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On 17 May 2018, in the exhibition hall of the Mukachevo Children's Art School named after M. Munkácsy, it was opened an exhibition of the students of Kharkiv art studio "Aza Nizi Maza".

The exposition is titled "Mom, Turn on the Light!".

The exhibition presented about 40 works – paintings of the studio’s students aged 7 – 14. "Aza Nizi Maza" is famous for its entire non-standard method of studying throughout Ukraine. The process of mastering the basics of art takes place through the ordinary academic training, but in the form of communication, discussion, and games. The founder of the studio, Mykola Kolomiets, believes that it is better to develop the passion for art. "At all the centres, they, first of all, say: "Learn at first and then work," said M. Kolomiets. “We think it’s wrong. Why should you study if you do not create?” In addition, according to the head of the studio, you should not separate children's and adult art, children should be treated as full artists. Today more than 200 boys and girls study art in the studio.

The exposition "Mom, Turn on the Light" is several years old. It is presented for the first time in Transcarpathia. "The theme of the exhibition is separate children's fears," M. Kolomiets explained. “Our students created these works just during the 2014 riots in Kharkiv – after the events of the Maidan and at the beginning of the war. Our studio was just in the centre of events – near the Russian embassy. There were such days when children could not just get to the studio. Of course, they experienced all these events, because they saw violence in the streets. They felt pressure and understood how war could change their lives. They conveyed these feelings and mood in their paintings. When everything was over, we saw that the theme of fear and tension was very interesting from the art point of view. This is a peculiar document of that era."

All paintings presented at the exhibition are made in experimental technique. "The specifics of our training is that we have invented a method that allows you to work for a very long time and with different materials," the founder of the studio said. “This is a combination of all possible techniques: oil, pastel, watercolour, gouache, canvas, and collage. The exhibition contains almost everything except etching.”

The exhibition "Mom, Turn on the Light" was appreciated by the representatives of the Mukachevo Art School.

"It's nice that we are witnessing freedom of creativity," the director of the Mukachevo Children's Art School Serhei Kireiev said during the opening. “In the USSR, this would be strictly forbidden. Exhibitions in the style of expressionism are quite interesting. But as for me, it’s better not to combine children's and adult creativity because they are different in the psychological and emotional state. Thus, I believe that the academic basis is still needed for the young artists."

The exhibition "Mom, Turn on the Light" at the Mukachevo Art School named after M. Munkácsy will last until 28 May 2018.

Text: Denys Fazekash
Photo: Nataliia Pavlyk
© Art & Culture Foundation Brovdi Art