St. Petersburg is today witnessing a resurgence of interest in contemporary art.  A new generation of young artists is bringing fresh energy and ideas into the local art community. This new generation of artists, many recent graduates of St. Petersburg’s traditional art schools, is eager to participate in the international art world. The community in St. Petersburg has appealed to CEC ArtsLink staff to orchestrate workshops and lectures that enhance understanding of contemporary art practices, standards, and trends. This VisArt program addresses their need by bringing U.S. curators and artists to Russia’s cultural capital to conduct interactive seminars, lectures, and roundtables for the city’s new practicing artists. 

CEC ArtsLink has developed a nine month program of seminars and roundtables for the city’s young artists in collaboration with our partner organizations: the Institute Pro Arte, Bard/Smolny College, and the Rodina Movie Theater. From March – November 2009, five U.S. curators and artists will spend ten days in St. Petersburg conducting seminars, making studio visits, and engaging in a dialogue with local artists eager to learn more about contemporary art trends.

During their visits, they also give presentations for the general public as well as for students and faculty at Bard/Smolny College as a means of encouraging interest, support and understanding for contemporary art. The seminars and lectures as well as the public programs are held at the Pro Arte Institute, Bard/Smolny’s new facilities at the Bobrinsky Palace, and the Rodina Movie Theater. Throughout their visit the US specialists will also engage artists in informal dialogues and critiques through visits to studios, galleries, and other independent art spaces. The U.S. participants include:
  • Chrissie Iles, Curator of Video, Whitney Museum of American Art
  • Mark Coetzee, Program Director PUMAVision, Chief Curator, PUMA; former Director, Rubell Collection
  • Michael Rakowitz, artist and professor of art, Northwestern University
  • David James, Film historian and critic, professor, University of Southern California
  • Eve Sussman, artist, New York, NY