Making Art Inclusive

Imparting Art

Art is boundless. It untangles the incoherent thoughts into a purpose. It becomes an expression for the quietest of beings. Even animals create art to express themselves, many birds create the most extravagant of nests or sing the sweetest of songs.

From time immemorial, art has been used to resist and liberate. Art and artists play a fundamental role in the advancement of history. Whether it be visual art, spoken word, or music, art gives us an outlook on how it was during that time. It is a timestamp of the moments and movements that have been happening daily. While some artists use it to express the utopia that they wish one day the world will achieve. This is how art embraces dreams and disorder.

Maybe art has been known for the greatest of things, that we forget even simpler things can be deemed as art. Whatever humans create to unleash themselves from agony and sadness, or to express happiness and love, tends to become an art. Some find relief, some find closure, and some simply find personal development. Everyone must have access to art so that they can channel their thoughts into a positive light. It is indispensable to impart the magnitude of creating art to the unprivileged and isolated communities.

This is why I started working with long-term prisoners in the jails where they get to design their own carpets. The world was left aghast when one of our inmate weavers from Dausa Jail, Amarchand, won an international award for his carpet. This is now functional in six prisons today with over 400 inmates weaving their thoughts into yarns. Sometimes, we forget the fact that jails aren’t just for punishment but for the rehabilitation of offenders. Through art, I want them to find the liberation of their thoughts and start anew.

Preserving Art

Another major aspect of making art accessible is also preserving art. Safeguarding the heritage of age-old art and craft is beneficial not just for the rural and tribal economy but also simply for human well-being. The artisans must get to know that their stature is the same as esteemed artists around the world. While our cities are getting accustomed to the frequent display of art through various festivals, experiencing them for people living in rural areas is still a luxury. We rarely see them happening in remote areas. The gap between these artists isn’t just an opportunity lost for them but for everyone who appreciates its existence.

But to understand the connotation of art and artist, one must be presented with a live example and not just jargon speeches. They should know about the art from around the world. This could be executed by creating an environment familiar to the respective community like when we organized a fair for the artisans in Aspura village. The purpose of the fair was for them to have fun while learning about new forms of art. It was interactive and engaging. At the event, a range of art forms was displayed, which the artisans could try themselves. With more than 200 artisans attending the fair, it was an eventful day for preserving art.

Art is for All

It is not just for the privileged lot to enjoy and experience. Gatekeeping art is just demolishing its very existence. Art spreads by imparting and preserving. For that, it requires acknowledging the cultural art and the hidden gems from the remotest of areas. Hence, making art inclusive is art itself.

About the Author

Nand Kishore Chaudhary, a globally acclaimed social entrepreneur, is the founder of Jaipur Rugs. His philosophy of totality, inclusion and for-profit solutions to society are widely discussed.

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