Saturday Studio: Karachi’s first walk-in art studio opens its doors to all
By: Saadia Qamar
KARACHI: Artist Laila Odho Premjee’s life has been largely consumed by her “love for art” When she speaks, it shines on her face and glistens in a pair of dark brown eyes, her love for the arts, per se. More than the abstract though, it is the “portraits and figures” that have inspired her immensely, she explained.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Premjee established from the very beginning that, “I have always been inclined towards fine arts.” From short courses at Lahore’s Hunarkada to London’s Heatherly School of Art in Chelsea, to Karachi School of Arts and then, of course, the diploma from Indus Valley School, Premjee’s formative years were absorbed by her infatuation with the arts and her efforts to learn more about them.
When Saturday Studio originally opened its doors to students in January 2010, it was meant to be an art school of sorts for young students at her residence. With the passage of time, however, she developed the idea of a studio space where anyone could walk in and take part in the activities – a concept entirely new to the city.
“I wanted to create a space where anyone with a fascination for the arts could join in – from children to adults. This is what makes Saturday Studio stand out,” she said. “The main reason why I wanted to open a studio was that I wanted it to be a space where art is taught – where O/A level students can practice for their entrance exams for higher learning institutions, such as the Indus Valley School or the National Academy for Arts.” She added that she wanted the studio to be a facility for practicing art therapy for young children, especially those with special needs, to develop their senses through art.
The studio is located near Marvi Store at Saba Avenue on the third floor of the building that houses Subway. It comprises three studios in the premises where classes are conducted for different age groups and which are also available for hire by different artists to showcase their works. It is open everyday, except Sundays, from 10:30am to 5pm.
At the studio, prospective students will be taught by a number of upcoming and experienced artists who work on rotating shifts, including S M Reza, Ayesha Durrani and Maliha Zafar, to name a few.
Premjee strongly believed that there is a growing art scene in the country, especifically Karachi. “Yes, the art scene in Karachi is huge. There are fabulous art galleries all over the city with various art schools opening up too.” At the same time, she stressed that, “Art allows you to explore your inner-self and acts as an effective medium to express one’s thoughts in these troubled times.”
Tuition and rentals
For classes that you plan to take, you need to pay a monthly fee that falls between Rs6,000 and Rs8,000.
To rent out studio spaces, the monthly charges range anywhere between Rs8,000 and Rs12,000.