Impressive amateur exhibition hosted at Georgian National Library
31 March, 2017
Impressive amateur exhibition hosted at Georgian National Library
Georgia's National Library hosted an interesting exhibition on March 29. The artworks created at Free Art Studio by amateur artists of different ages and professions were displayed at the Conference Hall of the Library.
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There was a separate corner for
the works created by the children with Down syndrome. One of them is a 24-year-old Lekso Podiashvili, who is already quite an accomplished artist, who sells his works successfully. Catalogues were printed especially for this exhibition, with some of the best works. A trivia game was held as well and the winners were given free workshops as prizes.
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Georgia Journal talked to the founder of the studio Lana Dolidze.
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Everything began with a childhood dream. She loved to paint ever since she was a little girl but as the years went by she gradually became used to the fact that this dream was never meant to come true. A doctor by profession, she also worked as a journalist. Recently, with the help of her daughter, she finally did what she desperately wanted to do all her life. She says it was quite unexpected.

“I was talking about how much I wanted to paint, when my daughter told me that it is never too late to start pursuing your dream. I was skeptical at first but my daughter prepared a very unexpected surprise for me: one day she bought a drawing easel for me and for herself and told me we were going to start practicing together,” she says.

Lana Dolidze has practiced for one year at one of the art schools and then offered her tutor, Ana Mamisashvili, to open an art studio together. That is how the started their studio, offering one-off workshops that are extremely popular today.
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Free Art Studio

“Some people, who have never held a brush in their hands, come here and start to paint. They find everything here, the paints and other items, and they have the unique opportunity to draw a picture, take it home and be happy,” she tells us.

They have opened particular courses too and have set up a special 45-day program, “everything little by little”, as they call it. There are 10 individuals in each group, studying all kind of painting techniques. It proved to be so successful that the course duration was increased to 6 months.

The felt courses turned out to be very popular among foreigners. They had the opportunity to make different items using this natural cloth and it was precisely foreigners who were interested in the process.
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Working on felt at Free Art Studio

One of the hallmarks of Free Art Studio is the art-therapy course.

“We have a very experienced art-therapist, psychologist and the specialist not only in painting therapy, but also in yoga, meditation, etc.,” Lana explains.

The studio tries to offer diverse subjects to its visitors and the experiments are always welcome. They’ve tried many directions: drawing on silk, cloth, also enamel courses. In the case of the latter, one could make enamel items in two hours and return home with handmade jewelry.
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Batique

One of the popular directions is classes for children, where they work on various materials: clay, origami, etc.

“Recently, we worked out a very good way of keeping the child busy when mom is busy with household chores. We gave the children rice, buckwheat, pasta and glue - they made fabulous applications,” our respondent says.
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There is no age restriction at the studio. For example, the founder recalls a case when a grandchild brought his 80-year-old grandmother for classes and it proved to be a fantastic experience for the old woman.

There were some workshops in pairs too, when two people painted the same picture.

“The idea of such multi-profile studio first arose when I wondered what I could do during my leisure, or especially on holidays, when everything is closed in the city. I felt the necessity of a place where people would have the opportunity to simultaneously relax and pursue their hobby. Eventually, we ended up creating exactly that kind of place ourselves,” Lana says.
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Lana Dolidze at Free Art Studio

People learn many things here and then some of them go and make their homes more beautiful. They come up wiht new ideas and make some very interesting things with their own hands. Furthermore, Lana says that instead of buying famous masterpieces that cost millions, the guests of their studio reproduce works by Climt, Van Gogh, Monet, Georgian artist Nino Chakvetadze, etc. It turned out that when the latter was told that her paintings were repainted by amateurs at Free Art Studio, she said it was an honor for her to know that her works were appreciated that much.

The price is purely symbolic: 2-hour one-off workshop – 35 laris, 3-hour free painting workshops – 40 laris, 2 hours of art-therapy – 20 lari and one-month course for 100 laris.

For each visitor of Free Art Studio, the most important thing is alternative ways of self-fulfillment, understanding the world of the unknown, relaxing and creating something interesting. These are the truly invaluable benefits they enjoy here.
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