The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts with the participation of the "Life Route" Foundation and the workroom "Special ceramics at VDNKH" presents a limited collection of souvenirs made by people with autism or other developmental disorders. The release of the new souvenir line-up coincide with the World Autism Awareness Day, on the 2ndof April.
Many artists like to paint in a museum. Every Monday in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts one can meet students of art universities and studios, who make sketches in several halls. During their practice in the Pushkin Museum, artists with autism or other developmental disorders from the workroom "Special ceramics" created works based on the monuments of art of the Ancient World and Byzantium, the Trojan treasure and Coptic fabrics, paintings of old maestros and impressionists. Based on these sketches, a collection of souvenirs has been developed, which will go on sale on the 2nd of April, the World Autism Awareness Day.
The limited line-up of souvenirs includes canvas bags, handmade ceramic vases and dishes with drawings in the decal technique. Thanks to the joint project, artists with disabilities got an opportunity to cooperate with the museum. Everyone who buys an item from the collection will help the workroom.
In this Pushkin Museum project, you’ll find the works of Andrey Pashkov, Nikolai Filippov, Irina Skrobova, Vera Koloskova and Elena Trubikhina. The curators of the project are Evgenia Kiseleva, Julia Lipes and Maria Koroleva. Creative managers of the project are Alexey Karaulov and Anastasia Sorotokina. Vika Lobanova and Olya Chukovskaya's video “I love to draw on Mondays” tells the story of how artists work in the museum. Kirill Tikhonov and Vladimir Shnirman also participated in the shooting of this film.
The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts annually supports the World Autism Awareness Day, organizes excursions, lectures and other events. The museum has extensive working experience with visitors with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Since 2006, the 'Museion' Center of aesthetic education of children and youth works in the Museum, now headed by the art history PhD Olga Morozova. Maria Dreznina, an artist and art therapist is giving lessons in the Pushkin Museum for more than 12 years.
Since 2015 'Autism. Friendly environment' program is implemented in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts together with the "WayOut" charity Foundation. It comprises briefings for museum staff and classes for the people the Foundation is taking care of. Since 2016, as part of the “Accessible Museum” program, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts launched new programs for visitors with developmental disorders and released - the first in Russia – map of sensory safety of museum space.
Evgenia Kiseleva, project curator, Head of Access and Inclusion department of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts:
For slightly more than a year, artists of the 'Special Ceramics' workroom come to Pushkin Museum to watch the artworks and to draw. Some of them have favorite halls and themes. Someone is putting his portrait in each artwork, someone changes the scale of the figures on the picture, depending on the importance of the character, and each one of them has a very interesting vision and handwriting. With this project we want to remind that each person has his own take on a work of art and has a special way to express it.
Vera Shengelia, Trustee at the “Life Route” Foundation:
For our foundation, for the artists of our “Special Ceramics” workroom the collaboration with the Pushkin Museum is like a space-flight. I imagine how our artists with autism — Kolya or Andrey, or Verochka, who has Down Syndrome — tell their friends that their works are being sold in the Pushkin Museum — it's incredible. But the most important thing is that it's a very important step for the society as a whole. This is an opportunity to see life in all its diversity, to make sure that people are different, that it’s not our diagnoses that are important, but our dreams, our talents and our specialty.
The collection will go on sale on the 2nd of April. You can purchase these products in the gift shops of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts.