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Art in Georgia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, July 12
Interview with the young painters: different ideas of art related problems in Georgia

Dea Soselia, 25 thinks that Georgia is one of the best places to find inspiration for painting. However, she said that there was room for improvement in the system. In particular, she thinks the following are important: giving the chance to children to appreciate art during their school years, a higher-quality academic arts education program, exchange programs which would help young painters familiarize themselves with foreign cultures, which she feels is essential for the growth of painters.

Dea, when did you start painting?

It was a long time ago. We are all painters in our family, my grandfather is a lecturer at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts, my parents are living abroad and their paintings are exhibited in Europe. My sister and I started painting from childhood despite our parents best efforts to hide brushes and paper from us. They felt that to be a painter in Georgia was quite hard. However, when we started painting on the wallpaper, they figured out that their action was useless.

What is required for an individual to be interested in art and what should be done for developing artistic ideas in a person?

More attention should be paid to art in schools. A child should be exposed to various types of art at an early age. It is important for their development, for refinement of what they find of interest and for their self-expression. As for the higher art institutions, I believe that students should have an opportunity to learn how to draw well and express their ideas in a better way.

How did the methods of Tbilisi State Academy of Arts meet your demands?

I think that the academy taught me the fundamentals, which were important. There are very talented Georgians who graduated from the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts and are successful in the US and Europe. However, I would suggest that it would be better if more hours were allocated to drawing, exchange programs which would involve frequent visits by Georgian and foreign artists, whereby ideas could be exchanged

How would you compare Georgian and foreign attitudes towards art?

There are more spaces for exhibitions abroad. Also, modern technologies and modern visual art centers are numerous abroad. Support of art should be strengthened in Georgia. Cultural integration and openness are essential. Our artists have the ability to be unique and to take their positions on the world’s art stage.

What might be done in Georgia for the development and advancement of art?

The government should express more interest. There needs to be an overhaul of cultural policy. There is also little interest from the media. There are no periodicals on art, and no TV programs on cultural issues. The public should be informed. How can the public form a view without information? There are so many talented artists the public do not know about…also, the discovery of talented people is not enough, financial support is required, which will help them develop their skills.

If there was a better situation in Georgia concerning art, and painting would you still have the desire to study abroad?

I would be happy to return, if the situation was better.

Do you think Georgia is an attractive place for foreign artists?

Georgia is an interesting country for artists. Inviolable and diverse nature, ancient historical monuments… I think Georgia will always be a permanent inspiration for artists.