By P.T. Bopanna
Asha Mandapa, the daughter of the late K.C Madappa, an IAS officer, who retired as Secretary to the President of India, was trained in art by Egyptian artist, Prof. Yusuf Kowkab.
Her travels around Egypt, Europe and the Mediterranean provided an exposure to many art forms and practices. Deeply influenced by the works of the Renaissance artists, the Impressionists, and many others, Asha pursued her two passions – art and teaching over the years.
She worked in Bahrain as a freelance designer for an interior design firm, and set up her own studio. Alongside this, she taught art and world history at the Sacred Heart School, run by the Italian nuns. Her love for a holistic approach to teaching developed from here. Many exhibitions and group shows followed in Bahrain as part of the Arts Society there and organised by the American Women’s Association.
Asha noticed that there arose the demand for education and training in the same media that she worked in. Moreover as work progressed in her studios, she realised the need for a body of trained professionals in her line of work. With this in mind, she founded the ‘Institute of Design Expression Art & Learning’ (IDEAL) in February 2003, at Ahmedabad with the aim of offering professional hands-on training in structural and ornamental design using a wide array of materials from glass, wood, fabric, fine art and many more.
The programs designed and offered by it are unique, innovative in approach, and fill the existing gaps in design education in the medium of glass and wood in India.
It is the only institute of its kind in the country which provides a sound structural and practical knowledge in these media. Besides glass and wood, the institute provides training in apparel and fabric design, metal, clay and canvas, digital arts and graphic design. The institute offers comprehensive design programs in the form of diplomas, post-graduate diplomas as well as short term programs and workshops. The institute caters to almost all age groups.
Asha is married to Biddanda C. Mandapa and they have a son Shiv Mandapa.