The Daily Heller: Art is Calm During the Storm

Posted inThe Daily Heller

Before the war, AZA NIZI MAZA (АЗА НІЗІ МАЗА) in Kharkiv was a creative space—especially for children—founded in 2012 by Mykola Kolomiets. With a focus on inclusivity, it has combined art classes on painting, graphics and sculpture for all ages; lectures on art; book projects; and shows, with the venue being “the best exhibition grounds in Ukraine.”

The main activity is on teaching. Instructors developed an approach to realize the potential of of each individual student. Classes have not been limited to techniques but also to introducing students to the modern context of art, and the history of art (in practice), showing how practitioners of different eras solved similar problems. The goal is to develop imagination and lead students to their own path and style.

Oleksandr Osipov Photography
In the Kharkiv Metro.

On the day the Russians invaded, the AZA NIZI MAZA studio became a bomb shelter and a transfer point for many people. But creative projects are continuing despite the dangers. The current collaboration is a poster diary, “WHAT I SEE,” in which Mykola Kolomiets reinterprets students’ works in the context of wartime. This project has received a lot of attention in Ukraine and abroad.

“Because of the war, we put classes in the studio on hold, but we have launched the classes at one of the Kharkiv metro stations,” notes Mykola.

Please support Aza Nizi Maza Studio through Paypal. Contact: nikolaykolomiets1@gmail.com

A foe is flying ever higher, but we’ve set his ass on fire. Dan R., 10 years old.
If only I could sprout a seed of new life here, in exile, to bring back home and grow my house back from the ashes. Dasha K., 11 years old.
The monster of war. Go back where you came from.Danya S., 12 years old.
–       Hide Jesus, here come air raid sirens again. Then we are back to fighting the enemy planes. Sasha R.,  12 years old.
Exploding earth crumbles like bread. Bomb craters are deeper than wells. Fires are like strawberries – smoldering-red. The nightmare of war cast its senseless spell. a S., 10 years old.
Life draws intricate patterns of our fates upon the ashes of war. Kira N., 11 years old.
I will be strong, although I know that life is gentle like a butterfly. Masha M., 11 years old.
When we’ll win – the heart will blossom and will  beat in memory of the fallen. Veronica, 12 years old.
Sounds of explosions are louder than words. Peter V., 12 years old.
And after our victory, we can throw a victory picnic. And laugh like the victors. And cry like the victors. And go on living like the victors. Sonya U., 10 years old.

Much thanks to Olga Severina.
Once again you can support Aza Nizi Maza Studio with Paypal, contact: nikolaykolomiets1@gmail.com