‘Fine arts education system promotes theory, not practice’

Indrapramit Roy at the Nanappa Art Galleryin Kochi.- PHOTO: BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT  

Fine arts education in the country is severely skewed and tailor-made to ostracise art practitioners from becoming faculty in premiere institutions, says noted artist Indrapramit Roy, who teaches painting at the M.S. University of Baroda, Vadodara

“Fine arts education at higher levels is bracketed along with technical education, which it is anything but. The template is drawn from other disciplines, as we don’t have a system that is empathetic to the demands of the discipline. While art education is professional learning, it is different from studying medicine and should be treated as such,” Mr. Roy told The Hindu .

The artist, whose trademark cityscape adorns the art wall of the airport in Mumbai, had a stopover at the Nanappa Art Gallery here recently while on his way to the Raja Ravi Varma Centre of Excellence for Visual Arts, Mavelikara.

The quality of the ‘master programmes’ offered by mushrooming fine arts education centres is suspect. While there is a rule that mandates doctorate-holders to teach at the postgraduate level, the thrust is on thesis-based PhDs, not project-based. It disallows practising artists from becoming art educators. This kind of bureaucratic standardisation of fine arts education nips quality in the bud. “Would you run a medical college without a practising doctor?” asks Mr. Roy, who has dabbled in a variety of mediums including the most delicate ‘water colour’.

The government, he says, has never come up with a policy for art or art education

Mr. Roy contends that while it is curatorial intrusion and pressures from art establishments that weigh down on artists elsewhere, the world over, there’s an overwhelming bias towards a particular kind of art — the new media which is deliberately projected as the in-thing so as to denigrate all other practices and mediums as inferior.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 8:27:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/fine-arts-education-system-promotes-theory-not-practice/article7314488.ece

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