By Shriram Khadilkar
Students of the esteemed Sir. J. J. School of Art, Mumbai, exhibit heart-warming comradeship – work-wise and personally, to create an endowment of scholarships for students of their Printmaking Dept.
I was reminded of this earlier today, when I browsed through the portfolio of 22 graphic prints at Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai. Enquiring about the purpose behind this creative exercise, I was informed that Sir J. J. School of Art awards its students for ‘Drawing’ and ’Painting’, but there isn’t a single award for the students in the ’Graphic/Printmaking’ categories.
An ingenuous effort has been made by the Dept. of Graphics/ Printmaking to solve this problem. 17 students of the Printmaking Department from the Sir J. J School of Art have joined hands with two ex-students - veteran painter A. A. Raiba and renowned print-maker Lalita Lajmi, also alumni of the same Dept., to create an endowment of scholarships for students of the Dept. Commendably, three artists from abroad have generously pooled in their expertise to make a success of this venture.
The 22 limited edition prints in a total of ten portfolios, titled Auguries JJXXI, have been supervised by Prof. Anant Nikam, Head, Dept. of Graphics/Printmaking at Sir. J. J. School of Art, Mumbai. All the 17 students have contributed in equal measure to bear the cost of creating this portfolio. Clark House Initiative, a curatorial intervention platform in Mumbai requested Taiwanese artist Charwei Tsai and British artist Simon Liddiment to teach and guide the students, while British artist Liz Ballard conducted a workshop challenging existing conventions of the process of print, through experimentation and modifying the plate, the paper, and the sequence of making prints from the plates. The students visited the studios of senior artists A.A. Raiba and Lalita Lajmi and made a collaborative attempt at comprehending the lives and works of these stalwarts.
Participating artists included Srinivas Adadadi, Somnath Adamane, Liz Ballard, Sachin Bonde, Mildred Castalino, Prapti Chavanke, Richa Mehta, Shrinivas Mehetre, Avinash Motghare, Prasad Nikumbh, Lalita Lajmi, Simon Liddiment, Nandini Pantawane, Deepali Patkar, AA Raiba, Nikhil Raunak, Priya Salve, Hemant Shinde, Komal Sonavane, Tejswini Sonavane, Girish Urkude and Charwei Tsai.
All participants prepared plates and prints and took limited editions of ten prints each. Thus ten portfolios were readied. The response has been laudable indeed as the entire set of portfolios have been sold out! The exhibition of these prints that began on Monday Nov.28, 2011 has been a roaring success. The sale has helped raise the requisite fund that can now institute an award for the students of the Printmaking Dept. This is a footprint for others to follow in their attempts at raising funds. All-in-all, the bottom line is that this year the printmaking students will get an award at the annual show of Sir J. J. School of Art; testimony to the fact that one is bound to succeed when art comes from the heart!
It is interesting to note that the Printmaking Dept. at Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai, was started by Prof. Yadneshwar K. Shukla; taken over by Prof. Vasant Parab; then Prof. Paul Koli, who was instrumental in augmenting the organizational structure of the department.
Auguries JJXXI - Student Exhibition of the graphic portfolios continues at Sir J. J. School of Art Main Hall, until 3 December 2011. It is open to public daily, 9am - 5pm.