of love of a different kind.
Having taken the baby steps to teach art to amateurs in 2010, Impart art gallery owner Samir Desai is as pleased as Punch for being able to ignite the passion for the paintbrush in so many. Currently, there are 75 students and counting.
The outpouring of creativity has taken Desai by surprise too. “Last year, at our first exhibition of students’ works, we had around 40 canvases. This year it’s more than double! That’s the reason why we had to move the exhibition out of the Impart address at Woodburn Park to a bigger venue like Birla Academy of Art and Culture,” he says.
The Impart classes are held through the week at 3 Woodburn Park, G7 Malayalay Building. The faculty comprises professional artists like Rabin Kumar Mondal, Sanjib Sen, Joydeep Chatterjee, Bappa Haldar, Pranab Roy and Sasanka Ghosh. Students are issued certificates after a year.
Drawing, sketching, pastels, water colours and acrylic dominate the canvases at Impart, all of which is reflected at the exhibition. “Oils take too much time to dry, so we don’t use them,” says Desai.
The students are mostly homemakers and mid-career professionals for whom art has been a childhood passion that they couldn’t pursue for various reasons.
Like Indrani Chaudhuri, a retired schoolteacher who signed up for the classes six months ago and is the proud creator of two watercolour canvases at the exhibition. “I loved painting since I was a child but couldn’t follow it up. And then I got busy teaching history. Impart has been encouraging even senior citizens to paint, which is a great thing!” she smiles.
For Srirupa Bose, a counselling psychologist, it’s the desire to take up art therapy — which combines two of her favourite subjects — that brought her to Impart in 2010. “Art has always been my first love, followed by psychology. And I draw for myself,” says the 31-year-old, who has put up two canvases.
With tweens to sextagenarians wielding the paintbrush, the themes are as varied as it can get. Syed N. Azhar, for one, felt the need to focus on the importance of education. His acrylic work has been snapped up for Rs 20,000 and Azhar, an interior decorator, just can’t stop smiling.
Desai also wanted to give the students a platform to sell their works through the exhibition. “The idea is to offer affordable fine art. None of the participants here want to take up art as a career but if you’re doing it as a hobby, why not sell it?” he says.
By September 23, there will be many more happy faces like Azhar.