Kochi: The Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) has opened a new model for primary arts education by launching its innovative ‘art room’ that aims to foster artistic thinking and experimentation in children across Kerala.

KBF president Bose Krishnamachari and secretary Sunil V inaugurated the educational initiative at the Edward Memorial Government Higher Secondary school (EMGHSS) in Fort Kochi.

As an endeavour that offers resources for artistic experimentation, the ‘art room’ is a learning project under the KBF’s ‘Art by Children’ (ABC) programme, that aims to introduce people to art making from a young age. The programme will run alongside the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale being organised by the KBF for 108 days from December 12.

ABC, which aims at an inclusive approach to art education, has currently 10 select schools in Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Thrissur districts working to implement the art rooms.

Krishnamachari, artist and co-curator of KMB 2012, said KBF is “immensely happy” to facilitate this kind of participation of children during the Biennale and enhancing their artistic skills. “Talent for painting and sculpting can be sensed right from childhood. Their views about art are as important as the opinions of, say, foreign artists at the Biennale,” he added.

Sunil revealed that art rooms will allow schoolchildren between classes five and eight to also be self-sufficient, and able to help and grow with their peers. From each school, 25 to 30 students will form a resource team for their classmates. Artist facilitators will train these students twice a month so that they are able to help others within the art room space.

EMGHSS principal Baby Sheela, speaking at the function, exhorted the students to make good use of the art room and enhance their talent. Present on the occasion was Blaise Joseph, Programmes Manager of the ABC.

By Manoj

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