A study of the premier art educational institutions of odisha: exploring the significance of art education in the state

Subrat Kumar Mullick and Ranjan Kumar Mallik

Before Independence, visual art wasn’t much promoted in India and limited to the imperial cities of Calcutta, Madras, Bombay, Delhi and Lucknow. For government purposes the British started art colleges in different cities like Calcutta, Madras, Bombay and Lucknow, where the pattern of education was mostly British. Thereafter to preserve the Indian art culture an Ashram was established at Bolpur, Shantiniketan by Sri Rabrinath Tagore. After that the ashram was named as Viswabharati University. During this time art movement in Odisha was not even started, because the common people didn`t even know about art and culture that was being developed throughout the country. The discussions about the rich tradition of sculpture and paintings present in the ancient temples and caves were not being done among the common people. The reason behind this fate is that the socio economic factor of Odisha was extremely poor. Some selective people like the Maharajas and Jamidars who had an enormous amount of money capital became interested in the art movement. They helped a lot in starting the art movement in Odisha. Some of them drew paintings and sculptures for their courts by the painters and sculptures of Madras and Calcutta. In Odisha the quantities of artists were able to make their stand in this Art profession. This doesn`t mean that the people of Odisha didn`t appreciate art. In spite of the poor condition of the artists of Odisha they didn`t forget about the importance of art practice. By the financial help of the noble Jamidars and Maharajas the people of Odisha were able to improve art practice by studying in Bombay, Madras, Lucknow, Shantiniketan and Calcutta. After independence an Art School was established in Jeypore, 10 years later in the year 1957 govt started to setup art school at Khallikote and in the year 1984 B.K. College of Art and Crafts was established at Bhubaneswar. Up until 1957 one had to think a lot about how to get a job after completing art education. Firstly a post of art teacher was introduced in the Jila School and High School. Thereafter various jobs were introduced and the students studying outside were engaged in these jobs. Slowly and steadily the Art education expanded. For this reason the Art Movement improved a lot and more and more people were interested to study Fine Art.

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