The art of engineers, not just bridges and bolts

Express May 19, 2010

KARACHI: Engineering students are not just mad about building bridges and designing structures, they have an eye for colours and love for art as well, as was seen in an art competition and exhibition held at the NED University of Engineering and Technology on Tuesday.

“Students in engineering and medical universities are usually considered bookworms and geeks,” said Arsalan Qutbi, one of the event organisers. “But a visit to the exhibition hall might have changed this perception.” According to Qutbi, most of the visitors were quite impressed by the displays. While some students had already completed their works, others were given a chance to show their creativity in impromptu contests held in the morning. These included photography and painting contests, which started from 9 am and lasted for two and a half hours.

However, the exhibition was more diverse with works displaying calligraphy and sketches as well. “Some of the students came up with really good photographs and paintings in this short time,” said Dilshaad Akbar Ali, a lecturer from the humanities department of the university. The entrance of the main auditorium, where the exhibition was being held, was decorated with handicrafts, paintings and photographs taken by the students of the university.

More than 300 students participated in the exhibition, said the organisers. “When I learnt about a photography contest at university, I rushed to register for it,” said Muhammad Asim, who has been practicing photography for the last four years. “Such exhibitions in engineering schools are blessings for students like me who want to do something different,” the aspirant architecture engineer said. Judges of the event included Waheeda Manzoor, head of the graphics department at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture (IVS) and Usman Ghauri, an Associate Professor and artist, also from IVS.

“Some of the paintings and sketches were near perfect,” said Manzoor, “And I hope the students improve even more time.” Another student, Farah Khan, was more wistful than grateful. “I wish I could have been a student at the Indus Valley instead of NED,” the second-year student said, as she sketched persons standing at the main entrance of the auditorium. “We want to give a message through this exhibition that engineering students can not only study but also do creative work,” she added. The exhibition formally started at 1:30. Dr Mahmood Khan Pathan, Dean of the Information Science and Humanities, NED University, was the chief guest.

Published in the Express Tribune, May 19th,  2010.

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