“Education is teaching our children to desire the right things” – Plato

Environmental education improves student achievement in core subject areas and also makes students more interested in learning overall. What’s more, getting kids to be outside and active promotes a healthy lifestyle that is essential in reducing symptoms associated with attention deficit disorder, depression, and stress.

Nahar International School, with the aim of introducing students to various art forms, organised a trip to J. J. School of Arts and St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.  The students first visited the famous J. J. School of Arts.

Pablo Picasso’s words “I don’t say everything, but I paint everything.” make as much of an impact as do his paintings. And as the students observed the artists’ voices speaking out from their paintings, once inside the department of Drawing and Painting, awe ignited on their faces. Vividly stunning artwork adorned the easels and walls of the room. An ongoing session gave the students an insight into how painting lessons are conducted, what aspects a teacher focuses on, as well as, what kind of questions a student would ask related to painting and drawing. The students were made to realise the uniqueness of the room – to observe the manner in which natural light streamed into the room and why it was so important in a painting room. Surely they had never thought about it that way before! They learnt about the various categories of painting such as still life, portraits, live model sessions.

At the Sculpture and modelling department

Next was the Sculpture and modelling department where a kind of eeriness, suppressed excitement and curiosity was palpable in the environment. Huge and amazingly life-like sculptures stood against bare white walls proving simply mesmerising. Here the students got introduced to the many different kinds of sculptures such as clay, wood, metal, wax and stone. They also got a chance to study closely the various Greek inspired sculptures.

The quote “Art is the colours and textures of your imagination” aptly defines this department which showed various ways of making 2D and 3D sculptures through carving and casting.  They explored the possibilities and learnt about  the art of making different kinds of sculptures with traditional methods. The students were able to familiarise themselves with sculpting clay. Not only did they experience live classes, saw how they are conducted but also got a chance to interact with the respective teachers as well as students there. They wanted to know it all! Our young geniuses were curious about what the artist was thinking while making the art piece, what were the emotions behind it, what had inspired the idea…the questions just kept coming!

At the Printmaking Section

Having experienced a small part of this particular style of Art at the school’s last Art Day, students felt confident of the same as they ventured into this section.  They understood the workings of the printmaking tools and machines, saw the various kinds of acids for printing purposes, took a closer look at the zinc plates used for etching and understood the sharp tools used for engraving.

However, they were curious to know more about the various types of printmaking like Woodcut, Linocut, Engraving, Etching, Monotype, Lithography etc. Phew! Talk about being enthusiastic!

At the Metal Work Department

As soon as the students entered, they were eager to ask questions related to the same. Here they came to know what kinds of metal were being used for metal art like stainless steel, copper, bronze, brass, and Aluminium. They learnt about the various forms of art one can make with these metals, what tools would be needed and what stages this process involves. It was fabulous that the students got exposed to and discovered so much in such a short period of time.

After the marathon of art and information, the students enjoyed a relaxed lunch break at the J. J. School of Arts canteen. Some students played the guitar and others took the responsibility of clicking pictures of the campus which would serve as memories.

‘Imagination is more important than knowledge’ -Albert Einstein

The post lunch visit to St. Xavier’s College-Autonomous was as thrilling and exciting as the Visit to J.J. School of Arts. This wonderland of Archeology, Geology and artefacts had a lot to offer in terms of various historical sculptures and information on different geographical structures with a touch of history added to everything.

Dedicated to the memory of Fr. Henry Heras, S. J. this museum is home to an impressive selection of Gandhara sculptures, sculptures depicting various scenes from the life of the Buddha, Bodhisattvas and other personages. Hindu ritual vessels, Nepali artefacts, a few miniature paintings, and some fine pieces of Pala art. Among the few notable sculptures is a stupa from Nalanda and constitutes a valuable part of the museum.

The highlight of the museum was that each Buddha sculpture had a slight difference in the facial features. Once this was brought to the student’s notice they were really curious to know the reason behind it. It was explained that Fr. Henry Heras, S. J. had attempted to collect representative images and statues of all the major religious groups like the Saivite, Vaisnavite, Jaina and Buddhist. For example an Indian (religious version of) Buddha sculpture (its facial features and the ensemble) might be different from the one in a different religious country. How interesting!

Dr. Anita Rane, Head of Ancient History department, was really kind to take us all on a wonderful tour of the artefacts. Like a story unfolding, browsing through these artefacts, students learned and explored a number of facets of ancient India, Gandhara, and Indus valley.

Dr. Hrishikesh Samant, Head of Geology department, was also gracious enough to take the students for a wonderful tour of the geology section. He narrated a tale ‘Story of the rocks’ that told of the beginning of the Universe right from the Big Bang up to the present day scenario. While showing us the stunning collection of exclusive rocks and minerals, he ensured that students were able to identify their significance and learn about their formation as well. Students also had a chance to observe fossils of trees, sea creatures and animals. There was an exquisite collection of zeolites that are formed within the large air pockets of the volcanic rocks. They truly left students amazed!

Geology took on a new meaning when each of the students received a piece of a 65 million year old basalt rock as a souvenir! What a way to end an enormously educational day!

Who wouldn’t love learning when it comes in all these multitudinous forms!

 When the world becomes your classroom, the possibilities are endless. 

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