In this digital age, developments in science and technology have enabled man to lead an easy and comfortable life but what is life without aesthitics? As John Keats said, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever,” we want things to be beautiful in every crevice, nook and corner, right from the attire we wear to the house that we live in.
This involves the hand of an artist, says S. Venkatachalapathy, founder, Sri Annai Kamakshi Kalaikudam, a painting school. Hailing from Manamadurai of Sivaganga district, he came to Chennai to do his under-graduation in fine arts (painting) at Government College of Fine Arts, Egmore.
When he was in the final year, he taught three students the art of painting.
The number gradually increased and he began Sri Annai Kamakshi Kalaikudam in 1996.
Today the institution has nearly 3,000 students (three-90 years), learning the art for various requirements. Medical college students come here to learn the techniques of anatomical diagrams, a few from the film industry gain knowledge about art direction, those in the field of animation and advertisement enhance their creativity, and even aspiring architects are benefited from the courses.
The courses offered at this school include various forms of painting _ Indian folk, Jadupatta, Kalamkari, Mysore, Kalikat, Mithila, Maithili, Mali, Mughal, Rajput, Thanjavur, Puri, Karnataka, Pahari, mural, pot, abstract, blade, photo colour, poster, batik, fabric, oil, glass, leather, metal embossed, Lino cutting and line art. The institution also specialise in cartoon and pencil drawings, textile designing, terracotta work, tiles paintings, tie and die, Origami, print making work, tattoos, visual art, and others.
Coaching classes for entrance examination for Bachelor of Fine Arts course and free hand drawing for lower and higher grade are conducted as well.
Exclusive painting classes are held for special children. The fee for these courses ranges from Rs. 500 to Rs. 10,000.
Mr. Venkatachalapathy says that the school, with the objective of giving exposure and encouragement to its students, organises an exhibition under the title ‘Chitramela' every year.
One-day outdoor camp is held in which students are taken to various places of interest and they have to draw on a theme given at that moment.
Once in a month, the best works of the students are displayed at Achalam Art Galley, K.K. Nagar. Parents, friends, and relatives would be invited to the event, he says.
The school encourages artistic talent in children in a unique manner. It arranges to sell or rent the works of its students who are also involved in jobs taken by the institution from Kancheepuram mills.
“They work on silk saris and are paid for it,” says Mr. Venkatachalapathy.
“From my experience I would suggest that working as a freelance artist is more lucrative than being employed. I take up orders from more than 60 companies dealing with ceramics, textiles, tiles, stain-glass, advertisement agencies, and have conducted classes for schools and colleges.
Moreover, I sell and rent a few of my works to hotels, television shows, office premises and others,” he adds. Mr. Venkatachalapathy can be contacted at the school at Plot 998, Door 19, 74th Street, 12th Sector, K.K. Nagar. Phone: 2474 0429 / 93810 24002 / 97898 77697.