Today is International Sculpture Day. It is a worldwide annual celebration of sculpture on the last Saturday of April every year. It was established by the International Sculpture Centre and is meant to raise awareness, appreciation and enjoyment of sculpture in communities across the globe.
By R. Amanda Fernandez
Chamarajendra Government College of Visual Arts (CAVA), Mysuru, is creating proficient art students. Anyone with a passion for art and an untamed imagination is welcome here to pursue their varied courses.
The institute offers a wide range of visual art courses — Painting, Sculpture, Graphic Designing, Applied Arts, Photo Journalism and so on. While all the Departments are dedicated to moulding young artistic minds, one such Department has been quite figuratively adhering to shaping and sculpting amateur minds with chisel and hammer!
The Sculpture Department at CAVA has been catering and is devoted to the needs of students interested in carving and sculpting. It constantly encourages students by nurturing their imagination and providing guidance when required.
Clay sculpting is the fundamental of sculpting, which is the first medium students experiment with, because of its plasticity which makes room for rectifying errors. The students later on move to other complex mediums like stone, cement, metal, terracotta, bronze etc. The sculpture students are always on the lookout to get their hands on something unexplored and also try to address social issues through their work.
One such student is Y.S. Chetan Kumar, a 3rd year sculpture student and 2020 Karnataka Shilpkala Academy Awardee, who took to sculpting to address the increasing deforestation. His terracotta sculpture beautifully personifies ‘Earth’ as a female and the ‘foetus’ as the mineral resources the Earth holds in her womb. His message through this sculpture — Man not only scrounges the surface of the Earth but also exploits it from the inside out and man’s greed will eventually lead to the destruction of this planet and mankind.
The Institute also hosts various sculpture workshops, inviting students from all over India to engage in the alluring craft of sculpting. A recent endeavour was the National Contemporary Sculpture Workshop in the month of February 2021, which witnessed the presence of many talented sculptors from Mumbai, Jaipur and Kerala, including sculpture students from CAVA.
Karnataka Shilpakala Academy Chairman and sculpture faculty at CAVA Veeranna Manappa Arkasali, said, “What makes CAVA unique from other art institutes is the freedom we give to the students. We do not constrain them to work with the prescribed sculpture mediums. If one wants to experiment with a new medium, he is free to do so. We try and maintain a very friendly environment with the students. We not only guide them but learn with them. If a student has taken sculpture as a specialisation and shows interest in other fields like photography etc., he is free to indulge himself in other Department projects too; we do not restrict them in any way when it comes to art.”
Apart from the varied courses and unique teaching process, the reason CAVA students enjoy attending college is the stipend the college offers to students with full attendance, an amount of Rs. 500 per month, which tends to encourage students to not bunk classes.
Graduates from CAVA are ready to setup their independent workplaces, most of them are self-employed and do not have to go in search of jobs, which is an added advantage in the art field.
The pandemic has been a setback for all art students. Art being a practical subject, online classes are not fruitful. It is all the more worrisome for the sculpture students, as they claim to miss muddy attires and instrument-clad hands, which are customary acts of artistry and pride among sculpture students.