My Summer Project 2013

Invite for Voices of Taraz Project

Throughout the summer I’ve been working on a project called Voices in Taraz in Kazakhstan. Above is the invite which has already past at this point in time. The exhibit was wonderful and we had a great learning experience. We had a blog for the whole project which was in Russian and English: House and Fruite tree Two Buildings in Taraz

Lots of incredible artwork came out of the exhibit! I made some video installations, took lots of photographs and most of all my love for watercolor was fully explored this last summer. I painted my favorite subject which are houses!


And people.
Opening eventVideo Installation and Artwork Viewing a video Viewing Art

We had a wonderful exhibition at the Central Exhibition hall in Taraz! There were all sorts of different people from the community who came! We were really happy to see all of the wonderful people who came to talk about their city and local history!

Gulnara, Daniel and Eva

The artist Gulnara Kospakova (Left) Me, and Anthropologist Eva Marie Debuisson on my right

Opening event

Farukh Badykhov and Sax Player

Event Opening

We got to collaborate with a bunch of really wonderful people too! That’s the real power of art when you can bridge the everyday with a project about their city and they can all contribute a little to the project to make it something really fun! 

Pinata and Children 2 Pinata and Children Pinata and participants in Taraz

My favorite part of the project may have been making a pinata for the kids as a memory of my own childhood to share with them. It wasn’t easy to do something like this because they had little idea how to play this game. I had to teach them plus I had to build the pinata. They had a great time and someone from the exhibit said they were going to build their own too!

I hope to make more projects in the near future! We’ll see what happens next!


Soviet Zhambyl (Taraz) in Art

Zhambyl visiting Moscow


Local Boxer

The Central Exhibition Hall in Taraz is an excellent place to see wonderful Soviet art. They have a lot of fine examples of Soviet Socialist Realist Art here and ongoing exhibits of local artists painting the local scenery.

Cross Country Skier

Cross Country Skier


A Microregion in Taraz


Abtodrom (Bumper Cars) in Taraz, Kazakhstan

Autodrome Square Autodrome Original


I found this wonderful sign at an amusement park here in Taraz and had to make it into an image. I hope to make it into something in the near future. Perhaps it would make a great print but I haven’t quite figured out what for yet. I love the way the original sign painting follows the contour of the building. For my design I balanced out the size of the O and the letter M.

Artpologist Project on Kickstarter

Kickstarter Snip

The Artpologist Collective is running a Kickstarter Campaign for our summer project. If you are intersted in helping or may know anyone who might be interested in donating to our project please forward this link:
Student Poster This project will be in Taraz, Kazakhstan. This city is in one of the southern regions of Kazakhstan. The area isn’t known for contemporary artists and we felt it could be a good opportunity to work in a place like this. We are working with students and their teacher to create a multi-media exhibit with them about their daily life in this small city.

If you donate,you will see that there are many wonderful rewards that are artworks specifically made for the project. I think it’s a pretty good deal for some art in your collection.

Social Practice Art With Artists Excursion Vehicle

Social Practice Art with Children in Taraz, Kazakhstan 2013

Gulnara the art teacher and her students in front of her art school in Taraz, Kazakhstan

Gulnara and her students with The Artpologists in front of her art school in Taraz, Kazakhstan

We are preparing for a new Artpologist project. This summer our project “Social Practice Art with Children” will take place  in the southern city of Taraz, Kazakhstan with the art teacher Gulnara Kospakova, a group of artists, art students and members of the community. The project will be a series of workshops for two months that will culminate into an exhibit about the life of the town and the members of the community that work and live there. We hope to give an opportunity for those who have never worked on an art project that is based on the approach of “social practice art”.

Typical House in Taraz

Typical House in Taraz

Young students and historian looking at petroglyphs

Young students and historian looking at petroglyphs

Teacher Gulnara Kospakova with student painting plein-air watercolors with student

Teacher, Gulnara Kospakova with a student painting plein-air watercolors

Art historian explaining local history

The art group’s resident historian explaining local Taraz history

I’ve been working on this Artpologist Collective for the last 7 years with my wife who is an anthropologist and friends who’ve collaborated with us along the way.  We have created art installations ,artist actions and public art pieces that engage with communities in different locations around the world. A Kickstarter for this project will be released next week. I’ll keep you all posted when it starts.

The Art School in Taraz

The Art School in Taraz