Institute of Mural Painting
The Guruvayur Devaswom’s Institute of Mural Painting was established in the the year 1989. National Diploma is awarded to students on successful completion of training for 5 years. Students are given stipend. At present the center is functioning in the Sathram Canteen Block. It was a fire mishap in the Guruvayur Temple Complex in the year 1970 that actually paved the way for the setting up of this institution. The fire damaged the Sreekovil ( Sanctum Sanctorum) and the paintings on the three walls were also destroyed in the incident. When the walls were to be decorated again with paintings as a part of the renovation, the authorities found that artists who could do such work were few. However those artists who were deputed to do the work like veteran Mural Painters Mammiyur Krishnankutty Nair, Pattambi Krishna Varier, M.K.Sreenivasan and K.K. Varier completed the job satisfactorily. The authorities, art lovers and artists got together to think of ways of preserving the mural paintings. The result was the establishment of the Institute of Mural Painting by the Guruvayur Devaswom.
The Institute of Mural Painting at East Nada of Guruvayur temple gives coaching in mural painting in the traditional Gurukula Pattern. The five year National Diploma Course offers training in Fine Arts for the first two years as a preparatory course after which the students are given three years specialized coaching in traditional Kerala Mural Painting. The qualified candidates are selected after an aptitude test and interview. The selected students are given scholarships and also have free hostel and mess faculties. The admission to each batch is restricted to ten students.
Along with studio and practical work, the prescribed syllabus includes Art history( Indian and Western) Aesthetics, Sanskrit and silpa Texts. Dhyanasloka classes are also conducted. Teaching aids include slide films and visual props. Periodical exhibition of paintings, camps, workshops , seminars, discussions, study tours etc also form the part of the curriculum. The Institute has a good library. The late Sri. Mammiyur Krishnankutty Nair, a well known Mural Artist, was the first principal of the Institute. After his death, Sri.M.K.Sreenivasan succeeded him. Now, Sri.K.U.Krishnakumar is the Principal and Chief Instructor of the Institute.
The course has been intended to revitalize the invaluable tradition of Mural Art. A collection of these exquisitely painted panels adorns the walls of the institute. The artists of this Institute have been participating and working at national level exhibition and camps.
The authorities also accept commissioned work keeping the rules and regulations of guruvayur devaswom. The Institute played an active role in repainting many Murals as a part of ongoing renovation and restoration work.