'Where else would I get such information? I've always embroidered but never had a chance to learn.' - Graduate, artisan & designer, Kuverben.
Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya design school opened its doors in 2005. The environment, curriculum and methodology of this unique educational institution are designed to be appropriate for traditional artisans, and is intended as a model with a new approach to the rejuvenation of traditional arts. It is open to working artisans of Kutch, conservatively estimated at 50,000. The focus of the school is on acquiring knowledge and skills that can be directly applied in the artisan’s own art to enable innovation appropriate to contemporary markets.
Working artisans rarely have the luxury of leaving their home and profession for long periods of time. Therefore, the curriculum is designed as a series of workshops which are conducted over a period of one year in a residential local setting.
Kala Raksha has well established links with premier Indian design institutions, including the National Institution of Design (NID), the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Srishti Design Institute, and the Indian Institute of Crafts & Design (IICD). Faculty from NID and NIFT are advisors in establishing Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya. In addition, Project Director Judy Frater mobilized a team including faculty from the Fashion Institute of Technology, NY, and the Rhode Island School of Design to develop the basic curriculum for Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya.
Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya is situated on 8 acres in Mundra Taluka, a peaceful rural setting near the coast of the Gulf of Kutch. A spacious guest house designed by Architect R. J. Vasavada, and craft studios and student hostels and exhibition hall designed by Architect Hemen Sanghvi today host the courses.
Visit www.kala-raksha.org for more information.
Text from Kala Raksha, Compiled by Sharmila Wood