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Bal Wad

"Painting is a spontaneous outburst of emotions"

 


"Painting is a spontaneous outburst of emotions," asserts  the city’s favourite artist, Mr.Bal Wad and this conviction is echoed in each of his paintings. In fact not only paintings, but pots, ceramics, sculptures, murals, mosaics and not to be left behind, ‘computer art’. For this multi-faceted artist, there is hardly any art form he hasn’t  dabbled in. At 74, he has had three minor heart attacks, a by pass surgery and a cereberal haemorrhage, but considers these trivial hiccups- and refuses to sit back but works round the clock with enough energy to put a man half his age to shame. From humble beginnings, this master of brush strokes studied painting at the Institute of Modern Art, Pune and went on to win scholarships to London and then on to Belgrade where he received his Diploma in Museology. He is a gold medallist in Mumbai University and had topped it while receiving his masters. He has been the head of department in Poona school of art and later also the Sanavar and then moved to Mumbai where he worked with Camlin, India and remains on their Board of Directors. He has held nearly 50 exhibitions all over the world. That is a long way from the boy who earned 3 paise at the age of eleven, selling hand made toys on a pavement at Sadashiv Peth.

  It was in 1982 that he started the creative club with the objective of  helping women stand on their feet through the medium of fine arts. It has over the years provided a platform for artists to express themselves with a free flow of exchange of ideas. It is not an art school- although as ardent admirer of Tagore and Vinoba Bhave and suscribes to the gurukul system, he maintains that it is not him, but ‘nature’ that is the guru and he’s merely the senior-most member of the club. The club is situated in Ashoka Nagar in the  large verandah - there are no doors and the students have no fixed timings. There are a variety of media -acrylic, oils ceramic, clay, wood, stone, textile pottery, metal, cane, leather, charcoal, pastels and silk screen - to choose from.  One can walk in at any time and use the materials of whichever medium they prefer, as there are no restrictions in this club other than that, of your own imagination. The age varies from 6 - 70 years as does the occupation- people gather here from all walks of life- the common factor being their love for art. Fees is Rs. 6000 for painting and Rs. 8000 for ceramics, a year. But he does consider, students unable to pay the fees as he sees in them the struggling artist that he once was. He has also found success in guiding handicapped children overcome their drawbacks and has produced fine painters like Rohan Sonalkar. According to him, Rohan is a superb painter with fantastic colour schemes and is proud of the fact that he has sold a good number of paintings. He establishes his own personal rapport with each student and helps him develop his potential. He doesn’t believe in teaching the student to imitate or follow the teacher. Instead he wants them to recognize their own creativity, to recognize the beauty around us, within us and to be able to portray it expressively. As he puts it, "I want leaders and not followers."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I want

leaders

and not

followers."

 



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