The Telegraph
Wednesday , September 7 , 2016

Art for therapy and joy

It was a proud moment for 15-year-old Debaparna Guha when she learnt that her painting had found a taker. This was a happy first in her life.

The Class X student of Gokhale Memorial Girls' School was also delighted to find a place among 22 artists, comprising mentors and peers.

Several mainstream and special students of artist Suniti Khastgir's studio Art@SFactor took part in an exhibition - Art with a Heart - at Red Kitchen and Lounge in Camac Street in the second week of July. The 45 canvases on display were the handiwork of both established artists as well as amateur ones. The proceeds of the sale have gone towards cancer treatment of underprivileged students.

"The best part of the event was getting tips from so many established artists and being appreciated by the likes of Jogen Chowdhury," said Debaparna, who depicted Khastgir's terrace garden on her canvas. This was her second exhibition in over a year of training. So was it for 22-year-old Noor Islam, who does odd jobs in a bookstore. "Art gave me a new direction in life," said Noor, whose painting showed stagnation and time lost in people's lives. "I love acrylic on paper. I want to work on a masterpiece one day," added Noor.

Khastgir's HeArt initiative promotes young artists like Noor, giving them the opportunity and training they lack. "We also educate them in art history, hold discussions on relevant subjects and also groom them for high-profile exhibitions," said the artist, who promotes young artists through exhibitions and scholarships.

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