Earlier this year, one of my engagements was to inaugurate an exhibition of children’s art. The output of art classes conducted by the gallery was on display that day.
I appreciated this impulse because today’s children are growing up in an age where technology has a worrying stranglehold on young lives. I myself have been disturbed to find that the active, striving self of a child is suppressed by the passive non-activity of Youtube downloads or facebook chatter. As a result, the expressive self is neglected, to a tragic loss of human potential. Art classes keep alive the creative spirit; its practitioners are not satisfied to passively receive content, but to actively form it. As such, they are moving towards the fulfillment of their personal potential, not only in artistic terms, but also with a generally pro-active approach to life.
Significantly, in preschool, even before a child is given a slate and pencil to write, they are usually happy with their crayons and paint boxes. Color and broad form come more naturally to children than the intricate muscular movements for writing alphabets and numbers. Such being the case, it is a pity that these early attractions do not persist in the later years for all but an interested few. Importantly, most of the great artists we know first felt their artistic urges at a young age and took them forward with determination, often despite the disapproval of family members. One should appreciate those parents who actively nurture the artistic gifts of their children as a quality to be valued.
Such strivings do more than enhance an aptitude. Creating a work of art is like a meditation that enhances concentration. It is understood that the left hemisphere of the brain is for rational abilities, while the right side is for creative and intuitive activities. Locking on to the creative side results in what studies call right- left co-ordination of the brain, strengthening mental faculties as a whole, and can thereby benefit people of all ages. As such, it’s possible for people to submit to art instruction at any stage of life.
A child’s vision is often a spontaneous and wonderful thing- it may capture those aspects of the world that escape adult eyes. Some paintings can startle us with their maturity. At the very least we are offered an intimate glimpse of the young world. A child’s imagination should be given free rein as an expression of the truest self. One may find children who are not considered achievers in conventional fields, but access to art and creative activities can transform their confidence levels and lead them on to finding their niche. To those who are already achievers, it further contributes to holistic personality.
It’s a responsibility of an art instructor to keep classes stimulating and interesting- to cater to the individual abilities, even difficulties of each child, so that students with different degrees of aptitude are encouraged to continue with genuine eagerness. Preetham, the instructor of the young artists maintains the right balance between sound technique and free flow of imagination because his own paintings combine these qualities. I perceived the exposure to be a great gift to art students- to positively boost their self-esteem as artists and achievers.
I congratulated Preediv Art Gallery for its impactful two years- I myself have had my walls beautified and given around many gifts with its artistic offerings, procured at reasonable prices.
I encouraged the bright and beautiful beginnings of the young artists with my own little verse:
Young artists may you persevere In learning art that you hold dear
We appreciate your confidence The progress of artistic sense
In the many scenes that you portray Shared with us in this display
May you continue to perform Feats of coloring and form
Life’s beauties to bring alive For perfection to ever strive
That this may be the happy start Of your adventures in the realm of art.
– GISELLE MEHTA