Renuka Taneja on Art Therapy for Children
Hey guys, we are extremely apologetic for loosing the first part of the interview with Renuka, but we have made sure to write down the whole story here, we will be doing a whole project on Windows – Art & Craft Center, to make sure you do not miss anything about the philosophy of expression of art & art therapy for children.
AT WINDOWS ART AND CRAFT CENTER
These are not just art and craft classes, here it’s a journey that the kids go through and incidentally what I do is like therapy for them .
By studying at Windows, the kids grow more sensitive and more expressive as they are absolutely untethered from judgment & criticism.
> What effect does art have on us, and what is the appropriate age to start with arts?
“Art is an ultimate form of expression, a child learns to explore various mediums to express their innermost feelings and emotions through art. As an art educator one must always try to empower skills just to enhance creativity, rather than pushing the child in a box.”
As Renuka beautifully puts it “A child is like a clay on a potters wheel, ready to be shaped, and as educators we must just guide the clay, so that it can shape itself, in the form it wants to”, isn’t this so beautifully said? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
– How do you interpret art?
the simple answer we got was “by looking at it through a child’s eyes”.
How easy it is to misinterpret art that our kids are making, she cites and example of a child who was recommended to a therapy session, just a six year old, just because he made the ‘sun black in color’. And through Windows and Renuka’s guidance, the child expressed one of the most divine epiphanies, ” when we go beyond the sun there is darkness ” , a simple expression of thought, was cultivated in those 5 seconds. Isn’t it amazing.
– What exactly is your process to teach the kids at windows, can we call it art therapy?
It is more of guidance than teaching, and we let the child explore on his own.
Children through exploring their mediums of expression learn a to express themselves, which is the first step toward mental health, so art is a therapeutic practice.
– What do you feel your students have in common growing up. ?
They are better at expression, and standing up for what they believe, in as they have trained themselves in expressing without fear, on various mediums.
– One word for the parents, on importance of the balance between art and education?
About RENUKA TANEJA
She is the Founder of, a studio for children ‘at Windows the Art and Craft Corner.’
Windows was established in January 2000 with a vision to help rediscover the child hidden within each one of us and to get the children connected to the soul of our planet so that they may nurture and preserve it through their doing and being.
She uses art and craft media like drawings, papier mâché, clay etc along with recycled or discarded scraps like covers, bottles, cartons etc to help children and elders create utility items.
It is interesting to note that her older students from Windows have chosen qualifications and professions on the road less travelled. Their desire to do something about sustainability, preserving the environment and a curiosity to research and discover makes them stand out.
Renuka has been able to extend the concept of using art as a medium of creative expression to school teachers & administrators, NGOs like CRY, WWF and PVR Nest with whom she has partnered over the last few years to leverage creative expression, leveraging art and craft to help people connect with themselves and to create a sensitivity to the environment. CRY has taken out CDs along with do-it-yourself Junk Art and Sand Art kits whilst PVR Nest has shot and nationally exhibited a Design for change film clip with Windows’ children and has been marketing utility items created by them from the materials discarded by film screening companies.
Extensive work at corporate avenues, and has also taught at leading institutes like the NIFT, Pearl Academy of Art and her art creations have been sold in India and abroad.
Renuka secured her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from College of Art and is a product of National Institute of Design (NID) Ahmedabad where she pursued Advanced Education
Program in Textiles Design.