Call to adventure for budding artists!

On 23 October 2017, a new Centre for Traditional Arts, in partnership with The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, will open its doors in Karachi.

The VM Centre for Traditional Arts (VMCTA) will nourish and promote Pakistani artistic traditions and cultural heritage through its education programmes and exhibitions. VMCTA aims to revive traditional art skills and techniques and to revitalize the relevance of traditional arts in contemporary Pakistan.

Traditional arts experts will teach students how to use and master traditional materials and methods. There will be courses in traditional Islamic geometry, ceramics, textiles, woodworking, painting and manuscript illumination.

Image 2 -HRH Prince of Wales & Ghulam Hyder Daudpota
Ghulam Hyder Daudpota showing his ceramic tile work to HRH The Prince of Wales, at the final Masters’ degree show in London, July 2010.                        [photo courtesy: VMCTA]

VMCTA has high ambitions and plans for growth. To begin, five courses introducing the essentials of traditional arts, will run as its ‘Open Programme’ from 23 October – 5 November 2017.

Anyone over 18 who is interested in learning and practising the essentials of traditional arts can apply. Bookings must be made in advance; first come, first served.

These five courses offer practical, hands-on introductions to

  • making complex geometric patterns
  • composing islimi and khatai designs
  • traditional illumination

Amateur beginners will be as welcome as skilled professionals. Each course is structured to suit all levels of skills and experience. However, at least for now, applicants must be over 18 years old.

All five courses will consist of stand-alone, repeated sessions, to offer people a reasonable choice of times and dates.

Half-day sessions (in the mornings or evenings) will cost Rs. 1,500.00
Full-day sessions (at weekends) will cost Rs. 4,000.00
There will also be two lectures open to the public with free admission.

The courses and lectures will be conducted in English, although assistance in Urdu will be available. Advance bookings are essential for all the courses and lectures. Course schedule and booking form can be found at

More courses are being planned to begin in February 2018.

Image 4 - Naveed Sadiq's Mughal Masters scroll
Section of Naveed Sadiq’s painted scroll portraying the Masters of the Mughal Court, in Indo-Persian miniature style. Naveed graduated with an MA from The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in 2017. He is presently returning to Karachi. [photo courtesy: VMCTA]

Initially, courses in Karachi will be taught by visiting expert tutors from The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, in London. But from the beginning, a local team of Pakistani tutors will be trained to lead the programme as it matures. In the longer term, VMCTA will offer year-long training for people wishing to develop their skills to higher levels.


VM Centre for Traditional Arts in Karachi is the latest traditional arts centre that has been inspired by The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts (PSTA) in London, UK.

HRH The Prince of Wales established The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London nearly thirty years ago. It has proved a successful model – to such an extent there are now traditional arts schools in Baku, Cairo, Jeddah, and China. The new VMCTA in Karachi will be a proud addition to a growing and illustrious list.

Image 3 - Student designing pattern
A student intently designs her geometric pattern, Jameel House of Traditional Arts, Cairo.    [photo courtesy: VMCTA]
The VM Centre for Traditional Arts is based on a three-year partnership agreement between the VM Trust for Education, in Pakistan and The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts. This agreement was signed on 22nd June 2017 in London by Mr Asif Rangoonwalla, Chairman of VM Trust for Education and Dr Khaled Azzam, Director of The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts.

Image 1 -HRH & Rangoonwallas at PSTA MA degree show 2017
HRH The Prince of Wales meeting Trustees of the Rangoonwala Foundation at
The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, in London, June 2017 after announcing Karachi’s
VM Centre for Traditional Arts.  [photo courtesy: VMCTA]
HRH The Prince of Wales announced this partnership at The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in his welcoming speech at the Masters’ Degree Show on 26 June 2017. He said, “I am very proud to be able to announce today a new partnership with the Rangoonwala Foundation. Together, we intend to establish a new school for traditional arts and crafts in Karachi, Pakistan, which will, I hope, make a vital contribution to the arts in Pakistan and, furthermore, will introduce a new generation to the timeless principles that have defined their heritage.”

Dr Khaled Azzam, Director of The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, says, “We are very privileged and honoured to be given this opportunity to join in the wonderful efforts of the VM Trust for Education in Pakistan and look forward to developing the new centre in Karachi.”

Mr Asif Rangoonwalla says, “Pakistan is a country with many rich artistic traditions.  The partnership between the Rangoonwala Foundation and The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts will serve to preserve and proliferate Pakistan’s traditional arts so that they can be passed on to future generations, locally and internationally.  Our vision is to provide the Pakistani people with an educational institution which caters not only for artists but for anyone who loves art and would like to learn.”

[Disclaimer: The above is a press release issued by VMCTA]


Budding artists and lovers of art can also attend free lectures being hosted by VMCTA. Since the seats are limited, you’re required to book your seat and select the lecture on

The lecture on Originality and Tradition hosted by Dr. Lisa Delong scheduled for 3rd November can be found here:

The lecture on Contemporary Painting and Traditional Practice scheduled for 27th October can be found here:

For further details, you can call Rangoonwala Community Centre: +92 21 3493 5168 | 3493 8146


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