1-10 July: International festival KenArt in Kenozero, Arkhangelsk region (30/06/2010)

On 1-10 July, the Kenozero National Park (Arkhangelsk region) hosts an international festival “KenArt – European cultural bridge” that marks the end of the project funded by the European Union. The festival will feature two architectural and art expositions: landscape theatre “Northern equator” and architectural park “Kenozero’s jackstraws”.

Architects, artists, sculptors, carpenters and volunteers from Russia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium, Estonia, Belarus and Ukraine will gather in the ancient village of Maselga, the Kargopol sector of the Kenozero National Park, to create a unique landscape theatre, the main element of which is the landscape of the environmental path “Northern equator”. In 2009, there was a competition to select the best art project designs for this exposition. Among the ideas put forward by the artists are an extraordinary boat-shaped bench, a natural brook turned with help of stone and wood into a live violin, an ingenious pathway “Cloud on water” and other sculptured compositions.

The festival will also feature the opening of the architectural park “Kenozero’s jackstraws”. Guests and participants will be presented its first exhibits: Vakhromeev’s farmstead from Karpovo village (house, banya, barn, and well), Sidorov’s chimney hut from Mailakhta village, Chapel of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker from Vershinino village. These are the miniatures of architectural monuments erected according to all standards of carpentry. The park is expected to gradually acquire new exhibits which represent the development of Kenozero’s traditional hieratic and civil architecture.

Moreover, the programme of the festival includes various folk craft classes, artists’ workshops, festive functions devoted to cultures of the countries participating in the festival (Kargopol, Karelia, Smolensk, Estonia and the Czech Republic) and concerts of Russian and European folk and jazz bands. The Day of St. John the Baptist on 6 July which is one of the most poetic feasts of the Russian traditional calendar will become a lively event of the festival programme.

The festival will reach its culmination on 10 July at the official ceremony which will be attended by Governor of the Arkhangelsk region Ilya Mikhailchuk, Director of the Kenozero national part Elena Shatkovskaya and representatives of the Delegation of the European Union to Russia.

For participation and accreditation please contact the organizers:

Alexandra Shatkovskaya, telephone + 7 (921) 293-46-21, e-mail: kenozeronp@gmail.com

Background:

The project “KenArt – European cultural bridge” is funded by the European Union under the Institution Building Partnership Programme supporting EU-Russia cultural cooperation initiatives with a total budget of two million euro. This is one of 9 projects selected under an open call for proposals launched by the EU Delegation to Russia in 2008. It aims to organize an international cultural festival that will be a great celebration of cultural wealth and diversity of the Kenozero area (eastern part of the Archangelsk region) by bringing together local and international artists, art designers, musicians, masters in handicrafts, experts in cultural revival and restoration from Russia, the Czech Republic, Estonia and Norway. The main objective of the project was to increase the self-esteem and mobility of local artists and craftsmen in presenting their artwork, fostering artistic creativity and formation of a new environment for exhibiting and showing local artistic production. The EU partners include the Wallachian Open-air Museum (the Czech Republic) and non-profit organization Arhipelaag (Estonia).

The Kenozero National Park is a prototype ecosystem that preserves the history and culture of the Russian North. Well preserved natural complexes, numerous monuments of material and intellectual culture, architecture, monumental painting, icon painting, archaeology, and rich ethnographical material are good illustrations of its purpose. In 2004, the park joined the World network of biosphere protected areas and was officially announced as a world heritage site. The park covers an area of 1396 sq km in the southern part of the Arkhangelsk region close to the Karelian border.