In today's pragmatic and competitive age, can your creativity and ability to draw and sculpt help you build a great career?

The institution where the dreams and discoveries of some of the greatest artists of India were shaped, etched and given life — the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Chennai — is one of the earliest institutions for art in the country.

The institute continues to produce talent and equips its students in contemporary art and the curriculum today includes visual communication, textile designing and printing.

Established in the year 1870, the college is currently under the State's Ministry of Tourism and Directorate of Art and Culture.

At the undergraduate level, six courses are offered and at the postgraduate level five courses are offered to the students.

Admission to all the courses is through an aptitude test conducted by the institution.

Increasing relevance

With an increasing interest towards arts all over the world, the course in painting has gained greater relevance. The shift in attitude towards art is not only for its aesthetic value, but also for its commercial viability.

“Art is increasingly becoming an investment, similar to investments in shares. The students need to be equipped with marketing skills in additional to developing their talent,” says V. Sengutuvan, faculty of the department of painting.

There are other avenues where students of art can thrive. If students of art have a flair for language and possess a good understanding of the aesthetical value of art works, they can become art critics.

To achieve this, they can take up interdisciplinary courses in journalism or literature or pursue these subjects at the postgraduate level, says V. Chandrasekaran, college principal.

Yet another option for these students is to write the SEED exam to obtain admissions to postgraduate courses in arts offered by top institutions such as IIT, NID.

Immense opportunity

Students who opt for sculpture have immense opportunities in various design fields that require 3D design skills.

If they have the additional knowledge of CAD design , these students can also enter niche areas such as car designing, including the minute details such as the design of the rib of the tyre of cars.

Another area is architecture and interior design, particularly designing personalised requirements for indoors.

“Most of the students while pursing the course even sell their art works and make money,” says K.D.Vijayakumar, a faculty.

Highly creative

The course in textile designing focuses on creating designs on the fabric. The course trains students in designs on the fabric.

The students find placement in some of the leading textile mills. The course is also supported by names in the industry such as Sundari Silks and Co-optex.

Visual Communication

The college is one of the earliest institutions to have started the programme in visual communication, but in the name of commercial art. A plethora of opportunities are available to these students who have the knowledge of software for multimedia and special effects.

Ceramic design

Students from this department are placed as modellers and designers in leading tile industries such as Parryware, Johnsons tiles and Hindware.

Students of this course who take up courses such as anthropology or archaeology will be of valuable assistance in studying objects of excavations.

Print Making

The print making course offers scope to work in the graphic designing section of newspapers and magazines.

Big names in the industry such as Hyundai, NISEL, Infosys, Cognizant and Nokia visit the campus for recruitment every year.

Since most students find placement soon upon completion of the course, very few pursue higher studies. It is important for more students to take up Ph. D and pursue research, says Mr. Chandrasekaran.