By Victor Mikhailov
Art in general, and fine arts in particular, must retain originality while having a clear theme, in order to have meaning. Moreover, art should be accessible, attractive and professional. The idea has been clearly realised by the Belarusian Union of Artists, which has decided it’s high time to release an album.
Of course, to invent is easier than to implement. This wonderful idea could have remained unrealised, if funds had been lacking. Pleasingly, the International Confederation of Artistic Unions (headquartered in Moscow) offered financing for the project. It would have been unwise to miss this chance, since the period for the album’s release was limited. The Belarusian Union of Artists took up the offer gladly, although much work was required. Disregarding the deadline, the album was sent to print after the third design was approved. Designer Andrey Savich, Artists’ Union secretaries Rygor Sitnitsa and Sergey Timokhov, and Chairman Vladimir Savich only relaxed once the edition was in circulation in Minsk.
The amount of work that has been put into the project is impressive. All obstacles are in the past; the book is the result of determination and persistence. At the solemn launch ceremony, nobody concealed their pleasure. Symbolically, the ceremony took place at the main museum of the country, invited by National Art Museum Director Vladimir Prokoptsov. “This event is worthy of renown among the artistic elite of the country,” he said. “For the first time in the history of our independent Belarus, we have a unique edition, published at a high artistic level, with wonderful illustrations. Its content demonstrates that modern Belarusian art is full of talent.”
Many of those present at the ceremony admitted that the album is a success. People’s Artist of Belarus Georgy Poplavsky, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday, is delighted with the album, which he plans to give as a gift when travelling abroad or accepting guests. He stresses, “We can be proud that we’ve created such a high quality album. We know the high level of our artistic endeavours but the rest of the world should also discover our talents. It’s important for people worldwide to learn about our country. Our artists create European-level pictures and sculptures. We are the equal of anyone and even have much to teach others.”
The album aims to promote modern Belarusian art, which draws on rich traditions, including those of Europe. It shall enlighten youngsters, inspiring their respect for our national artists. Already, most of the editions have been distributed to libraries and educational establishments, while ministries and other organisations are to receive copies in the near future.
Importantly, the album should open a door to the wider world, aiding discoveries. More foreigners will learn about Belarusian painters, strengthening our ties. No doubt, culture enriches not only the artistic elite but ordinary people who wish to understand it. The more such meetings occur, the more sincere they will become. Art of Belarus serves this aim.