Karachi School of Art

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Karachi School of Art
Former names
Mina Art School
Type Private
Established 1964
Affiliation UoK & SBTE
Endowment https://webflow.com/muhammadhumaid10
Principal Rabia Zuberi
Students 350
Undergraduates 3000+
Location Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Nickname KSA
Website ksa.webflow.io

Karachi School of Art (KSA) was founded back in 1964 by Rabia Zuberi, thus making it the first private academic center of art in the country and first center of art education of any kind in the city of Karachi. At the time when the concept of KSA was conceived, there was little know-how regarding art, creativity and innovation in the region. There was lack of awareness among the people about the various opportunities that the creative industry has to offer. Thus KSA is rendered as the pioneer at promoting art education and today takes pride in producing many eminent artists during its history.


KSA Campus

Karachi School of Art is the realization of the idea which I conceived long back when I was about complete my graduation from Lucknow College of Art in India.

After graduation in Art my youngest sister and I migrated to Pakistan in 1963. We found the new place different and only with a small minority of people who understood the language and perspective of Art to its full. Only proper Art education could help out the situation to propagate the required sensibility. I decided to develop a very small centre of Art studies through which we could take start. My younger sister Hajra whom I always treated motherly stood by me in all efforts to materialize this idea of starting Art education that to all around us appeared alien. By the mid of 1964 we had completed our homework to start a small school with as little resource as we had but particularly with an accurate syllabus and strict discipline. Two years later Mansoor Rahi came in contact as he moved from Dhaka to Karachi after completing his graduation in Art. Consented with our ideology, he joined the newly started school with his strong academic background and great passion to teach. The trio, my younger sister, me and Rahi worked harder more than ever to make stronger the foundations of the newly started school, the only one in the province of Sindh. The mission continued with the full zest in the form of untiring long intense sessions of teaching, day and night. Realizing the shortage of resources, besides our all efforts it was nearly impossible to meet the financial necessities of the developing school until we decided to engage in commission works.

Meanwhile Hajra and Mansoor got married and Hajra had to devote an ample time to take care of her family at home. Their growing family demanded more finance. Schools little income proved to be failing to meet our monetary requirements. Rahi started exploring alternative means of income that took much of his time away but the strong structure of curricular activity already in practice helped him manage still the best academic progress although having a brief contact with the students. In-spite of his all labours when financial burden increased to an agonizing level by late 70’s, the young couple decided to move to up country, The beauty of the northern areas they admired since ever and regarded as the purest pleasure to recreate and refurbish creative spirit.

In the absence of Hajra and Rahi I felt alone and under greater responsibility to survive with the future of school. In those difficult days sometimes I felt week enough and thought to shut down the school, stop my mission for a while specially when facing financial brake down and short of faculty. We needed someone as brilliant as Rahi with same dedication along with young teachers.

I feel proud of one of my old student to support the system at those most crucial moments we ever faced. It was Abdul Hafeez who joined me accepting the challenge to help me bring school back to its previous momentum and keep it from shutting down. Abdul Hafeez had best academic skills in drawing and watercolour, gifted with fine creative vision and perseverance. He continued teaching for more than two years with his utmost dedication but without remuneration. After the momentum of studies was restored he joined Pakistan Television as a set designer and now known as one of the best furnishing designer and hold his own well reputed furnishing firm ARTIES.

KSA will remain ever thankful to Rahi and Hafeez for their historic contribution in this on-going mission of KSA.

By 1979, we were able to shift to our present building; the piece of land was acquired in early 70’s. It took my seven years to complete the first story of the building; it was a continuous struggle in which I stood all alone. Slowly and gradually construction continued and two stories were added to house the new departments of graphic Design, Textile Design and Computer graphics added under new curriculum and expended faculty.

I believed since ever that Karachi School of Art must stand as a model art school in terms of its educational and professional output as well as facilities.

The significance of Art and Designs education in general and particularly in perspective of cultural and industrial aspiration and ideals appear to be the most rarely realized fact in our society. The connection between Art & Design education and our identity and socioeconomic stability have been the concerns of least importance in past six decades. I believe that It should have been felt as a foremost responsibility of the state and industrialist, intellectuals and the people with the vision to look into the matter when for a long period of time no centre of Art and Design education existed in the city which had to be recognized as the most important city of south Asia, politically as well as geographically, the gateway to Pakistan, Karachi, the largest diverse ethnic community and industrially growing city of the country.

Until 1964, when Karachi School of Art was founded, the opportunities of Art education were available only in Lahore in entire West Pakistan. KSA was founded with multifaceted objectives and vision in future. Primarily to train young people to make career in the fields related to Art and Design with the basic believe that one’s intellect is rooted in one’s own social identity and environment, depending on borrowed cultural values and trends of imagery, aesthetic and critical evaluation would not lead us anywhere. We also believe that practice of art or any knowledge while restricted to any social class would make its credibility questionable.

Over the period of almost four decades, whilst adhering to basic beliefs, KSA has brought profound changes about the perception and practice of art in Pakistan.

Till early 90’s Karachi School of Art has been a single leading source to provide thoughtful skilled individuals to convene the necessities of industrial fronts in the city and countrywide, such as advertising, textiles, packaging, product, television and print media, security design etc. Besides its vital industrial input, Karachi School of Art has accomplished a distinguished function in inculcating the taste in visual aesthetic and values in Painting, Sculpture, Print and Water Colour in Pakistan. At present most of the nationally celebrated artist like Lubna Agha, Zaheen Ahmed, Mashkoor Raza, Ghalib Baqar, Riffat Alvi, Anwer Jafri Tariq, Jawaid, Najam Pirzada, Anjum Ayaz, Muhammad Kazim, Sumbul Nazeer, Athar Jamal, Danish Raza, Roohi Ahmed hold the educational background of KSA.

In conserving and propagating the tradition of Watercolour in Pakistan, KSA has contributed special efforts. Specific attention and dedication in this medium in regular curriculum has enabled the artists to use the medium of Watercolour as most communicative form of visual expression in most contemporary context.

At present almost dozen Art education centres are working in the city including, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture and the Department of Visual Studies, KU. A large proportion of artist teachers working in these centre of Art educations and founders have completed their basic professional education at KSA that unmistakably indicates the vital input that KSA has given in the field of education and the obligation to these education, centre owe to KSA. From these institutions a large number of graduates pass out every year to start their careers in growing relevant fields with an ample capacity of employment for many years to come. The other benevolent aspects of the presence and practice of these Art education centres are manifesting in constantly increasing awareness of Art and Design that has made it possible to initiate apprehension of the conceptual and essential issues such as protection of Art Works as National heritage, development of Museums on personal and nationwide level to collect, conserve and need of original research, cultural identity & integrity in the tradition of visual arts, moral obligations of gallery, gallery owners and art critics. In this thriving art activity now Karachi is turning into a True Art Capital of Pakistan and Karachi School of Art is accomplishing its aims, progressively & steadily. [1]

Vision & Mission[edit]

Vision: Leading on the educational front of the creative industry as the primary trendsetter and developing leaders in the industry capable of managing the massive change and challenges of the 21st century via creative solutions bringing Pakistan among the developed nations.

Mission: To provide higher education options with Bachelors and Masters Degree programs in the fields of Art and Design facilitating the national effort of filling the massive educational gap that exists in the creative industry.[2]



  • 4 years Bachelors in DESIGN & MEDIA ARTS
  • 4 Years Bachelors in TEXTILE DESIGN


  • 4 Years Diploma in FINE ARTS
  • 4 Years Diploma in COMMUNICATION DESIGN
  • 4 Years Diploma in TEXTILE DESIGN
  • 2 Years Diploma in DIGITAL MEDIA

Short Diplomas / Courses

  • 1 Year Diploma in FASHION DESIGN
  • 6 Months Diploma in PHOTOGRAPHY
  • 6 Months Diploma in DRAWING & PAINTING
  • 6 Months Diploma in INTERIOR DESIGN
  • 3 Months Certificate in SHORT FILM / DOCUMENTARY
  • 2 Months Certificate in GRAPHIC DESIGN
  • 2 Months Certificate in ANIMATION



Fine Art[edit]

Department of Fine Art Offers four years diploma in Fine Arts with the major and minor subjects of painting, sculpture, and printmaking. By third year students get well acquainted with the media of Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking, so in the second term of third year one subject out of these is selected as the major area of specialization with one minor. At the end of the fourth-year, students are required to submit a Final Project called thesis, which is taken as the apex of the studies. A panel of jurors evaluates the thesis project that leads to the completion of studies.

Huge painting and drawing studios; PRINTMAKING WORKSHOP with two new etching presses, SCULPTURE studio and fully equipped workshop with gas and electric welding plants, fiberglass and Mattel casting facilities; CERAMICS dept. with its own ball mill, glaze and material testing laboratory and a fine KILN[4]

Communication Design[edit]

Four years diploma program overall provides a framework which enables students to broaden their practical, conceptual analytical skills in the field of graphic design & advertising.

Courses are designed to equip students with critical, creative & analytical knowledge/ skills essential provide range of career in the field of design.

At the early stage of this Foundation + 3-years Communication Design studies, development of analytical techniques and drawing skills that help in visualization of ideas, are emphasized. Students get quite familiar with the history of the field of graphic design & its formal vocabulary i.e. colors, composition typography. In advance levels, students get more challenging studies where class assignments are taken more like real advertising campaign.

Department enjoys the assistance of Professional visiting faculty in all related field, the facility of an exclusive computer lab to keep the perspective of the subject directly linked to the present professional requirements.[5]

Textile Design[edit]

The Textile Design program prepares students to meet today’s imaginative, technical and intellectual demands of the textile and printing industry.

This department proudly retrieves its decades of reputation based on student’s extraordinary creative achievements resulting from a thorough knowledge of Textile materials and processes of dyeing, weaving and printing.

It is a department where ideas are inspired by wide ranging visual studies, personal environments and nature. Students are encouraged to develop high-end customized methodologies of observation and analyze specific strategies for the transformation of ideas into tangible and usable design. With in-depth lectures a range of professional advice the courses in this department aim to produce not only excellent designers but also skilled professionals capable of supporting the industry. This department is also one of the first in the country to venture into environmentally friendly reusable and sustainable materials via strategic research and execution of intelligent design.

The department maintains professional and industrial acquaintances and regularly participates in local and national textile trade fairs and completions of apparel design.[6]

Digital Media[edit]

Karachi School of Art offers two years diploma courses in Digital Media keeping forth the latest developments in media and technologies. To impart basic understanding of design, computer graphics and concepts related to software and hardware is the main aim of these courses. The courses also support the understanding related to the new interactive products, which are currently being developed in the field of communication. These courses provide a clear outline of hypermedia production to help students understand how programs are planned, produced and on web or on air.

The courses offer training in a variety of Computer Graphics Systems, in-depth knowledge on technology, methodology, & application relevant to the design production of Computer Graphics.[7]

KSA Gallery[edit]

Karachi School of Arts has long provided pioneering education in art and design. However, it is also an institution struggling to keep up with changing times and in its effort to modernize, KSA has transformed its gallery into a space which can be utilized by contemporary artists to create visual dialogues. Exhibitions will be held on a monthly basis, providing emerging artists with a platform to reach out to the public.

Being part of an educational institution, the gallery will contribute by familiarizing students with the key issues emerging in contemporary Pakistani art and the new critical methods which artists are using to engage with contemporary issues. Lectures and seminars will be a regular feature, encouraging students to undertake an active consideration of artworks while resisting simplistic conclusions and binary thinking.

The KSA Gallery encourages new experimental art, and hopes to bring forth unique exhibitions. It provides a critical space for artists to exhibit, and for visitors to explore the art on display.

Visit KSA Gallery Facebook Page for past shows, activities and pictures.[8]

Selected achievements[edit]

  • Truck Art Caravan 1994 in collaboration with PSO, supervised by Durriya Kazi. The purpose of the project was to bring art back to the people to whom it belongs and originate from. A truck decorated by art students in socio-political perspective, loaded with a mobile gallery traveled throughout the eminent city of Pakistan from Peshawar to Karachi in a month.
  • Artist Exchange Program 1997 in collaboration with Scotland Transport Museum. This project Karachi School of Art sponsored the stay of an English artist Nicola Griffith and study of indigenous origin of the decoration of transport vehicles, i.e., trucks, buses, rickshaw, taxis and carts. In response to that a Pakistani artist from KSA, Afshan Abid was invited to Scotland to work and decorate two most modern vehicles — a road liner and a commuter van — in the context of typical Pakistani decoration. The road liner was kept in regular services in decorated state for six month. The commuter van became the permanent exhibit of Scotland transport museum with the well-elaborated context of the join venture between two nations and from Karachi School of Art.
  • Top seven positions in Athena Awards 1996, conducted by One to One communication.
  • National awards secured by the artists belonging to Karachi School of Art on innumerable occasions.
  • Academic position in board since birth of the Board of Technical Education Sindh, Karachi School of Art has always held the best track record in term of positions in board examination.
  • Admission in NCA postgraduate program. The standard of education in Karachi School of Art, in term of philosophy and craft, is positively recognized by National College of Art (NCA) Lahore, by enrolling two graduates of Karachi School of Art in the second badge of masters program on the bases of four years diploma studies completed at KSA.
  • Participation in Sheraton Art Festival every year. Since the beginning of this local event Karachi School of Art has been the largest contributor amongst all art institutions of Karachi.
  • Commissioned paintings for Oman (Masquat). In August 1999, a group of five young and promising artists — Abid Hassan, A.Q. Arif, Shariq Ayaz, Zia Haider and Moazam Ilyas Jilani — were invited at Oman’s national day celebrations. The assignment was to paint on mesh and plywood surfaces. The huge paintings were displayed on eminent spots in the capital.



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