Kala Art and Design

COVID Hang Back-2.5 years, One painting

By Aditi Manchanda- 2022 This is the story of my journey with one painting over 2 years. When I first started this piece, I was in 7th grade. Once I found out we were doing a still-life concept, I excitedly drew out what I wanted to paint. A big silver jug on a book, some fruit, and a quill in an ink pot. I kept painting every week with the intention of displaying my painting at the next Kalaa Exhibition. Little did I know at the time, the exhibition was not even going to take place. One fateful day in In March 2020, the school closed. At the time, we were told it would only be for a week but the break never ended. A couple of weeks later, art classes were switched online. For the next two years, I sketched watercolor painting and tried a bunch of other fun crafts all through a screen. Eventually, I forgot about my painting that lay in the art studio, incomplete for two entire years. When I finally returned to the studio in 2022, I was ecstatic. At the time, my interests had shifted from art and painting to fashion design. I wanted to make my own clothes and accessories which is what I ended up doing for a couple of months. Then, my teacher showedme my painting from when I was in middle school and I was bewildered at my choices. I was nothappy with what my 12-year-old self had picked. I found my selection amusing, my techniques were less refined than now, nevertheless completed a few left-out strokes and finished the work as I always feel the completion of the task is equally important  With time, not only had my skills improved but have varied dimensions in the creative arena I thought completing it as quitting on anything is not the right choice to make. It was a selection right for a 12-year-old me and it was interesting to, let me finish that incomplete task which unfortunately COVID  has taken away from all of us. In the end, I decided to stick with my painting as a reminder of how much growing up changed me.

Changing Our Wiring

By Saesha Sharda, Sophomore, 27 November 2021 Humanity does not have a lack of struggles, and nowadays chaos is dissociating into different parties, groups, and movements. Sometimes, it is important to take a step back and think about the basic things required to clear the chaos, and that is exactly what my artwork focuses on. I made this artwork for the Reflections Art contest 2021 for which I was awarded Merit of excellence. This art was an abstract representation of my thoughts. I chose watercolors and handmade paper as a medium. In my artwork, there are 4 beings shown in a setting of chaos. There are two beings pictured in the middle arguing, causing a ruckus. Being at the top, however, is productive and carries a friend across the crisis. Also pictured in the artwork is a neuron. The way neurons communicate is by passing on a message from the ends of the neuron, called axons. The arguing beings are not near the axons and therefore are not able to receive the message that is being relayed. Therefore, they are arguing, causing even more spread of confusion and chaos. The beings at the top, however, can receive that knowledge and are able to channel their love and empathy towards helping those who are struggling in the crisis.  My artwork shows that the passage out of the crisis is through human compassion and that the ignorance of information does the opposite. Take for example the battle for LGBTQ+ rights around the world. Countless studies have shown that being queer is not a choice and that individuals in the LGBTQ+ community do not deserve to be discriminated against. This aspect represents the logical component. We can also listen to and learn from the experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals and empathize with their struggles. This aspect represents the empathetic component. Bigots who despise individuals of the LGBTQ+ community ignore the information, which leads to assumptions and the spreading of hate. We must clear the chaos by collectively looking at information and empathizing with others; We must change our wiring.

My Tween Brush Strokes-The Golden Gate Bridge

By- Aditi Manchanda, Sophomore 2022 This painting is of the Golden Gate Bridge and is one of my oldest paintings. I made it when I was in 6th grade. It has so many memories associated with it that I thought to document them in my art blog; “Better late than never :)’I don’t remember much of that time but I do remember the many skills I learned from this painting. It was the basis for all the paintings I have made since then. I learned many valuable painting techniques such as how to use shading in an image to make something look 3d, dabbing the paintbrush to make flowers and bushes, how to paint water realistically, and how to make clouds. These are skills that I have used in several of my paintings since then and have improved at. I really enjoyed making this painting and I put a lot of hard work into it. I also want to talk about the significance of this painting. Living in the bay area has given me the luxury of visiting the Golden Gate Bridge. So many of my favorite memories were made there, hiking, walking across the bridge, visiting Golden Gate Beach, and Golden Gate Park. I have been there so many times with so many different family members and friends that sometimes I forget that people travel from all over the world just to see it. It is a beauty that I take for granted and it attracts over 10 million people a year from all over the world. I never really processed that I lived near a historical world-famous landmark. This painting is a reminder of all the fun times I have had in my life with the people I love but more importantly, it is a reminder to never take things for granted.

Chaos in Oneself

By- Saesha Sharda, Freshman, 2020 “Life doesn’t make any sense without interdependence. We need each other, and the sooner we learn that the better for us all.”  — Erik Erikson In the present artwork, I have chosen to write focuses on the struggles of having bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by extreme swings of high and low moods. The high mood is known as the manic phase, and the low mood is known as the depressive phase(“Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment.”).  In my painting, I have shown two human-resembling figures balancing on each others’ backs, connected by the brain and heart. One figure is blue and has a heart painted on its chest. This figure represents the depressive phase, as blues and purples usually represent sad, somber moods. The other figure, which is yellow and has a brain painted in its head, represents the manic phase, as we normally pair the color yellow with high energy. The reason the heart and brain are shown is to represent their connection: Rational thinking (the brain) and Emotions (the heart). The figures are part of the same person, symbolizing how the two phases occur to the same person, affecting the same person, making it especially hard to get through daily life.  The reason I wanted to create this painting was that I am passionate about raising awareness about not only bipolar disorder, but mental health issues in general. It is so important that we spread the word about mental illnesses and coping with them so that we can break the stigma that surrounds them. Stigma is a word to describe the social disapproval or discrimination against a person based on their characteristics, physical or mental. It is the fear of the stigma that keeps people suffering from mental health issues from coming forward about their struggles. In the Indian community especially, stigma against mental health issues is very apparent. The more we talk about it, the closer we are to helping someone cope with their mental illness and even saving lives. Submitting my painting to Vosap’s International Competition about disabilities was the perfect opportunity to share my art, and spread awareness about mental health issues.   Work Cited: “Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/mental-health-bipolar-disorder#:~:text=Bipolar%20disorder%2C%20also%20known%20as,sad%2C%20hopeless%2C%20and%20sluggish.