The new center “debuted” with a display of works gifted to it by Ivano-Frankivsk oblast artists. The youngest participant in the exhibition is Yevhen Samborsky, the winner of the last year’s Young Ukrainian Artists competition, who brought his two latest works to the Contemporary Art Center (CAS). The oldest one is a well-known graphic artist Volodymyr Humenny. Also among the exhibited works are those by Yaroslav Yanovsky, Ihor Pereklita, Myroslav Yaremak, et al.
The organizers say the center will not confine itself to exhibiting contemporary artists’ works alone but will become the region’s full-fledged hub of culture and creative activities – it will be presenting books, holding open-access lectures, showing films on artists, etc. Incidentally, the first lectures on design have already been scheduled for mid-September. According to artist Anatolii Zvizhynsky, one of the initiators and now the CAS director, the city is in bad need of institutions like this. The first attempt to establish a municipal CAS was made in the now remote 1999. But it is only now that this idea was implemented. City residents are saying proudly that this opening is a precedent in Ukraine. For, if you do not take into account the municipal galleries, a CAS of this type in Ivano-Frankivsk is now the only one in Ukraine.
“The center is on Taras Shevchenko Street,” Anatolii ZVIZHYNSKY told The Day, “but our long-term and strategic plans envisage one more location at the City Hall – to be more exact, in its basement. This became possible because the premises are now the property of the city, not the oblast. So I hope we’ll soon have one more room in the main building of the city’s historical center. Incidentally, the city has taken up all CAS maintenance expenses. I hope that the newly-established center will revitalize the cultural and artistic rhythm of Ivano-Frankivsk life.”
“I know that the idea of establishing a municipal contemporary art center, which will comprise museums and exhibits and analyze the ongoing processes in the city, was born a very long time ago,” says Ihor PANCHYSHYN, a researcher of Ivano-Frankivsk’s history. “At first the initiators expected the state to help them but then decided to set up the center at the city’s expense. It was a right step, for the city has now a superb instrument to collect and display contemporary art.”