Published: 11th August 2021
Can art help students study better? That's what the guys at this Bengaluru art platform believe
The Living Walls is a platform started by Sridhar Upadhye to facilitate art and connect teachers with students, artists with art patrons, art therapists to help people deal with mental health issues
Art therapy is the only therapy to engage the body, mind, heart and soul, says Shridhar Upadhye, Founder of The Living Walls. This platform, founded by the self-taught artist, connects artists, teachers, art learners, patrons, buyers, collectors and suppliers. After working for more than 25 years in the corporate sector, Shridhar decided to start this platform — but not for the purpose of business, it was to help art and artists sustain in all ways. He says, "I have been an artist throughout my life. Despite having a busy schedule in the corporate world, I ensured that I took the time to paint. There are many people, especially youngsters, who want to learn painting but don't know how and where to start. So, I wanted to set up a platform that could connect such beginners with art teachers or artists to help learn and to fall in love with art."
According to Shridhar, the art education sector is unorganised. He explains, "The biggest challenge for us is to make people understand that art is not just a mode of making money. So far, The Living Walls has sold works of art to over 2,000 retail customers and has helped artists survive in this market. Our customers include institutions from the healthcare, FMCG, education, IT and the real estate sectors. Besides selling to art patrons, we also help schools set up art clubs and provide the list of activities that they can do."
The Living Walls has over 300 artists and teachers on their list working to facilitate art
He continues, "Art can help children pay attention in other classes too. It helps them improve their motor skills and reasoning power, pick up observation and concentration skills, improve perception and integration skills. We are clearly here to make art education easily accessible for children and other individuals and we also curate art events," explains Shridhar.
What makes their platform unique is that Shridhar connects people with art therapists who can help them deal with depression, anxiety or other issues. He says, "Art therapy is the best way to know what people go through when it comes to their mental health. It is not necessary for the person to be a good artist. They can use whichever colours they want on the canvas and the therapists will interpret what's on their mind through these drawings. Art also helps their mind and soul relax as there is a freedom and nobody can restrict you on the canvas." With that, he leaves us to ponder on the importance of art.