SAIIER 2016:Kalabhumi Open Art Studio

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Kalabhumi Music Studio
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Laboratory of Evolution
Kalabhumi Open Art Studio


Kalabhumi Open Art Studio wants to give a possibility to interested people of all ages to experience art in a well-equipped art studio atmosphere. It has been going on for the past 7 years and has continuously grown into what it is today.

There are two studios, one my own (Nele) and one for the students, connected by an open covered work area. Many people have been coming regularly for years, and there are always new people who are interested.

Description of project

Situated in Kalabhumi in the Cultural Zone, the studio is accessible on foot or by cycle from several Auroville schools. It can therefore be easily reached by the students of both Future School, where my art class is offered as an elective subject, and Transition School, where art classes based at the studio form a part of the curriculum for the oldest grade.

I offer guided classes for adults and students from the surrounding schools (Transition and Future school), and free sessions where more experienced students and artists come to work and exchange ideas.

As the project has expanded, in addition to the regular classes I also have some students who want to prepare for entrance exams for art or design, who come to work on their own when they have time and we meet regularly to discuss the work and suggest new projects.

I also offer the space for extra projects, for example the creative stage work for theater plays.

In the last year at the request of some young students (around 10 years old) a new activity was started. Because there is a lot of interest this will continue and grow next year.


Among many other activities in the last year the focus was mainly on three areas:

  1. Street art, the creation of murals, stencils and airbrush technique.
  2. Another class explored the work on creation of space and volume through light and dark shades, colors, shading techniques.
  3. A third project was the creation of the backdrop for the Auroville theater play Millidacious.

We started a new drawing (comics) class for interested and talented younger (10th grade) students, who like art very much and wanted to have a extra course in addition to the art in the school.

There is also one afternoon set aside for more experienced students to come and work either on their own projects, or preparing an exhibition or a portfolio for an entrance exam.

To work in a group and have the exchange of ideas both technical and ideal on the work often helps in the creative process. My role is to give encouragement and feedback and creative and technical advice.


In art, intuitive creativity and the organizing mind work together to create and express in a direct manner. The idea of what beauty is becomes an inner research, and its creation is a constant new experiment, which helps to clarify ones sense of harmony and order. Therefore I am really happy to offer a place and atmosphere for people who want to explore this.

The interactive group work helps to broaden discussions and try out various possibilities to see how themes can be worked out individually. The creative process can be perceived as a mirror of inner work that is simultaneously linked to the world one lives in. This concept can successfully be worked out in our small group setting that provides feedback to the individual but is at the same time a safe space that allows for freedom of expression. The classes therefore offer the opportunity for participants to come to know one another while at the same time being provided with an interactive learning process in a supportive environment.

These courses have been an interesting learning experience both for the students and myself. The students have demonstrated progress in terms of their own artwork and have expressed their enjoyment of the classes. Creativity is an important aspect in life and art is an excellent medium through which to experiment and discover one's own capacity and expression. For myself, it is a pleasure to be able to offer the space and materials to assist and guide people to express themselves and realize their creativity.


Each year there are new additions and developments to the Open Art Studio project. A lot of people come since many years and enjoy the free space, and there is a lot of interest to participate.

Here some comments of some students of the Saturday adult group:

  • “It is a space where we have the opportunity to work with other artists, to share techniques, ideas, and opinions about art. I use color I usually do not use. I bring ideas I want to explore. It is an experimental space.” - Marco
  • “I am very thankful to Nele who created this space because when I come here I feel totally free to express myself. And for me it also very important to work with other people, it helps me to be creative.” - Liliane
  • “It is a beautiful collective studio space where one always feels welcome to come and paint. It is also a space equipped and accommodating for larger group projects such as set building. A diverse group of people came together last year to create the sets and props for Millidacious. I had a lot of fun working together and getting to know each other better through art.” - Sabrina