Want to dabble in thangka painting but don’t know where to start? Or do you already have a knack for fashion designing and want to further hone your skills? Here are some colleges that offer various art courses that you could consider taking up full time or even in your spare time.
IEC College of Arts and Fashion, Mandikhatar and Chandol
The college was founded in 1997 by Shailaja Adhikari and now it has become one of the leading colleges in Nepal that teaches fashion and designing. In 2003, it received the International Gold Award (USA) for Quality Education and TQM for its outstanding teaching approach. It also has a network of study centers across Nepal with fantastic faculty of working professionals and proper facilities. They offer Bachelor’s degree in Fashion and Retailing and Interior Architecture, both three-year courses. According to the college, presently there are more than 212 boutiques and 90 interior designing consultancies run by graduates in Nepal. The college takes in not only young students but also those who have some free time on their hands and want to pick up a new skill.
School of Performing Arts Kathmandu, Pulchowk, Lalitpur
At SPAK, you can train in the fields of music, dance, and theater. It also conducts various sessions in performing arts at local schools, institutions as well as the places that don’t have access to performing arts education. According to Sajina Jirel, project coordinator at SPAK, post the 2015 earthquake they have mainly been conducting music therapy at various places like Kanti Children’s Hospital, Chapagaun School and Association for the Welfare of Intellectual Handicapped. “We are now preparing to start a new session of classes and workshops, awarding students degrees and certificates,” says Jirel. The school will be offering beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses in music, theater and dance. SPAK also offers volunteer and intern services for students willing to travel to different rural schools and give back to the community.
Sirjana College of Fine Arts, Lazimpat, Kathmandu
Sirjana College of Fine Arts was established in 2001, in affiliation with Tribhuvan University. They offer higher secondary education (equivalent to 10+2) for two years and Bachelor’s in Arts for two years. They offer courses in graphic communications, traditional painting or traditional sculpture, music and dance. They mainly focus on traditional Nepali art, encouraging students to embrace Nepali drawing techniques and making them appreciate Nepali painting and sculptures. The college is led by Batsa G. Vaidya as the chairman and houses around 300+ students and 40 faculty members. Their mission is to nurture and project the rich cultural heritage of Nepal globally and they plan to do so every year by producing talented and competitive artists capable of bringing new changes to Nepali arts and culture. According to Vaidya, the college hopes to expand the courses studies to Master’s Level in Fine Arts in order to produce even more skilled professionals in the field.
Kathmandu University School of Arts, Hattiban, Lalitpur
The KU School of Arts was established in 1996. It falls under the six schools established at the university with its main objective being to impart education in liberal arts and media in order to contribute to the development of the nation. The university offers over 11 courses in the field of arts including Bachelor’s and Master’s in Fine Arts and Ethnomusicology and all the courses are of four years duration. The BFA course offers major in either Graphic Communication or Studio Art. The four years are divided into eight semesters and the first semester begins from August. The college offers one of the most reputed degrees in the field of arts (in Nepal) and students can take different career paths like Innovator, Graphic Artist, Web Designer, Typographer, Illustrator, Photographer, Animator and Art Director to name a few. The students of KU School of Arts are known for their creative projects and exhibitions many of which have been showcased in places like the Nepal Art Council.
Buddhist Thangka Center, Boudha, Kathmandu
Established in 1983 Buddhist Thangka Center has been teaching the art of thangka painting for almost 34 years. It was started by Hom Bahadur Tamang, a third generation thangka painter, who learnt how to paint thangka when he was only 11 years old. He envisions the center to be a place where new artists can learn from the masters, understand what it means to paint a thangka and to be able to support themselves and their family while doing it.
Currently, there are about 25 students devoted to learn the art of thangka painting and the courses range from beginner or trainee (about six months) to the Master’s level course, which takes about seven years to complete. The center stresses on the fact that it’s essential for Nepali students to know the roots of the Tibetan and Tamang culture to fully appreciate thangka and thinks that it’s truly unfortunate that the wonderful art of thangka is being overlooked by so many in Nepal. Thus the center highly encourages people to come and learn as well as appreciate the art of thangka painting.