Bengaluru: Exposing children to art, MAP shows the way

Bengaluru: The last week of August was special for dozens of students in the city as they were inspired to see life through an artistic lens during a week-long workshop held at the Museum of Art and Photography (MAP) in the city.

The organisers said the exhibition and workshop series, 'A Moving Tale: Kinetics and Art', organised for students between the ages of seven to 11, helped youngsters explore human expression, social interaction and animal life. The exhibition also presented a selection of artworks across mediums and from different time periods to invoke, record, mirror and represent human and animal movements and gestures.

Shilpa Vijayakrishnan, Head of Programmes, MAP, told Deccan Chronicle that each 150-minute session was designed to let students get a completely new perspective on life. "The workshop was aimed at exposing children to art to help them learn how to appreciate the numerous possibilities and to develop critical, lateral and imaginative thinking skills. It provided a broad context to youngsters by identifying concepts that align with the curriculum and what they can easily relate to in life," she said.

Providing an interactive experience, the workshop kept the students busy by juxtaposing activities and information to encourage analytical thinking, instigating discussions. The organisers were happy that the result was beyond their expectations. "As adults, we get conditioned to respond in a certain way, but young children often inspire us to think out of the box with responses that are extremely insightful and completely unexpected," Shilpa said.

The workshop will also have sessions for teachers to equip them to use art as a pedagogic tool. "While art is linked to curriculum-related subjects, ideas and lesson plans that arise from that to make learning interesting and more interactive can also be designed. Our team is working on that. Special sessions for educators will be held in the city next week," said Shilpa.

She said formal education often neglects arts, which makes visits to art galleries and museums a dull affair. "This needs to change as we see untapped potential and enthusiasm in young students towards using art for a better understanding of the world," she said.

MAP has been collaborating with Flow India, an educational organisation that aims to bring international methods of arts education to the country by organising workshops and exhibitions using artworks taken from the MAP collection since 2016.

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