Work of Art

Helped by the sights and sounds of Varanasi, this in­sti­tu­tion trains stu­dents to in­cor­po­rate ev­ery­day life ex­pe­ri­ences into their cre­ations

India Today - - BEST COLLEGES - By Ajay Ku­mar

HOW TIME FLIES. I JOINED THE Fac­ulty of Vis­ual Arts at the Ba­naras Hindu Univer­sity in 2010 for a Masters in Fine Arts and went on to pur­sue my re­search here. In all these years, I have never stopped ap­pre­ci­at­ing how wel­com­ing BHU is to new­com­ers: a vast, green and peace­ful cam­pus away from the chaos of Varanasi. Even more at­trac­tive is the Fac­ulty of Vis­ual Arts, with sculp­tures and in­stal­la­tions around. The range of cour­ses of­fered is mind-bog­gling—ap­plied arts, paint­ing, sculp­ture, tex­tiles, pot­tery and ce­ramic, print-mak­ing and his­tory of vis­ual arts.

Dur­ing my masters, while I was un­der the su­per­vi­sion of one

teacher, I was al­ways free to in­ter­act with any of the fac­ulty mem­bers. Our dean Pro­fes­sor Hi­ralal Pra­jap­ati’s in­puts and knowl­edge about ad­ver­tis­ing de­sign and ap­plied arts al­ways en­cour­aged us to push the bound­aries in our cre­ations. While we would feel over­bur­dened by the daily classes, as­sign­ments and tight exam sched­ules, you now re­alise it was all for the good— a bap­tism by fire.

I feel proud that the BHU cam­pus is rag­ging-free, has a nice mix of stu­dents, a distin­guished fac­ulty and fa­cil­i­ties such as free in­ter­net, free health­care, art labs, a rich li­brary and 24-hour power sup­ply. We get am­ple op­por­tu­nity to take part in art com­pe­ti­tions and ap­ply for fel­low­ships with the HRD min­istry.

Our teach­ers are our best guides— both in and out­side class. But they never hes­i­tate to pull us up when as­sign­ments are missed or sloppy work is pre­sented. There’s also cut-throat com­pe­ti­tion be­tween the stu­dents. It can get frus­trat­ing at times, but an odd movie or leisure walk down Varanasi’s ghats helps us spring back into ac­tion.

The city of Varanasi, with its heady mix of spir­i­tu­al­ity, cul­ture and her­itage, of­fers stu­dents end­less in­spi­ra­tion and ma­te­rial for their cre­ations. Cam­pus life is fun—with an ar­ray of cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties, art com­pe­ti­tions and events, ex­hi­bi­tions, sports, mu­sic, singing, danc­ing. If you have the tal­ent, BHU pro­vides the plat­form. The two na­tional art gal­leries here put up ex­hi­bi­tions by em­i­nent artists, and even we get the free­dom to ex­hibit our work. Na­tional and in­ter­na­tional

LIFE ON THE CAM­PUS IS FUN, OF­FER­ING STU­DENTS AN AR­RAY OF CUL­TURAL AC­TIV­I­TIES, EX­HI­BI­TIONS, ART COM­PE­TI­TIONS AND EVENTS, SPORTS, MU­SIC AND SINGING AND DANC­ING

MANEESH AGNIHOTRI

STU­DENTS ON THE BHU CAM­PUS

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