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Special art show for Goa’s special artists at Kala Academy

In the last few years, Goa has become a centre of cultural occasions and affairs. The Monte Music Festival and the Ketevan World Music Festival are two examples of such cultural functions with music at the forefront. The Museum of Christian Art (MoCA) in Old Goa houses some of the best examples of Indo-Portuguese Christian art from churches around Goa. Local artists have also held art shows at well-known gallery spaces at Fundação Oriente and Gallery Gitanjali. These are both located in the Latin Quarter of Panjim called Fontainhas. For the next two days, Kala Academy plays host to an art exhibition showcasing paintings by children with special needs. So head on down to the venue and have a look at what these special artists have created.

Special artists always create special art

This is the first fully fledged show to be organized by Goa’s only state-run special education institute, Sanjay School. It’s for students from their Porvorim, Vasco, and Curchorem centres. There are some 80 plus paintings on display created by these special artists. These special children have disabilities that range from intellectual and hearing impairment to learning issues.

Class X student Abzan Husensab Malakba’s abstract artwork earned a red dot on his painting barely an hour into the exhibition being opened. The red dot on the painting signifies that it has been sold. It is unbelievable that this painting has been created by a special child. Abzan’s bold brush strokes give away nothing of his condition.

Another special artist, Ketan Kuncolkar who is hearing impaired has also created a wonderful painting. Ketan’s minimalistic depiction of a church only using strokes of black paint is nothing short of stunning. He has already been recognized for his talent with a nomination at the state’s Balshree awards.

The age group of these special artists varies. The youngest artist is a lower kindergarten (LKG) student, Kehkashan Usmain Shaikh, a slow learner. Her painting is on display with all the others.

Sanjay School – creating special artists

Sanjay School has more than 750 students in the state, divided among their centres.

“Sanjay School holds an annual exhibition of craft works by students, where greeting cards, etc, are sold,” said Guruprasad Pawaskar, chairman of Sanjay Centre for Special Education.

He further added, “It was when a portrait of Swami Vivekananda by one of our students earned a place in the chief minister’s office at the assembly complex that chief minister Manohar Parrikar came up with the idea that we should have an exclusive art show of our students’ paintings.”

Perhaps the most unusual thing about this exhibition is that none of the paintings went through any kind of selection process. “Art is an important part of the curriculum for special children,” said Tatu Kudalkar, principal, Sanjay School, Porvorim. “This is because — and we can tell from experience — 90% children with special needs are talented artists. This is how they express themselves.”

It’s very important to note that all proceeds from this painting exhibition are going to these special artists themselves. It’s a way of encouraging them to continue with their art and gives them the confidence to do so. The exhibition is on till 7 pm on the 12th of April. Each painting is priced between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,500.

“Buyers are finding these paintings a steal thanks to their professional quality and low price,” said Pawaskar. “Because of the impressive quality of the paintings, we have decided that the proceeds should go entirely to the students for their efforts. The paintings may be sold for a small amount, but will go a long way to encourage the children to pursue their talent further.”

Information credit – Times of India

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