Meeting with Distinguished Artists

20.02.2021
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Meeting with Distinguished Artists

It was a special and memorable day for the Museum of Fine Arts when it hosted a meeting between students of Byashim Nurali Children’s Art School and eminent Turkmen artists.  Exactly 16 years earlier, students and creative professionals had participated in the opening ceremony of the Museum of Fine Arts of Turkmenistan boasting its distinctive interior design and unique collection. Therefore the event for the young artists and the luminaries was seen as symbolic. 

Among those who spoke during the event were People’s Artist of Turkmenistan Saragt Babaev, teacher at the State Academy of Arts (the Department of Painting) Merdan Nurmedov, Merited Art Worker of Turkmenistan Ishanguly Ishangulyev, and art teacher at Byashim Nurali Children’s Art School Nurmamed Nurmamedov. Each of them told about their career paths in art. Saragt Babaev needs no introduction because he is such a famous personality. He often pays visits to the School, and scores of his sculptures beautify the capital and other cities across the country. By the way, the Children’s Art School students had made sketches of many of the artworks by the sculptor during their plein air art sessions. And yet, the children had a question even for the master artist asking him what he was working on at that moment.  

– As our country prepares to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the great poet and philosopher Magtymguly Pyragy’s birth, Saragt Babaevich answered, this provides plenty of stimulation for my creative work and my studio is always a hive of activity. There is a surprise in store for our fellow countrymen, but it is too early to talk about it. 

When asked an interesting question about how he had moved away from realism to modernism, Ishanguly Ishangulyev answered that as a professional artist he often travels abroad. Inspired by the work of contemporary artists overseas, he decided to adopt modernist style techniques combining them with a distinctly Turkmen flavor. In fact, artists should seek and explore new ways of expressing themselves to avoid stagnation.  

The students also had a question “Why is your painting “The Oriental Woman” executed in green?” ready for Nurmamed Nurmamedov. “What is the color of the State Flag of Turkmenistan?” the artist answered with a counter-question. 

“How do you combine your career as an artist with teaching work at the Academy?” one of the students asked Merdan Nurmedov. “A busy lifestyle teaches us to treasure time and make good use of it. And I do my best to find a few hours, sometimes minutes for my creative work. By the way, while teaching students at the Academy, I get inspired by their youthful energy and enthusiasm too. This helps me to adopt refreshing new perspectives on life and the world around. ”

Taking advantage of the opportunity, some of the students were doing pencil sketches of the renowned artists on their drawing boards. The fascinating meeting at the Museum of Fine Arts offered the young artists a wonderful experience they will remember years later. 

Tamara GLAZUNOVA

Photo: Aleksey GIMALITDINOV