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How Biennale Inspires School Students to Reorient Art Practice

In Kochi
January 29, 2019

When a team of 72 students from more than a dozen schools in a coastal belt of Kerala visited the Kochi-Muziris Biennale this week, it sent across the message on ways to encourage children appreciate art across a range of mediums.

The young visitors from Aryad in Alappuzha district, along with six functionaries of the block panchayat, paid a detailed visit to the main Aspinwall House venue of the 108-day contemporary art festival here.

Its members revealed that their biennale visit was a critical part of a project that encourages students’ interest in drawing, painting and sculpting. Named ‘Mayilpeelikoottam: A bunch of Peacock Feathers’, the three-year-old initiative ensures that its members who are students of classes between 7 and 9 are regularly taken out on tours that aid their artistic skills.

The Kochi Biennale Foundation said children deserve individual guidance in helping them develop their artistic talent. “For that, school students should be exposed to various kinds of arts, primarily visual,” said KBF president Bose Krishnamachari. “The biennale definitely is a big occasion that can widen and deepen their vision.”

‘Mayilpeelikoottam’, which was launched in the 2016-17 academic year, has students from 13 schools under Aryad block. The project features an ‘art corner’ that grooms drawing and painting, while there is also a wing that hones acting skills.

Aryad block panchayat president Sheena Sanalkumar, after the Mayilpeelikootam’s Wednesday visit to the biennale, said the art festival has prompted her to further develop art practices under the initiative. “These works have a powerful impact in both kids and adults,” she said. “Back home, we will be trying ways to reorient our art practice.”

The week saw students from various schools visiting the biennale that is on till March 29. They included Trivandrum International School, The Lawrence, Ooty, Akshara Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chennai and the Bombay International School, Mumbai.

From these, the Chennai based Akshara Matriculation Higher Secondary School and the Trivandrum International School participated in some workshops at the Art Room. Other than these, many Schools from Kochi visited the Biennale. Around 47 people from Grameena Vayanasala, Kodungallur visited the contemporary art festival.