Published: 05th April 2019
How this Govt school teacher and his students painted this Chitradurga school on to the map
This art teacher along with his students from the government school in Chitradurga have made the school walls selfie-worthy because of their sheer willpower and some painting acumen
A few months back, people living in the villages around Gunderi in Chitradurga district did not know that there was a Government High School nearby. But now, the villagers not only know that the school exists but it has become a famous spot to click selfies. All the credit is due to the art teacher and students studying in classes VIII and IX. Around 60 of these students came together to draw some warli art, geometric and freehand designs on the school walls — transforming them into a visual spectacle.
Someshwara S, who has been working as an art teacher for over 16 years, is the mastermind of this project. He explains how the idea came to him, "Last year, I, along with my students, went for a picnic to Gokarna and a few interior villages. That's when we noticed the traditional art and paintings drawn on the walls, windows and doors of the houses. I was impressed by those paintings and decided to do the same on our school walls which, otherwise, is plain and has no pictures."
Colour me pretty: They have used colour combinations like red and cream, blue and dark blue
The art teacher first discussed his idea with the school's headmaster and other teachers. Impressed, they all gave him the go-ahead. While everything was sorted, he relaised that hiring painters from outside to draw pictures or paint the walls would cost more than Rs 20,000 and the school didn't have the budget for it. They could not spend more than Rs 5,000 for the whole thing — an amount that would just about cover the supplies needed. That's when the idea of , Someshwara decided to include some students as a part of this project. He says, "Motivating students to draw warli art and geometric designs was a big task. Some students are good at drawing and some are not. In such cases, they hesitate to draw on the walls thinking that the lines might not come out well. But I knew how to make it work. I selected students from class VIII and IX and divided them into five teams. Each team had two students who were good at drawing and the rest of them were good at filling in paint within the margins."
Small budget makeover: Since their budget was low, they used emulsion paint and stainers to paint the walls
Much like any project that undergoes a trial-and-error process, this one too had its share of experiments. Someshwara did not ask his students to draw on the walls directly. During their free hours or his drawing classes, his students practiced drawing the designs on black slates with chalk and then on A4 size sheets and finally, on the school walls. "My students would draw several times until they got these tiny and delicate lines perfectly. They were not completely confident when they drew on the walls, but I told them that I would correct them if there were any mistakes," he explains.
Student artists: Students say that they have learnt the importance of team work and they helped each other to draw on the walls
During the first stage of the project, the students managed to paint a 150 metre stretch of the school's compound wall — a process that took them more than a week. Next, they drew the geometric designs on the school walls and windows. Now, all that's left is for the crew to paint the walls inside the classrooms — something they hope to start from the next academic year. "This year, we had very little time and money. In the next year, I have plans to get some good quality colours through sponsorships and paint the inside walls," concludes Someshwara.