Painting an entire stretch of flyover on a busy road like Masab Tank is indeed a challenge. Braving the dust and fumes, high decibels from the constant honking around, scorching sun and sometimes heavy downpour, students of Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University (JNAFAU) took up this task and wrapped it up in a record time of one week.

Toppled paint buckets, thanks to a few irresponsible drivers, soiled clothes and bouts of cough owing to aerosols did not deter them from completing their work. Right from dusting the walls of the flyover to white washing them and making platforms to paint this huge ‘canvas’, 60 students from BFA did it all.

“The students took up the GHMC project under the Industrial Consultancy Services and have done a commendable job. The Mayor and other government officials stopped by to laud their efforts and that’s what matters for the students. It gave them good exposure to the work culture outside,” says J. Venkateswarlu, faculty in Painting Department, JNAFAU and coordinator for the project.

As part of the curriculum, students are taught mural design. But this was a different medium where eco-friendly exterior water colours were used in mural paintings on themes to go with the CoP – 11 mood. A world map with species native to different regions representing the biodiversity and participating nations, and other themes make for a striking continuous artwork.

Venugopal, a third year BFA student explains his futuristic frame. “I wanted to showcase a scenario where we will have to search for common species if they go extinct.”

“There was no dearth of ideas but time was an issue. We worked from 7.30 a.m. till late into the evening,” says Shravanti, a second year student .

“It was an encouraging experience and we are proud to be a part of the prestigious project for CoP-11. These paintings can be maintained for many years with regular touch-up,” says Sabita, a third year student.

But barely a few days after the paintings have dried, a few works have already been splashed on with unsightly betel stains. Hathi Ram, a second year student says, “We feel bad when people soil the paintings after all the hard work we put into it. The onus is on the city now to treasure the beautification undertaken for the biodiversity meet.”

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