Purnima Sampat

Creating a Symphony of Art, Education and Innovation at The Art Studio Mumbai
Purnima Sampat - Founder & Director - The Art Studio Mumbai

Purnima Sampat - Founder & Director - The Art Studio Mumbai

Purnima Sampat - Founder & Director - The Art Studio Mumbai

The CEO Magazine - Purnima Sampat (Art Studio Mumbai).pdf

In the realm of creative expression, the transformative force of art education cannot be understated. Nestled within this realm, The Art Studio Mumbai, a brilliant idea brought to life by Purnima Sampat, emerges as a shimmering gem that refracts the essence of art in its most resplendent form. It’s a place where art isn’t just taught but cherished. The studio offers current and well researched methodology for instruction encompassing various visual arts media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, graphic design, installations, and performance art, among others. Their goal is to ensure that art, regarded as a universal language, is accessible and meaningful to all.

The Art Studio Mumbai, the studio promotes the visual arts to nurture creative thinking, effective communication, and artistic expression. In line with Daniel Pink’s book “A Whole New Mind,” which underscores the shift to the Conceptual Age, Purnima Sampat, the Founder and Director of the studio, emphasises the vital role of art education and creative thinking for societal success. She acknowledges that art transcends mere decoration and aligns with contemporary corporate recognition of creative thinking as a top 21st-century skill by integrating this principle into their educational approach.

The Genesis of The Art Studio Mumbai

Purnima Sampat’s foray into the entrepreneurial realm was initiated when she was offered a teaching position at J B Petit High School in South Mumbai. Although she had never considered a career in teaching, Purnima found herself captivated by interacting with students, appreciating their unique ideas, and witnessing their fearless execution. As an art graduate with no formal teaching qualifications in the pre-internet era, she resorted to reading articles on art and education, eventually participating in international conferences and presenting at prestigious art education events in India and the USA. Purnima’s visits to museums in the United States provided valuable insights into teaching methods, all of which she integrated into her classroom. Her path has been an ongoing learning journey that she deeply enjoys.

“I soon realised that through my teaching, I was able to spread joy and learning to children and even empower adults who feared drawing and judgment. Teaching at a school, though rewarding, imposed limitations on the number of students I could impact. So, I started my first class from my home and gradually transitioned to my first studio located at Marine Drive in 2009, and today, we operate from three centres,” shares Purnima.

An Extensive Suite of Innovative Art Education Services

The Art Studio Mumbai operates in the highly crowded and fragmented art education industry. Emphasising the importance of differentiating between art teaching, primarily skill-based, and art education, Purnima’s approach focuses on advancing critical thinking skills, creativity, and communication, providing students with freedom of expression through experimentation and exploration. The studio offers art education for all age groups, including children as young as three and adults. They provide specialised courses for high school students following different educational boards, such as IGCSE, A levels, IB art, and ICSE. Portfolio building and entrance exam training are also available for aspiring art and design students. Additionally, a teacher training program prepares students for roles as art educators.

The studio provides a variety of short courses in visual arts, offering practical skills, creative development, and the cultivation of a personal artistic vision. These courses cover disciplines like sculpture, film, metal plate etching, screen printing, colour theory, and composition. The studio also hosts regular lectures on art movements and artists and monthly life drawing classes. Purnima says,

“Corporate and personal events, online courses and curriculum consulting, as well as professional development for teachers and educational institutions, form a significant part of our oeuvre.”

The Art Studio Mumbai’s USP

Challenging the notion that artistic talent is innate, Purnima strongly advocates that mastery of art forms, like drawing, painting and sculpture, comes from dedicated practice rather than inborn ability. “Engaging with my students on an individual level and fostering open discussions for them to express their unique ideas is a fundamental principle I uphold,” asserts Purnima.

When students are solely focused on skill development without the opportunity for creative expression, they may feel inadequate and give up on art. Reproductive teaching methods that emphasise copying and following predefined instructions can stifle the inherent creativity children possess. Purnima Sampat’s approach, rooted in her ‘Thinking Curriculum,’ empowers students to make informed decisions about their art, from interpretation to medium choice, creating not just diverse and original artworks but also instilling a sense of pride in them. This stands in contrast to traditional, cookie-cutter projects often seen in art education.

While other institutions often cling to century-old curricula that no longer align with the evolving art world, in contrast, The Art Studio Mumbai continually reinvents itself. From inviting contemporary artists and organising gallery visits to exposing students to diverse art experiences, they create a supportive environment where students receive encouragement at every level, setting them apart from more traditional institutions.

Nurturing Creativity and Art Literacy

The Art Studio Mumbai is guided by the belief that creativity is as crucial in education as literacy, echoing Sir Ken Robinson’s insights on the importance of nurturing creativity. In line with Picasso’s notion that all children are natural-born artists, Purnima shares, “I believe that we don’t grow into creativity; we grow out of it. We work on the premise that everyone possesses an artistic streak that, if encouraged, can lead to meaningful artistic expression and numerous other benefits associated with art education.”

The studio’s goal is to promote art literacy for all, even if not every student pursues art professionally. Purnima’s approach focuses on equipping students with a creative compass rather than a rigid map for creating art, encouraging independent exploration and fostering artistic expression, aligning with her core values and principles.

A Legacy of Impact and Achievement

Upon being asked to define success, Purnima states, “The biggest reward I have as a teacher is when my former students recall the assignment we did 25 years ago or credit me for their present success.” On the professional front, a standout achievement was her invitation to speak as one of nine global panellists at the International Society for Education in the Arts conference in New York, highlighting her expertise. Her pivotal role in developing an arts-integrated curriculum for NCERT, adopted in multiple states and incorporated into the National Education Policy (NEP), also marks a significant accomplishment.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Arts in Education</p></div>

Arts in Education

Arts in Education

Purnima’s Battle to Redefine the Role of Visual Arts in Education

In her entrepreneurial journey, one of the most significant challenges for Purnima has been shifting mindsets regarding the role of visual arts. She firmly believes that integrating the arts into other subjects can substantially enhance comprehension and retention, benefiting learners at all levels. Her extensive experience, including teacher training for the NCERT arts-integrated curriculum and working with students in various schools, stands as strong evidence of this.

“Purnima advocates for art to be recognised as a mainstream subject rather than a peripheral course in schools. She acknowledges the misconception that drawing realistically is the sole indicator of artistic skill, leading some to believe that art is exclusively for aspiring artists. Instead of providing ready-made solutions, her approach to teaching focuses on not just teaching art but teaching students. Over time, this approach has resonated with many who recognise its value and fulfilment.”

Bridging Art and Technology

Purnima’s teaching goals are aligned with integrating technology to enhance the learning experience. Incorporating cutting-edge technology, The Art Studio Mumbai is revolutionising art education. They use virtual reality to connect students with global artworks and museums and encourage digital art creation. Students can build digital portfolios and websites, while social platforms like Instagram expose them to art by lesser-known creators, and easy-to-use tools enable stop-motion animations, bridging art and technology for the new generation.

Art Beyond Canvas: The Impactful Annual Showcase by The Art Studio Mumbai

The Art Studio Mumbai’s most significant initiative is their annual art show hosted at a commercial art gallery, where all enrolled students participate, creating canvas paintings, sculptures, and performance art that eminent artists like Sudhir Patwardhan and Dhruvi Acharya have attended, alongside debates and talks by industry experts.

Notably, these art shows feature the sale of artworks, and the proceeds are donated to various social causes. In the past, they supported fishermen with motorboats after the tsunami and provided prosthetics through Jaipur Foot to amputees.

Their upcoming annual show, scheduled for the last week of November, will include collaborations with artists to present installations. Additionally, a performance art piece will focus on the issue of pollution, with the theme for this year being “ONLY BLUE WILL DO.”

Future Outlook

Purnima confidently asserts, “Art education and creative thinking are indispensable, particularly in the current high-stress environment. Art education seamlessly complements Social Emotional Learning, a crucial aspect of modern education.” In the near future, the studio aims to expand its reach beyond geographical boundaries by launching an online learning platform. This platform will cater to non-traditional learners, helping them fulfil their artistic aspirations. Research highlights the numerous benefits of art classes, including improved mental health and spatial awareness. Purnima’s vision is to make art accessible to adult learners, both online and offline, enabling those who may have missed out on creative opportunities due to their daily routines to tap into their artistic potential.

Words of Wisdom

Crediting Falguni Nayar, the CEO of Nykaa, as her source of inspiration, Purnima says, “Her decision to transition from a successful banking career to a new venture at age 50 exemplifies that conviction knows no age limits.” In closing, Purnima shares a piece of advice for aspiring women entrepreneurs, “For others to take you seriously, you must first take yourself seriously. It’s essential to believe in the uniqueness of what you have to offer and not be afraid to speak up. I encourage everyone, especially women, to dream big. With unwavering conviction, passion, and hard work, achieving those dreams is entirely possible. Always remember the three golden words: Conviction, Passion, and Hard work.”

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