Walking into the art room as a sixth grader, Rucha Chattur was enraptured by the colorful scene that met her eyes: the brilliant paint bottles, the scatter of brushes and the bright paintings hanging on every wall.
Throughout her succeeding primary and secondary education, she further developed that love of painting, receiving scholarships and getting A's on her work. Now, back to art practice after a long hiatus, Rucha is still getting scholarships—one to continue her studies in the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Visual Arts.
When Rucha started her professional career post-college, she put her paints behind her, but that artistic desire still lingered. After a supportive conversation with her boss in her native India, she promptly enrolled in an oil-painting class. Subsequently moving to the United States and working long hours in software development, Rucha was determined not to lose the progress she had made in her art practice.
A colleague suggested UC Berkeley Extension, which was conveniently located near her job, and Rucha is now set on her artistic goals. She received one of our annual scholarships to support her dream of making a living at her artistic practice and to continue nurturing an art-related side business.
Art In the Community
To that end, Rucha continues her studies in the certificate program, participates in group shows, and has built a platform for budding artists, Spaces n Stories, which helps artists sell and rent their work online. Rucha wants to extend the commercial reach of her fellow artists so that they can focus on their creative work.
An additional benefit of this side gig is that it helps get art out into everyday places "to take away negative energy and to inspire," Rucha explains. "It is so much beyond aesthetics."
Asking Rucha about the broader meanings of art and art practice opens up interesting avenues into her creative processes.
One of her favorite artists is celebrated Malayali painter Raja Ravi Varma. Beyond praising the sophistication and technical merits of his work, Rucha admires the scope of Varma's artistic reach. "Apart from his amazing work in depicting humans," she explains, "he is well known for giving an image to some deities. Those images have been used in worship for a long time. This impact and reach is absolutely priceless and makes the artist immortal."
“There is no better motivation than a convinced self."
While not every painter can aspire to represent the divine, Varma also insisted on a more egalitarian role for an artist. He insisted on the production of lower-cost lithographs so that his work might be more widely available, a stance similar to Rucha's desire to see her art and that of other artists resound in public spaces through her Spaces n Stories venture.
Walking the Path to the Dream
Rucha has taken four of the required certificate courses so far in her studies with us. The scholarship gives her added impetus to continue.
She reflects on her goals: "We all have limited time on hand," she says. "When you use your time and energy in one place, there is something else you are giving up on. And there are times you may question your decision. This scholarship helps me convince myself that I am headed in the right direction. There is no better motivation than a convinced self."
Turn your talent into the practice of art with the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Visual Arts.