Students, as well as lecturers celebrate alma-mater’s jubilee with artistic reports

The Republican Art Gallery in Minsk hosts exhibition devoted to 70th anniversary since the establishment of the Belarusian State Academy of Arts

The Republican Art Gallery in Minsk hosts exhibition devoted to 70th anniversary since the establishment of the Belarusian State Academy of Arts

The show continues the Academy’s tradition of preparing an artistic report on its activity for the Belarusian public, in connection with landmark dates. As a rule, exhibitions — including the present show — demonstrate the achievements of the Art Department and the Department of Design and Decorative and Applied Arts. This November, there will be an artistic report of the Theatrical Department and the Department of Film-making.

At present, the Belarusian State Academy of Arts is one of the country’s leading artistic higher educational establishments. Unsurprisingly, staff at national art schools and institutions of fine arts and design tend to be Academy alumni; they also account for most members of the Belarusian Union of Artists and the Belarusian Union of Designers.

Among the Academy’s lecturers are the best masters of Belarus’ fine arts: People’s Artist V. Tovstik, as well as V. Zinkevich, A. Finsky, P. Tatarnikov, A. Artimovich, V. Slauk and other highly professional teachers. They have all made great contributions to the development of national fine arts and design. As a result of their lecturing, they’ve shared their expertise and diverse artistic approaches with students; through their work, they have gained international recognition for their academic mastery and conceptual experimentation.

Owing to the efforts of qualified lecturers, many talented students have been inspired to follow their own path, even without completing their academic courses. The mosaic decorations on the façade of Minsk’s All Saints Church were created under the guidance of D. Chubukov, as were the church paintings in the village of Barkolabovo, in the Mogilev Region’s Bykhov District. Young teacher K. Kostyuchenko designed the Gates of Memory memorial composition, on the site of the former Trostenets concentration camp. The present show at the Palace of Arts features his work: as previously showcased at the 2011 International Biennale of Arts in Venice.

The show features works by representatives of the Art Department and the Department of Design and Decorative and Applied Arts, created over the past five years. The Art Department — which launched in 1953 — presents modern easel painting, theatrical-decorative art, fine solutions for films, easel and book graphics, as well as the best educational drawings, pieces of monumental-decorative art, works by student-restorers and sculptures. In addition, works by department lecturers are on show, by such acknowledged masters as V. Zinkevich, V. Tovstik, Y. Khilko and P. Tatarnikov. There are also works by members of the young generation: A. Vyrva, K. Kostyuchenko, V. Malakhov, V. Melnik-Malakhova, A. Skorobogataya and A. Yaroshevich.

The Department of Design and Decorative and Applied Arts — founded in 1976 — is a unique school uniting seven chairs: of decorative and applied arts; of costume and textiles; of industrial design; of graphic design; of interior and equipment; of theory and history of design; of drawing, painting and sculpture. These train specialists across ten specialities and seven specialisations.

The exhibition presents diploma and course papers by department students, enabling anyone to gain acquaintance with a wide range of works, from traditional decorative and applied arts to the latest developments in the field of design. Among them is a model for a new passenger car (made by an Academy student during his internship at a German car company). There is also a decorative fountain, devoted to legendary Lake Svityaz (often mentioned in our domestic poetry) and an interesting clothing collection, influenced by traditions of Belarusian folk material-and-art culture. There are collections of artistic glass and metal and samples of furniture, in addition to projects of diverse interiors, and a series of posters and video films devoted to topical events in Belarus’ modern life and history. Overall, the exhibition leaves a bright and vivid impression of our achievements in decorative and applied arts and the state of modern design in Belarus.

Among the department’s alumni are winners of Republican and international contests and Olympiads, as well as scholarship holders of the Belarusian President’s Special Fund for the Support of Talented Youth. Students of the Virtual Environment Design course have included D. Kornienko, I. Yukhnevich and R. Myazitov: all winners of the Youth Delphic Games of the CIS (2005, 2008 and 2010).

The high quality of training offered by the Art Department and the Department of Design and Decorative and Applied Arts is confirmed by their alumni’s popularity at such leading companies as BelAZ, Amkodor, Atlant, Vityaz, Belkommunmash, Minsk’s Wheel Tractor Plant, Neman Glassworks, Belarusfilm National Film Studio and the National State TV and Radio Company.

By Veniamin Mikheev
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