Art Gallery MASTACTVA
"Birch Forest"/"Biarozavy Haj" (1986) by Alla Zamay is a painting from the collections of the Union of Belarusian Painters that costs 8.4 million Belarusian rubles.
MASTACTVA art gallery is located in the city center, not far from the Central Post Office. Despite the gallery's loud claims about employing "a revolutionary approach to art marketing and trade," it is actually just a tiny shop with dully selling products. The bottom-line is: the culture of collecting arts is yet to emerge in Belarus. With virtually no art industry in place, paintings are usually bought as a farewell gift for a retiring colleague or a birthday anniversary present for a boss. In both cases, a nice Belarusian landscape is an ideal match, preferably in a massive frame, just like as the ones in the National Arts Museum. Forward-thinking artists jokingly nicknamed the old-fashioned traditional Belarusian art as "12 cubic meters of birch trees".
Handmade souvenirs and exclusive decorations can also be found in the gallery. Don't rush to buy them, if you're traveling on a budget. You will find plenty of cheaper souvenirs of a similar quality in the state shopping centers such as GUM and TSUM. At hand-made arts markets, you can get in direct contact with crafters who usually sell their artworks directly. This way, you can kill the middleman and get souvenirs cheaper. Many crafters are young, open-minded and English-speaking.