The United Metallurgical Company (AO OMK, Moscow) and the OMK-Uchastiye Charity Foundation will hold the 8th Art-Ovrag Urban Culture Festival. The most significant urban festival outside of Moscow will be held between June 9 and 11 in the town of Vyksa, Nizhniy Novgorod Region, and will be co-sponsored by the town executive. It will be focusing on “useful art” as its leitmotif.
This year, the festival will be held at over 10 locations throughout the town and involve many well-known names. Street artist Timofey Radya, one of the most promising young artists according to Forbes, will create a neon installation in the center of Vyksa. A multimedia show called Daily Transformations is being put together by curator and Winzavod Contemporary Art Center Executive Director Natalya Fuchs. Together with artists Elena Nikonole, Dmitri Morozov, Ildar Yakubov, and Egor Kraft, she will be talking about the changes over time in the way human technology was reflected in art.
A premiere of the Martin's Passions theatrical performance directed by Golden Mask winning director and choreographer Anna Abalikhina will be a project central to the festival. It will be staged in Vyksa Steel Works’ unique historical open-hearth furnace facility. The show will celebrate the closure of one of Russia’s last open-hearth furnace facilities that took place earlier this year, in March. A large team is involved in the project together with Anna Abalikhina: production designer Ksenia Petrukhina, composer Alexey Syssoyev, playwright Ekaterina Bondarenko, project curator and director Yuri Muravitsky.
Another major festival event will see a 150-m table installed in the square in front of the town museum. The table is to be created by artist, architect, and production designer Laurence Falzon and curator Bertrand Gosselin. For three days, the table will bring town residents together and serve as a platform for various events, from celebratory parties to a large-scale chess tournament.
The festival's guests will be able to visit one of the few art residencies in Russia inaugurated at the previous festival last year. The residence provides an opportunity to see the Smena site-specific installation by resident artist Dmitri Bulnygin and a show by young muscovite Egor Fedorychev.
An extensive program has been put together for the children this year: master classes, games, a fair selling children's art. A slew of sports events will be offered in the town park, including parkour, BMX, workout, and mini-football tournaments. Educational program tents will be erected in one of the town's central squares to host lectures on art and theatrical master classes conducted by instructors from the Gogol School.
The festival's parallel program includes 10 projects designed by the town's residents themselves with Vladimir Selezniov from the Urals Government Center of Contemporary Art acting as project curator.
The Art Ovrag Festival is the only culture project in Russia to develop an entire city. It is the reason Vyksa currently has over 85 art objects, an art residence of its own, art court yards that are being created in collaboration with the residents while the town museum has begun filling up with works of contemporary art.
This year, the town will see its first items of urban design in the form of Art Ovrag transit stops. Visitors will be able to see the results of the accomplishments of Art-Ovrag in Vyksa over the past few years by following specially developed art trails. By registering for a tour of Vyksa Steel Works, people will be able to see both Europe's largest facility to manufacture mainline oil and gas pipes and train wheels and the world's largest mural (Vyksa 10,000) created by artists Misha Most on the wall of one of the biggest of the facility's buildings.
For the convenience of Art Ovrag guests, there will be special transportation will be offered from Moscow, Nizhniy Novgorod, Navashino, and Murom while the Festival is underway.
"The United Metallurgical Company develops its areas of operation both by investing in manufacturing and by spending to preserve the historical heritage and to develop contemporary culture. Over the 8 years that the Company has been holding the Festival in Vyksa, both the urban environment and the residents' interests and preferences have changed. Art Ovrag helps us and the town's residents improve the urban environment and build a two-way relationship between active residents and the town executive. The Festival has become an effective tool for solving many issues and has provided an impetus for Vyksa's growing tourist potential. This is positively reflected in the public's lifestyle and attitudes", noted OMK Uchastiye Charity Foundation Supervisory Board Chair Irina Sedykh.
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