STREET ART


 Photo: Siarhei Hudzilin

Although Minsk is a student city, it is yet to become a city of street art. Red tape is to blame as youngsters are allowed to paint wall fragments only during special events. The walls are usually safely located in remote areas away from the city center. Try painting an “unauthorized” graffiti elsewhere; it will last less than a week - the municipal community service workers will cover it with a neatly painted grey square. So, don’t be surprised to see many grey squares on the buildings, most probably also including the one where you and your friends are renting a flat.

 

Graffiti at Ščuhajeva St. Photo: Volha Bubich

Just like any rule, this one also has an exception. At the very end of Kastryčnickaja street, near Metro station Pieršamajskaja, you will find a big street art painting - a portrait of Belarusian photographer and professor Valery Labko who died in 2008. The portrait, created by the artist Mikhail Mishuk with printing ink, is in fact a mosaic made up of hundreds of miniature book pages.

Red courtyard

Red courtyard
The only well-like courtyard in Minsk, known as the Red courtyard, has become a source of inspiration for many artists. Apart from street art, the courtyard also hosts a school of photography, Studio 67 (http://studio67.by/.) The School often organizes open-air events: Christmas flea market, outdoor cinema screenings, tango evenings and others. The only thing that can stop wonderful things from happening here is bad weather.
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Icons on the stones

Icons on the stones
Kurapaty Memorial Place, getting there A masterpiece of art and crafts – the portrait of Orthodox Church saints painted on the stones http://olga-mir.blogspot.com/2012/07/blog-post_13.html -- is hidden in the Kurapaty memorial located in a Minsk suburb. The icon-painter of Holy Resurrection parish, Anatol Kuzniatsou, claims that he “sees” the ready-made portraits with his inner vision or even sees the saints in his dreams. St. Nicholas-the-Wonderworker, Serafim Sarouski, Yefrasinnia Polatskaya, Mary Magdalene and many other saints are painted on Kurapaty stones. The artist has also created the portraits of five priests shot by Communists in Minsk in 1937. Stones have long been a traditional sacred symbol in Belarus well before the Christianization. They are perceived to be “growing from the Earth” and are still considered by some as objects of worship. To learn more about stones in Belarus, check the XII-century stones in Druja and Polack (Viciebsk region).
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Boulders Museum

Boulders Museum
Experience the mysticism of ancient stones in the unique Museum of Boulders where 2134 boulders were brought into one place in the 1980s. Those giant stones were used to lay a map of Belarus.   Towns and cities are marked with the groups of stones, while the stoned pathways indicate the main roads of Belarus. Two small artificial ponds symbolize Lake Narač and Minsk Sea (Minskaje mora). The most peculiar 500 boulders are placed on the map in the places where they were collected. When the sun is shining, this museum transforms into a lively neighborhood area. Moms with strollers are taking long walks, young guys in sportswear drink beer, while some more exquisite visitors smoke hookah and grill meat sitting on the artifacts. However, if you’re tempted to follow their example, remember that drinking alcohol in public places – especially in a museum – is forbidden in Minsk.  Photo by Volha Bubich
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  • Address: Uručča neighborhood Getting there: trolleybuses 2, 41, 61, 62, buses 63, 63d, 27 (Boulders Museum (Muziej Valunoŭ))

A Very Local Zoo

A Very Local Zoo
Have you ever seen a zoo made of synthetic foam before? The creation of such a zoo took artist Anatol Zhdan four long years but finally here it is: a carved collection of wild and domestic birds and animals that has turned an unpopular street into a post modernist spot. Take a ride to Siadych Street to see the Belarusian version of Noah Arc!
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  • Address: 30 Siadych St. Getting there: bus 87с (Lahojski Trakt stop), tram 1, 5, 6, 11 (D/s Zialony Luh stop)