Gallery near Zamkovaya Mountain

One of the first private art galleries — the Estate of Artist Konstantin Kachan — opened its doors to visitors

This beautiful building in the very heart of Novogrudok near Zamkovaya Mountain is very noticeable, and it is like a real lord’s estate. The well-known Belarusian artist Kastus Kachan, its owner, dreamt about it for a long time.
By Irina Svirko

This beautiful building in the very heart of Novogrudok near Zamkovaya Mountain is very noticeable, and it is like a real lord’s estate. The well-known Belarusian artist Kastus Kachan, its owner, dreamt about it for a long time. In native places (he is a native of Lavrishevo village), in such a premise, has wanted to open a picture gallery for a long time. Therefore he bought, with his own means, the house, which was under the threat of collapse in the city centre, and in 2008, he started in its construction.

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The first private art gallery — Estate of artist Kastus Kachan


The special project of the estate, in the style inherent in historical Novogrudok, was made by the well-known Belarusian architect, Leonty Zdanevich.

One month ago the desire at last came true — one of the first private art galleries — the Estate of Artist Konstantin Kachan — opened its doors to visitors.

The gallery has two spacious halls with about 70 works of the recognised master of landscape and still-life. Trees, flowers, peasant houses, castles and churches, reapers in the field, a mill... The picture Winter Evening takes a separate place in the exposition. The artist calls it meaningful; in 1980, it became the starting point for his serious, creative activity. When it was shown for the first time, it was a big success, after which the young artist was noticed, and his works started to be included in Republican, all-Union and foreign exhibitions.

Interesting detail: according to first education, Kastus Kachan is a physicist who graduated from the BSU. He said that he forced himself to do that, as by his second year in the physical department, he understood that it was not the door which he would chose in due time. But he did not feel that painting, of which he was fond since childhood, should become his work for whole life. But that error was corrected, and for several years the graduate physicist and free listener of Belarusian State Academy of Arts studied painting.

Today, Konstantin Kachan’s works are in many museums of the country, in the art fund of the Ministry of Culture of Russia, funds of the Belarusian Union of Artists, in the Tretyakov Gallery, in private collections of Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Austria, France, Italy, the USA, Turkey, South Korea, China, Vietnam... People willingly buy his pictures and it was this monetary source that financed the construction of the gallery.

“At first there was not enough money, it was only possible to buy one old building. But I had a certain confidence that money would appear. And God helped. Probably, it happens so, when a person has a noble purpose and idea which is for general advantage. Just during this period, my pictures started to sell well,” Konstantin Ivanovich recollects.

Many critics call him a singer of Belarusian places. He does not argue and fairly admits that he is actually attracted by the unpretentious beauty of landscapes of small western towns and villages among which Novogrudok, with its mysterious power of antiquity and force, has a special place. According to the artist, he is always attracted here like a magnet; and he works here especially fruitfully.

gallery2.pngHis art studio and living space are located on the top floor of the gallery. So, in the winter, at least, Konstantin will be able to forget about talkative Minsk, his personal capital workshop, and to move to Novogrudok; all the more so that he already has a new creative idea which is worthy of fruitful embodiment — to start painting portraits. He considers that the exposition needs them near landscapes.

Together with the artist, his wife, Zhanna Borisovna, changed Minsk — today’s capital, into Novogrudok — the old capital. She works hard together with him in the gallery, hospitably receives visitors and arranges tours.

She also collects local ancient gentry tableware. The collection already has a dozen of interesting pieces, and she intends to allocate a separate corner in one of halls for them.

The pair also has far-reaching plans — to unite the estate with one more building. It is equally historical, is also bought and is located nearby. There, the artist believes, could be located removable exhibitions and children could master painting. A patron from Novogrudok has appeared who is ready to support this idea financially. In a word, the estate will be extended and become a gallery complex.

“You know, I am very happy that I finally managed to achieve what I have dreamt about for a long time. I feel happy. I am proud that now, in my favourite Novogrudok, as there should be in the notable ancient cultural-historical centre of the country, there is an art gallery — a centre of art life. For this purpose, believe me, I do not feel sorry for neither forces, nor time, nor money,” Kastus Kachan emotionally said. He is a person of generous nature and a sincere patriot of his land.
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