This year in Kiev, the 64th annual gala will be held at Mystetskyi Arsenal- an 18th century architectural gem of Ukraine. Although it was originally built on the ruins of a monastery to house the military arsenal, the leading architect Lieutenant-General Ivan Meller envisioned that the "time will come and you will see that I've built this house for the people, not for the fortress." Two centuries later, Meller's dream has been fulfilled; Mystetskyi (meaning "art") was given its name once Ukraine gained independence in 2003. The Arsenal houses priceless works of art and showcases modern installations by internationally renowned artists. It represents the bustling artistic and cultural scene that is emerging in Kiev and the community's desire to be a global player in contemporary artistic expression.
With its grandiose, cathedral ceilings and intricately, detailed columns, that support immense and infinite archways, the Mystetskyi Arsenal is one of the most visited historical monuments in Kiev. It celebrates the essence of Ukraine- a proud nation recognizing its past, while fully embracing its future.
Join us while we dine to the musical stylings of Ukraine's most populare bands.
Also while we're enjoying light conversation during the cocktail hour, we'll catch a glimpse of Ukraine's up-and-coming fashion designers with an integrated catwalk.
It'll definitely be a memorable night filled with music, art, media and news!
Gala Dinner at the Mystetskiy Arsenal
10-12 Lavrska str.
at 19:30, on Tuesday, 4 September
Mystetskyi Arsenal (Art Arsenal) is one of Ukraine's most promising projects in the field of culture and has a fair chance of becoming one of the world's largest museums.
The mission of Mystetskyi Arsenal is to combine many Ukrainian cultural achievements and initiatives into one conceptual national project thus presenting the Ukrainian historical and artistic heritage as part of world cultural heritage.
MYSTETSKYI ARSENAL NOW
For many native Kyivans, the new exhibition premises in the city’s centre are still a white spot on the map. For centuries, this magnificent building was in military use: top secret, sealed, surrounded with barbed wire. People tended not to notice it, afraid that their curiosity might be taken for gathering military intelligence.
Built in 1801, the Old Arsenal building covers approximately 24,000 sq.m on 10 hectares of land and neighbours the shrine and monastery Kyiv-Pecherska Lavra, one of the most important and oldest religious sites in Ukraine. For two centuries it was used by the army and after the collapse of the Soviet Union fell into disuse. In 2003, the government decided to allow building on the Mystetskyi Arsenal to begin transforming the space into Ukraine’s premier public museum displaying both contemporary and historic art. When it opens to the public on 1 October 2014, the renovated Arsenal is set to become one of Europe’s largest cultural institutions. Nataliia Zabolotna, General Director of the Mystetskyi Arsenal, and Commissioner of the first Kiev Biennale, has been the driving force behind this project.
The Mystetskiy Arsenal has become the site of the First Kiev biennale of contemporary art that displays over 250 art works, by over 100 international and Ukrainian contemporary artists, including 40 new works made especially for the exhibition by internationally renowned artists including Yayoi Kusama, Phyllida Barlow and Boris Mikhailov and major art works by artists including Ai Wei Wei, Louise Bourgeois, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov and Bill Viola. The main programme for the Biennale is on display in the historic Mystetskyi Arsenal from 24 May until 31 July 2012.
The First Kiev Biennale showcases both Ukraine’s rich culture and its relatively unknown legacy of producing leading international contemporary artists such as Boris Mikhailov, Oleg Kulik and Ilya Kabakov. In recent years the city of Kiev has become home to a thriving artistic community and ARSENALE 2012 brings a wide range of established and emerging contemporary art to the capital, providing a platform for some of the best international artists and establishing Kiev as a leading cultural city.
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
Ivan Meller, the Arsenal's architect, wrote two hundred years ago: "Time will come, and you will see that I've built this building for people, not for the fortress." Little by little, his far-sightedness becomes clear.
Soon, a new-generation museum, with modern technical infrastructure meeting requirements of a dynamic exhibition centre and offering vast opportunities for education, will offer visitors spacious exhibition halls, art laboratories, electronic libraries, bookstores, conference rooms, classrooms.
Until late 2014, parts of the complex will be under reconstruction. Nevertheless, even today Mystetskyi Arsenal is functioning in a vivid creative format: in October 2010, the premises of Old Arsenal were adapted as much as possible for the convenience of visitors and exhibitors, thus enabling the realization of versatile cultural and artistic projects. The architectural and spatial concept of the complex allows for arranging large-scale art projects, exhibitions, presentations, charity balls, and more.
MYSTETSKYI ARSENAL is the Cultural Partner of 64th World Newspaper Congress and 19th World Editors Forum