Vijayalakshmi has never had a formal education in the fine arts but she wields the brush with confidence.
Producing a mural painting is a painstaking and time-consuming process; each work takes almost a month to complete. Ms. Vijayalakshmi has acquired the necessary skills, thanks to the training she received as a student of the Continuing Education Sub-Centre (CESC) at Government College for Women here.
Five of her works are on display at a four-day exhibition-cum-sales fair of handmade products that began at the college auditorium on Thursday under the auspices of the CESC.
Painting is an engaging hobby for Geetha who completed a course at the CESC after retirement from the same college. “I have always wanted to do something creative but just could not find the time to do it while in service. Now, with enough time on my hands, I can dabble on canvas to my contentment,” she said.
The exhibition features flowers, paintings, handicrafts, cosmetics, and fashion accessories made by students of the various courses offered by the centre.
The courses are aimed at empowering women and encouraging them to be self reliant through creative works.
“The exhibition has been organised to provide a platform for our students to showcase their skills, and to create awareness of the CESC,” Annamma Jacob, Principal of the college who inaugurated the event, said.
A major attraction of the exhibition is a range of orchid flowers. Most of the flowers have been imported from Thailand and Singapore for sale here. Their prices vary from Rs.100 to Rs.750. “This is the first time that the college is exhibiting orchids. The climatic conditions here are conducive for the imported flowers,” K. Prasannakumar, faculty in the Department of Physical Education, said.
The beauty therapy section features natural face packs, henna products, and skin whiteners. Chains made of cultured pearls, crystal bracelets, earrings, and finger rings are a major draw.
A wide range of paintings in the mural, Madhubani, Tanjore, Gomu, nib and Egyptian styles is another attraction.
At a stall featuring decoupage work, visitors to the exhibition can have their family photos embossed on a flower vase or a mug for less than Rs.2,000.
Handicrafts, including teddy bears, flower vases, handmade bags, and pen stands are the other products on display.
The CESC offers more than 200 courses such as fashion designing, painting, beauty therapy and computer courses.
The college plans to organise an awareness programme on orchid gardening, and open a sales outlet for the products made by the students.