Diana Shpungin | May Residency Highlights

My residency time in Saint Petersburg was completely inspiring and insightful both professionally and personally.  I was able to meet so many gracious artists and arts professionals, conduct research for future projects, lecture to a group of curatorial students and the local arts audience at both the University and at Anna Nova Gallery and take in the myriad of culture the beautiful city has to offer, –ranging from opulence to decay.

I visited the Baltic sea, a body of water I had not seen since I was a small child in Riga. I toured many abandoned forgotten sites from former soviet times including constructivist architecture, factories, military forts, the “Giant” bath house and numerous former domestic, commercial and industrial structures.

Saint Petersburg is a city of countless museums, big and small. I spent several days at the Hermitage, Russian Museum, Bread Museum and many other institutions gaining a deeper understanding of Russian art and history. I was able to view several important Malevich works in person, attend the opening of Anselm Kiefer, and at the Anna Akhmatova Museum there was a very impressive exhibition of Joseph Brodsky’s archives and artifacts.

Almost everyday had a filled itinerary and the staff at CEC Artslink could not have been better at assisting. Thanks especially to Liza and Susan for making my residency so impactful and memorable. I will fondly remember all the dinners and gatherings, vodka, blini and caviar. It will take several months (or longer) to properly process all I learned and experienced.


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