The story behind Delhi Collage of Art

by - 11/21/2019

It rarely happens that I get to witness motivational journeys by self made men. And when it happens, I make sure that I don't miss it. Last Saturday was indeed eventful because I learnt the journey of Mr Ashwani Kumar Prithviwasi, an eminent artist and the founder of Delhi Collage of Art.
A grand retrospective show was organized at Delhi Collage of Art , Rajouri Garden.On his path, Mr Ashwani came across a lot of struggles but he also cherished moments of success. While talking about his journey Ashwani said, in 1996 there were only five institutes of fine arts, two government, two semi government and one private. At that time many people who wished to learn arts didn't get an opportunity to pursue their interests. Some were occupied in jobs while others had age limitations.

At that time on 17th August 1996 a new institute was launched with the initial name of Ashu Rangshala with just a single student in Uttam Nagar, Delhi. He conducted classes on the terrace of his home, the walls of which he beautifully spray painted to give it a more 'Artsy' look. Gradually the numbers started increasing. He took the help of a couple of his friends who stood by him through thick and thin in managing the students but handled everything himself mainly. He organised art exhibition in the local markets even in those times.
Mr Ashwani did a lot of efforts to make people aware of the immense possibilities in fine arts. In 2001 this institute transformed in to a professional one. Regular courses were prepared and admission dates were finalized. Afterwards, academic calendar for activities like Annual event, tours of art galleries, interaction with renowned artists, visit to their studios and outdoor classes, all became a part of the curriculum.
Mr Ashwani told that he didn't consider the age of his students at the time of enrolment and maximum knowledge was imparted in the initial year of the course. Because he believed that art should be open to everyone. Creativity should not be limited to anything. 12th pass students could join any of his courses. For working people, all classes used to be organised on Sundays which was quite different from other institutes. Mr Ashwani himself had been enrolled for Art courses for 12 years and had garnered a vast experience. He started studying formal courses from 1990. His journey started after doing BFA course from College Of Art.
The alumni of this institute are doing well these days. 7000 students have passed out from here till date which includes people from forty countries. Some are running their own art institutes while some others are freelance artists. As of now, Delhi Collage of Art has many branches. This institute got its present name in 2001 which is inspired from the collage of Picasso. This institute gives equal opportunity to well off as well as poor students. Almost 100 poor students have been taught free over here and they are doing well today.
This has happened for the first time In India that a private institute organised a foreign tour for its students. Almost forty students were sent to Paris and they got to see the beauty of Monalisa. Students also got opportunity to visit Rome and Milan in Italy for better exposure. This is an annual affair. Annual Tours to biggest museums of the country also started which include tour of Rajasthan, Ajanta Ellora, Khajuraho and Sanchi Stupa. Most of the art exhibitions of this institute are organised in Lalit Kala Academy. Annual fest are organised at FICCI, Sai and Kamani auditorium. For the first time in history, this institute has awarded BC Sanyal Award and Lifetime achievement award to renowned artists like M. F. Hussain, Krishna Khanna, Manjeet Bawa, Ram Sutar, Jatin Das, Anjolie Ela Menon, Anupam Sood and Niren Sen. This institute has felicitated sixty artists. No other institute had been able to achieve this feat. Ashwani hiself is a renowned artist. In 1999 an exhibition of Ashwani’s mirror paintings was organised in Gurgaon. It was the first time in the history that mirror paintings were exhibited.
 I was just floored how Mr Ashwani Kumar Prithviwasi had come such a long way in the field of art. From being an artist to an art teacher to only a few students and then establishing Delhi Collage of Art which has now become a very big name in the art industry, this self made man is an inspiration I look up to. His Scratch, Struggle, Succeed mantra is something we all should imbibe. 

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  1. Thats a very fascinating journey if a talented artist. Its nice to know about the Art school in so much detail.

  2. This place looks so cool! I will definitely visit it very soon.
    Noor Anand Chawla

  3. Wow that's quite an interesting journey to success! Hope all of us get through the struggle and make a difference to people around us.

  4. Those are some amazing portraits and sketches. I myself am an art lover, would love to visit someday.

  5. Looks like you had a great weekend, exploring art and culture.

  6. Manisha - Mr Ashwani Kumar work is commendable. I am a art lover and would like to explore it myself in person,thanks for sharing about his work.

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