The second edition of the Arts-based inter-school initiative, Voice of Art 2019, was an endeavour to encourage students to think outside the box by interpreting the theme, ‘PHATA POSTER NIKLA HERO’, in their own unique manner. It gave the students an opportunity to present their ideas using various media of art as they delved deeply into and critically reflected upon the sources and origins of widely held conceptions and stereotypes of heroes and heroism, and the influence or inspiration that shapes their ideas.

Workshops by Mr. Khodke, a practising artist and illustrator and Ms. Nandy, a visual artist and art educator, introduced the participating students to the event and took them through varied media of art which they could explore during the project.

As a culmination of the challenge, the students’ art work was displayed at a specially curated exhibition, on Friday, 16th and Saturday, 17th August 2019 at Indira Gandhi Centre for Arts, New Delhi, where the student teams received expert and valuable feedback from an eminent panel of experienced art educators, artists and thought leaders as well as their peers. Mr. Feisal Alkazi, a theatre and television director, Dr. Manjiri Thakoor, an art curator, Ms. Mridula Koshy, a writer and a library movement activist and Ms. Sara Vetteth, founder of ‘Rainbow Fish Studio’, a structured art programme for schools, were part of this eminent panel.

The students also attended numerous workshops on liberal arts. The workshop, ‘The Conceptual in Art’ was led by Mr. Frank Schlichtmann, curator of the event. Mr. Karan Arora, theatre personality, conducted a workshop on theatre,  Ms. Jeeva Raghunath, author, held a workshop on ‘Art of storytelling’ while Mr. Inku Kumar, calligrapher, imparted the skills of calligraphy.

Ms. Anita Dube, an Indian contemporary artist whose conceptually rich, politically charged work has been widely exhibited at major museums and galleries all over the world, was the Chief Guest and keynote speaker for the culmination event. Mr. Arun Kumar HG, a contemporary artist and sculptor of high repute who explores the relationship between the spread of consumerist culture and the decline of natural resources through his sculptures, was the Guest of Honour.

Aimed at fostering ‘different ways of seeing’ through the medium of art, participation of children in this collaborative event reaffirms our faith and hope in our youth. It was reassuring that the students looked beyond the stereotypes and were ready to bring about the change that they wished to see in the world.