Rajkumari Sharma Tankha

“No, he can’t be 15. The level of maturity in his work, the style, the colours… not possible for a teenager to achieve it all together,” were the first words art curator Manpreet Singh had to say about Gujarat-boy Parth Joshi. Singh, along with Anu Arora, had organised a Children Art Exhibition at Arpana Fine Arts Gallery, Academy of Fine Arts and Literature in New Delhi on December 20-21. Along with Parth, 23 other talented kids showcased their creative prowess.

While the youngest of the lot was Rivaan Kanodia at five, the oldest were Ehssas Puri and Bhavya Gupta at 16. “The idea of getting all these children was to get the world to see their creativity and inspire them as well as others who want to paint but stop themselves due to some reasons,” shares Singh.

One must admit that almost all of the art works on display, be it a Frida Kahlo painted by nine-year-old Ganeev Kaur or a peacock with squarish feathers by eight-year-old Vanshaj Gupta or eight-year-old Vivaan Gupta’s unique presentation of Dussehra which looked more out of a sci-fi Hollywood movie, were unique. The credit not only goes to the children for being so creative but their parents as well as art teachers who keep inspiring them to move ahead.

Joshi’s work Fortitude (acrylic on canvas) defies his 15 years of age. The deep understanding this young boy has on life is awe-inspiring. “My work depicts the basic issue we face of being judged by others from our outer appearance. Our outer looks don’t define us, but that’s how people take us to be. We may look simple from outside but we are much stronger inside,” he says. “The painting breaks the barrier that only a handful of people actually understand us,” adds Parth, his eyes set on joining National Institute of Design after school.

Parth Joshi and his work

“My parents have never stopped me from painting or using colours. They have been very supportive,” says Manya Gupta, a class 9 student of DPS Vasant Kunj, who had some 10 of her works on display, each an excellent piece of art. The young artist can make paintings – watercolors on paper, oil on canvas – and do the skech work with equal ease. “Nature inspires me a lot, that’s the reason I spend much time beyond my art class here,” adds Gupta who sees herself “never leaving the art, no matter what job I take up”.

Manya Gupta and her oil painting

Sonia Jaiswal, 13, whose art work, a vibrant piece showing a woman involved in household work, is a perfect example of what family support can do to you. “Initially, she was not much interested in studies, and wanted to only do drawing and painting. She could draw beautiful sketches with any material that she got,” says her elder sister Priyanka, a civil engineer. When Priyanka got transferred to Banaras, she took Sonia with her to the holy city where her art blossomed, and her life got a direction. Guided by a Fine Art student at Banaras Hindu University, Sonia decided to take her academic studies more seriously. “I want to do BFA, so I have to pass class 12 with good marks,” she smiles.

Then there is 10-year-old Sunavya, whose natural scenery of sea and sky looks almost real; Olivia Tito, 13, who has sketched just the eyes of a burka clad woman but which are so expressive that they seem to be talking to you; not to mention 14-year-old Paridhi Goel’s serene Buddha whose calmness is infectious.



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