Art has a big role in defining us as human being and
it is important to be reminded what it means to be
human in present time.

The works of artists have always influenced many and sometimes given a new direction. A question that keeps bothering many is if Art can be taught and how can it be taught in a school. The simple answer is yes, it should be a part of curriculum because it is as important a subject as science and the rest of humanities for the cognitive development of student. Art when integrated with other subjects plays a major rale in making the learning enjoyable and easier. The latest pedagogical skills are using Art appreciation as a tool to be used by innovative teachers.
Art as such connot be taught, but it can be fostered or helped along. Artistic ability includes skills and inborn talent to create fine works of art: painting, drawing, sculpting etc. Creative ability is the skill and talent to use our imagination to create and solve. A better artist is creative but you do not have to be artist to be creative.
The draft for National Education Policy 2019 mentions very significant role of Art integration into all subjects as a teaching methodology. Art appreciation may simply convey that it has something to do with complementing a piece of art, where as art has played very significant role throughout our history. Cave drawing of the early civilizations reveal that without formal written language, a lot was conveyed about everyday life full of struggles and successes.
Art as a subject makes the child aware of new terms of art, art movements, about the artists and their styles. It also develops a habit of exploring to attain more knowledge. Art fires the imagination of young students and they start creating with the help of visual inspiration. The urge to create prepares to handle practical challenges and ultimately boosts the self confidence in a child. Getting socially connected also becomes easier when students start appreciating the artworks of others.
Art education at an early school level is primarily giving basic knowledge of the tools and how to use them, be it a pencil, crayon colour or brush. The child should be given full freedom to explore new way of using these tools to express himself. Teacher should never insist on drawing correctly and be rigid about shapes and colours. Children live in their own world full of fantasy and their imagination is free from any compulsion and purity of their thought process can weave dreams that take solid shape when these children grow up and acquire their own style. In some of the schools that believe in progrcessive education, students are never given any theme or specific instruction before starting their work in art class. The results are amazing. Paul Klee, Joan Miro and many of our established Indian artists have brought the child out of them to express on canvas. Then, why are we making our children get chained in the forms, style and frustrating steps of learning how to draw or paint ? Every subject has formula for problems, where as Art has independent approach to problems. You can teach students about paint and brushes but artists are not restricted to material.
To nurture Art in school, enough exposure has to be given and the key word is ‘Freedom’ that can make a child bring an artist out of him. Anybody can learn how to draw, how to mix colours and how to handle skills. What can’t be taught is the spark of creativity that sets off one artist from another. The only tool for that is total freedom of expression. Set their imagination free !

Goldy Malhotra

About Goldy Malhotra

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