The United Metallurgical Company (AO OMK, Moscow) and the OMK-Uchastiye Charity Foundation presented a concept for the seventh Art-Ovrag Urban Culture Festival (co-produced by Company and Foundation and to be held in Vyksa, Nizhniy Novgorod Region). The Festival will take place between June 16 and 18, 2017 and will be the first such event to be held both on land and on water: it will focus on and be held at the famous Vyksa ponds.
This year the Festival will be a large-scale affair since Vyksa is celebrating two important dates: Vyksa Steel Works (AO VSW, an OMK Subsidiary) will be celebrating its 260-th and OMK its 25-th anniversary.
The principal events, under the common water motif, will be held at the city’s largest body of water, the Upper Vyksa Pond with an area of three square kilometers. This will host new urban art objects in the form of floats that will be built by Russian and international architects and artists. Their idea is that a floating garden will highlight the beauty of Vyksa’s waters. One of the five floats will be built to a design developed by residents themselves.
The 2017 Art-Ovrag program includes different sports, cultural, and educational events and master classes. The Festival and the celebrations related to the 260-th anniversary of Vyksa Steel Works will give Vyksa the largest graffiti in the world covering an area of 10,000 square meters. It will be put on the outside wall of the WPM-5000 rolling mill building. The town will also get new art courtyards which are unique areas that residents will outfit next to their buildings as part of the Festival. The VSW History Museum will co-host a show with the Polytechnic Museum (Moscow) and co-sponsor a workshop of urban art together with the Nizhniy Novgorod Center for Modern Art.
“The thing that sets this year’s Art-Ovrag apart is that the town’s residents are not simple participants in its events. They are creators and they define what the Festival will be like, how it is to develop, and where it is going. This year was the first time that we started outlining its program with two strategic sessions that involved the public, Vyksa’s municipal government, and the Government of the Nizhniy Novgorod Region. This is a new phase in the evolution of the Festival and the entire town. I believe we are on the right track”, noted festival architect and organizer and OMK-Uchastiye Charity Foundation Supervisory Board Chair Irina Sedykh.
The Art-Ovrag Urban Culture Festival has been taking place regularly since 2011 and is part of OMK’s strategy systemically to develop areas where it does business. It is co-sponsored by the United Metallurgical Company and the OMK-Uchastiye Charity Foundation and enjoys the support of Vyksa’s executive and the Government of the Nizhniy Novgorod Region. Art-Ovrag promotes the creation of a favorable cultural and social urban environment and helps take full advantage of Vyksa’s potential as a tourist location.
Between 2017 and 2019, the Festival will be produced by Yulia Bychkova with Anton Kochurkin active as its principal curator. Both have been organizing the Archstoyaniye Festival in the Kaluga Region for 10 years.