Confluences Resonants

Nini PALAVANDISHVILI_GeoAIR Tbilisi -public talk/ presentation by Kendal Henry at Tbilisi State Art Academy and installation in French Institute

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Nini Palavandishvili_ GeoAIR, curator Georgia Confluences Resonants
On 6th of May, 2014 at 15pm GeoAIR organises a public talk/presentation by Kendal Henry.

She was born and raised in Tbilisi, Georgia. After studying Art History in Tbilisi, she graduated from the UdK Berlin in Faculty of Public and Industrial Communication. After returning back to Georgia she worked as graphic designer for diverse advertising companies, cultural institutions, media and book publishers. Designing catalogues for exhibitions and individual artists led her way back to visual art and artist community. In 2006 Nini joined artist initiative GeoAIR and since then she is actively engaged in curating and organizing international exchange projects in Georgia and beyond its borders.
Through her projects Nini researches on social and political contexts and its interpretation in the context of cultural production and contemporary art. She is interested in artistic practice that gives innovative forms and finds a language with which it is possible to speak about socio-political matters.

Her recent projects include: « Station Babina » and “Cobra” Park interventions in the framework of Vacant Central Eastern Europe project in collaboration with KEK (HU) and 4AM (CZ) , Tbilisi, Georgia (2014); Now Wakes the Sea, Batumi, Georgia (2013), Travelling Foodways. Betlemi Quarter Stories. Tbilisi, Georgia (2013), Undergo. The parallels. Tbilisi, Georgia (2012), Very/Con/Temporary. In collaboration with Goethe Institute, Georgia, (2012), East Mission, Berlin, Germany (2012), Dressing Room/Garment Work. Elizabeth White & Anne Elizabeth Moore in the framework of Artisterium, 4thTbilisi International Contemporary Art Exhibition and Art Events, State Silk Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia (2011), Are We Again Travelers or Still Tourists? Artistic city trips in the framework of the IETM Autumn Plenary Meeting, Krakow, Poland (2011), Time future in the time past, multidisciplinary audio-visual art project, Batumi Georgia (2011), IMAGO, Group exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art (GfZK), Leipzig, Germany (2011), The Last Match, in the framework of Artisterium, 3rd Tbilisi International Contemporary Art Exhibition and Art Events (2010), Frozen Moments: Architecture Speaks Back. A project by Joanna Warsza. The Former Ministry of Highways of the Soviet Republic of Georgia, Tbilisi, Georgia (2010).

GeoAIR is backed with rich experience of implementing collaborative art projects locally as well as on international level. Besides, GeoAIR stimulates and raises awareness on art and culture in Georgia and the Caucasus region by conducting regular public discussions, which can serve as a basis for further development of educational programs for artists and the general public.

GeoAIR organizes and supports international exchange projects with the goal of strengthening the Georgian and Caucasian art world, bringing together artists and curators from different cultural backgrounds and finding relevant contexts for them to work in. Besides this, GeoAIR stimulates and raises awareness and engagement with art and culture from this region. We work together with international individuals and organizations that share our goals. GeoAIR has also become, over the past years, an ‘intermediary’ for individuals and organizations that seek connection with the arts in this region.

Since 2010 GeoAIR runs a residency program. This is a self directed residency program, that offers curators, culture producers and artists the opportunity to base themselves in Tbilisi, Georgia and use this location as a starting point to build networks, meet artists, cultural institutions and curators from the Caucasus region, and develop and deepen their knowledge and research of the Caucasus context. In return local artists, curators and organizations will have the opportunity to extend their knowledge about the innovative ways that many international curators are working.

Archidrome – Contemporary Art Archive serves as a presentation room where regular artists’ talks, meetings, discussions and presentations take place. We invite local as well as foreign artist for presentations and lectures that concern the cultural events in the region. It is about making a place where people can come and see creations, knowledge, experience and ideas that originate or are to be found in the Caucasus. It is like opening a window that gives you the opportunity to look into this field.

A fundamental part of all GeoAIR programs is the interaction with the public. As a minimum each resident is required to give a public presentation about their work and the project that they are developing during the residency. GeoAIR encourages residents to incorporate workshops during the residency in order to form closer relationships with the community and the local artists. Through these activities the participants share their experiences, processes and ideas with local artists, audiences and different communities. Also most of our curatorial projects have interdisciplinary character, we work very closely with architects, urbanists, anthropologists etc, we give priority to socially engaged projects, which intend close collaboration and involvement of communities.

On 6th of May, 2014 at 2pm GeoAIR organises a public talk/presentation by Kendal Henry.

Kendal Henry is an artist and curator who lives in New York City and specializes in the field of public art for the past twenty-two years. He illustrates that public art can be used as a tool for social engagement, civic pride and economic development through the projects and programs he’s initiated in the US, Europe, Russia, Asia, Central Asia, Australia and the Caribbean.
Kendal believes that the most successful public artworks start with the question, “What do you want the artwork to do”, and takes into account the audience and surrounding environment in the creation of that artwork. While all his public works are different they share a common thread. The artworks are always site-specific, created in collaboration with others (artists, community, designers, etc.) and presented in multiples.

He currently teaches at the School of Visual Arts’ Public Art Summer Residency program and is a guest lecturer at various universities and educational institutions including the Abbey Mural Workshop at the National Academy Museum & School of Fine Arts; Rhode Island School of Design Senior Studio; and Pratt Institute’s Arts and Cultural Management Program. Kendal served as the Director of Culture and Economic Development for the City of Newburgh, NY where he created the region’s first Percent for Art Program. Prior to that post he was Manager of Arts Programs at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Arts for Transit for eleven years. During this time, he has overseen the commissioning, fabrication and installation of MTA’s permanent art projects, served as a member of the MTA’s in-house design team, and produced temporary exhibitions at Grand Central Terminal. Previous to this experience he served as a Project Manager at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs’ Percent for Art Program. Kendal is also the Curator-at-large at the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Art (MoCADA) in Brooklyn, NY and was elected to serve two 3-year terms on the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Council.

In 2014 Kendal Henry is curating the International Public Art Festival “Art Prospect 2014” in Sankt Petersburgwith the title: Reclaim: React

Art Prospect is St. Petersburg’s only yearly event, which brings contemporary art into the city streets and provides the opportunity for artists from around the world to share their work with the local community. Initiated in September 2012, the Art Prospect Festival is a response to local interest in innovative forms of art that reach new audiences and offers artists from around the world a unique venue to share their work with unsuspecting audiences, who rarely view contemporary art works. The Art Prospect Festival strives to bring together a wide spectrum of interests to present contemporary art to the St. Petersburg community and to encourage collaboration and exchange between artists from around the world.

Kendal Henry, a U.S. artist and curator with nearly twenty years of experience in the field of public art,  will speak about international practice in the field of public art, focusing attention on temporary public art works and festivals.  He will also discuss his concept for the 2014 Art Prospect Festival of public art in St. Petersburg, Russia, which he is curating. The 3rd Art Prospect Festival, organized by the international cultural exchange organization CEC ArtsLink,will explore the ways in which artists address the vast and complex ecological issues at the forefront of global conversations through public participation and social engagement. In each instance the artist stretches the definition of art and redefines his/her role as instigator, collaborator, activist and designer while enticing the public to participate in curious and exciting ways. The audience is meant to encounter artworks that speak to serious environmental issues around climate change, conservation, energy, resources and environmental health in non-aggressive ways that increases awareness and inspires action.


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