Picnics! You wouldn’t find a soul on this planet who didn’t enjoy these delightful outings. With scrumptious meals packed in pretty baskets and a soothing ambience of greenery and peace, picnics single-handedly make the concept of group activities chic and enjoyable. The joy in spreading out the mat at your favorite spot and sharing your meal with your friends and family is inexplicable, isn’t it? But picnics are not something one can indulge in every day. In fact, we happen to live in a world where technology is at the front seat, driving all of us towards excessive virtual interactions. Sharing a funny joke or narrating your day’s achievements with loved ones over Zoom/Whatsapp can never match up to a hearty conversation at the dinner table, can it? Being surrounded by gadgets may be the new fad in town, but if you happen to miss the warmth of a fellow human being, I have something which may interest you. Ever heard of an art picnic? Probably not, since it’s a term I coined for an aspect of art that often gets neglected. Intrigued? Keep reading because there’s much more in store!

Art is a gift which allows an irreplaceable freedom of thought and expression, not to mention giving the artist a powerful voice to speak out and change other lives. For instance, the world certainly would have never been the same without the world-renowned portrait called Mona Lisa; a beautiful woman brought to life by the artistic genius of Da Vinci. Art promotes sharing and love; it stimulates the intellect and allows the artist to grow not only as a human being but also as a member of the society. But the most valuable facet of art according to me, happens to be the opportunity it brings with it, to build a community. The art of being social is slowly fading away as we hide behind the gigantic screens of our mobile phones and tablets; cringing at the thought of small talk and any kind of social interaction. Doesn’t look like a healthy trend, does it?

Thankfully, this is where art steps in and comes to our rescue. If you are wondering as to how sitting alone in front of a canvas and some colors can make a person more social, think again. Collaborating with like-minded artists and working together on stimulating projects is the latest trend which is catching up these days. It is a scientifically proven fact that getting your hands dirty in a group pottery class is far more enriching and satisfying than indulging in the process alone. Performing a group dance not only pushes you towards bettering yourself as a dancer but also creates a bond within the team that lasts for a lifetime. It is no secret that humans crave for a feeling of belonging, acceptance and warmth in a community and art provides this on a platter for you. This is what I call an art picnic; the opportunity to go on a journey with fellow artists with whom you can collaborate, communicate and create masterpieces that leave behind a rich legacy. In fact, even sitting together with strangers and getting to know them over a reading session or painting session can be a life-changing experience. A beautiful aura of friendship, love, warmth and artistic excellence emanates from art picnics and one can bid goodbye to demons like mental illnesses and loneliness by participating in them. For those who feel intimidated by a fellow group member’s talent, don’t be! Take it as an opportunity to soak in the bundles of knowledge they impart to you and watch your learning curve shoot up exponentially!

They say that Rome wasn’t built in a day, but today, it stands tall as one of the richest architectural legacies in the world. It certainly wasn’t built in a day and it most definitely wasn’t built by a single person! Artists with varying levels of caliber and strengths came together with a single vision and this vision was brought to life by sheer dedication and a common passion. Sounds like a large-scale art picnic, doesn’t it? If magical cities like Rome can be born from a perfectly executed art picnic, why don’t you breathe life into that artistic dream of yours by planning a picnic of your own? Go ahead and set the ball rolling and before you know it, your art picnic would have inspired dozens to follow their dreams fearlessly!

About the author

Varshini Subhash

Varshini is an aspiring researcher in Computer Science with a passion for social impact. Promoting art, education and gender equality are some of the causes she has taken up so far. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, music and astrophysics.