Life & Style

Art is as important as other subjects...

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... say art educators Blaise Joseph and Sara Vetteth at a recent workshop in the city

“Art has a key role in nurturing a non-violent and humane society,” said Blaise Joseph, artist and programme director of Art by Children, Kochi Binnale Foundation, who was in the city recently. Along with Sara Vetteth, the founder of Rainbow fish Studio and Indian Art and Design Educators Association (IADEA), he conducted a workshop for art educators at Meraki Makerspace. Blaise also described art as “a language” and “the basics of education”.

Sara stressed the importance of training art teachers, “as they are the people who help children to find their voices.” She also pointed out that art could be viewed through multiple perspectives. She has been art educator in the US and, when she came back to India, “started a project called RainbowFish Studio to help children see art as a means to express their unique way of seeing the world.” Through this, she met many art teachers and was inspired to begin IADEA “to train and help them collaborate with other artists, organisations and museums.”

Art is as important as other subjects...

Both Blaise and Sara pointed out that many schools and parents do not give importance to art. “Most want to draw a pretty picture and do not give importance to innovation or self-expression,” she rued but said this can be changed by making sure art is given as much importance as other subjects.” Blaise added that each classroom should be a safe space where a child can work without the fear of being judged. “I am also against art competitions. How can someone rank art? The judge’s perception may be different from that of its creator.”

The duo shared tips on teaching art with 25 participants. “Getting children to be at ease in art class is important. One can start the session with a little game. It is also important to make art personal. Let them do what they want, not what the teacher want,” said Sara. Collaborating with teachers is a way of including art in other subjects. “When a group was learning the periodic table, thanks to the collaboration between the chemistry and art teachers, the students were asked to learn the properties of an element and draw it as a person,” Sara recalled.

Blaise also focused attention to the lack of open spaces in the city. “These are the best place to learn art. The time they spend with Nature improves their observation. They should be given spaces of different sizes. First paper, chart, cardboard and, later, walls. Always remember that it is the process, not the end result, that is important. Encourage them to think and come up with their own ideas.”

The duo say that, in the recent past, there has been more awareness on art and its importance. “Now the CBSE also requires integration of art into other subjects. I hope there will be more such changes in the future,” said Sara.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 7:16:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/on-the-recent-workshop-for-art-educators-by-sara-vetteth-and-blaise-joseph-at-coimbatore/article30555630.ece

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