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Glorious sixty years of art and paintings

Emerging Brand : Milind Apte(Chitrakalp Art Institute)

Writer and poet Thomas Merton says, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

How true is the sentence! Really, if we love any form of ‘Art’, we just forget all our stress, problems, even ourselves ...And, in fact, many people find meaning of life in their art. One of such artist, whose three generations are bringing happiness in the lives a life of people through colours and paintings, is Mr Milind Apte and his Chitrakalpa Art institute, Pune.

Out of 64 arts known to mankind one of the visible art form Painting. Language can be a barrier in communication but the paintings are not. It is generally said that, "Every man cannot be a good painter but every man can paint". But if you get a proper training you can become a good painting artist. In our school curriculum also drawing and painting is made a part of regular syllabus. Artist late Mr Gangadhar Krishnarao Apte started household art classes in 1961. His artist son Mr Anand renamed it in 1970 as ‘Chitrakalpa Art Institute’ providing professional training and education in painting.
Healthy teaching environment, individual attention to every student, proper guidance and mouth-to-mouth publicity are the peculiarities of Chitrakalpa.

Now, the third generation of Apte’s i.e. Mr Milind entered is looking after the ‘Chitrakalpa’. He decided to take painting as his full-time profession. Elementary and Intermediate Exams, Maharashtra Vidyapeeth Exam, Children’s Hobby Classes (KG to Grade 7), Portrait and Pencil Shading classes were already there. Milind added many new ideas and courses to it.

According to Milind every painting expresses different feeling. Even the change in the medium of painting may create a different perspective. So, he introduced water colour, poster colour, oil canvas painting, Madhubani painting, Warli painting, fabric painting, Egypt painting, coffee painting, wall painting, mug painting, mehendi designs, calligraphy, stained glass, rangoli, portrait, ceramic pot art, 3D craft (Origami paper work), colour pencil course, charcoal shading, glass marking shading and murals.

Today, under his able guidance, the institute is flourishing in all aspects. Besides the main branch at Sadashiv Peth, he established seven other branches at Dhankawadi, Mukund Nagar, Walvekar Nagar, Kothrud, Padmavati, Bavdhan and Aundh making art accessible for students across the city.

Moreover, there are special batches for senior citizens, kids and amateur artists. Considering the increasing strength of the students, Milind’s wife Manasi is now assisting him.

Milind says, “Painting can not only be the means of livelihood but also a source of achieving economic and social prestige and status”. Currently, many ex-students of the institute are in the fields affiliated to painting and are doing exceptionally well.

Chitrakalpa helps students in the preparation of Elementary and Intermediate Exams conducted by the state government. Every year, approximate 400 students appear the exam and secure A or B grades. Every year the result of institute was 100%.

In 1981, Chitrakalpa organised its first exhibition Balgandharva Kaladalan to provide a platform to the students. Celebrating its Silver Jubilee in 1986, drawing and painting competitions were organized in many schools and another exhibition was organised. Milind specifically mentions the contributions of the president of the institute V.B.Ghatule and one of the students of the institute late Prabhakar Joshi, during the celebrations. From 1990 onwards these exhibitions became an annual event for the institute. The 25th exhibition was oraganised in 2011, which was the Golden Jubilee of Chitrakalpa. A special issue of ‘Kalotsav’ magazine was released at the hands of late Dajikaka Gadgil. Until now, Chitrakalpa has conducted more than 35 exhibitions of paintings, rangoli and origami paper craft.

Renowned artists and theatre personalities such as S D Phadnis, D D Rege, B G Pawar, Khalil Khan, Bal Wad, D S Khatavkar, Vivek Khatavkar, Pramod Kamble, Shirish Deshpande, Yogesh Deshpande, Milind Phadke, Pratap Mulik, Milind Mulik, Charhas Pandit, Vikram Gaikwad, Suryakant Mandhre,Shriram Lagoo, Vasant Shinde, Chandrakant Gokhale, Shankar Patil, Nilu Phule, Dr Mohan Agashe, Vasant Bapat, Sadanad Chandekar, Satish Alekar, Rahul Solapurkar, Mrunal Dev-Kulkarni, Jyoti Chandekar, Sharvari Jamenis, Subodh Bhave, Ashok Shinde, Sudhir gadgil, Pt Hrudaynath Mangeshkar, Pt Vikas Kashalkar, Sanjeev Abhyankar, Arvind Gajendragadkar, Manisha Sathe, Sucheta Chapekar; journalists namely Mukund Sangoram, Varunraj Bhide, Prabhakar Wadekar, Parag Karandikar, activist Dr Anil Awachat etc have made their appearance at various events of Chitrakalpa.

The Chitrakalpa Art Institute is heading towards its Diamond Jubilee. The number of students has already crossed 30,000 and still growing. Transforming Chitrakalpa Art Institute into an Art College is Milind’s vision.

“The life has become more stressful than ever before. Everybody needs relaxation and drawings and paintings are the best stress busters. So be happy through art of colours,” he signs off.
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