Art show at Peshawar’s Nishtar Hall highlights Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s rich culture
tudent-artists displayed their creative skills at an event arranged recently in Peshawar city’s lone theatre, Nishtar Hall. The theme of the exhibition was Cultural Journey of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. University students, both girls and boys, displayed their work in several mediums focusing on the cultural diversity of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
There is no dearth of talent and innovation among the young artists. However, more sponsorships, patronage and guidance are needed to make them shine brighter.
The event was organised under the auspices of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Culture and Tourism Authority (KPCTA) to promote tourism, art and heritage of the province through the art of young visual artists and to provide a platform to varsity student-artists to get recognition and confidence.
“The inter-university students’ contest was, in fact, aimed at promoting KP tourism and culture on the wings of creative skills of young artists. It portrayed a soft image of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in a befitting manner,” said Shaista Rahman, an artist.
95 art-pieces showcasing different aspects of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including its land, people, history, art, cultural heritage were displayed. They had been created by 80 student-artists from five universities: the City University, the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University, the Sarhad University, the CECOS University and the University of Peshawar.
The young artists exhibited their creative talent in three categories: painting, calligraphy and craft and sculpture. It was for the first time that such an event was held in the city.
A large number of senior artists, critics, parents, students and faculty members turned up at the daylong event where they witnessed the artworks in several mediums on the walls of the Nishtar Hall.
Muhammad Tahir Orakzai, the Tourism, Culture and Archeology Department secretary, said the exhibition would help promote the culture of the province and provide an opportunity to the students to showcase their creative skills.
Around 95 art-pieces showcasing different aspects of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including its land, people, history, art, culture and heritage, were displayed. They had been created by 80 student-artists from five universities: the City University, the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University, the Sarhad University, the CECOS University and the University of Peshawar.
He praised the KPCTA for organising the exhibition and said that more such activities should be organised and on a larger scale. KPCTA Director General Bakhtiar Khan, Member of the Board of Directors of Tourism Authority Shamila Tabbasum, Manager Events, Haseena Shuakat and other officials were also present.
Bakhtiar Khan said that university students from around Peshawar city had participated in the event. “Soon such events will also be extended to other districts of the province,” he said.
Fahad Ahmed of University of Peshawar secured the first prize; Kamran Sahib of University of Peshawar and Sambhal Gul of Benazir Women University shared the second position. In the calligraphy category, Misbah Rehman clinched the top position and Hafsa Gul got the second prize.
In the craft and sculpture category, Mohammad Asim of University of Peshawar got the first position and Mudassir Tufail of CECOS University stood second. The first position holders were given cash prizes of Rs 20,000 each and the runners-up Rs 10,000 each.
Prof Ali Sajid, the noted water colourist and president of the KP Artists Association, said that encouraging young artists was a commendable step taken by the KPCTA. “There are countless opportunities in visual arts. KP students have great potential. Our rich cultural diversity has not been fully explored in its true colours,” he said.
Shaumaila Nadeem, a young artist competing in the craft and sculpture category, said that the artworks displayed at the event were reflective of the great vision of the young artists. “More such events should be organised to help promote our diverse culture and traditions,” she said.
Pir Hamid, another senior artist, said that KPCTA should broaden the canvas for senior as well as young artists. “A variety of themes are present in our art in more than one medium,” he said.
Aishma Shinwari, a student at a local college, said that young students need parental support, patronage and recognition to help them pursue their dreams. “The art exhibition provided great motivation for all of us,” she said.
The writer is a Peshawar-based journalist. He mostly writes on art, culture, education, youth and minorities. He tweets at @Shinwar-9