YARAT Contemporary Art Space is a non-profit arts space dedicated to contemporary art exhibition and dialogue in Baku, Azerbaijan, established in 2011 by its founder the artist Aida Mahmudova. Providing a platform for local, regional and international artists, curators, thinkers and cultural practitioners; Yarat has fast become a major exhibition, cultural and educational hub in the Caucasus region having organised local and international art events and symposia.
Highlights of the education programme includes a strong concentration on building and supporting local artists with a bi-monthly mentoring professional development programme to be led by Sara Raza and invited guests. The mentoring programme is especially designed to provide artists and creatives with the necessary know-how and confidence to explore their practice from a variety of different angles helping them to sustain long term careers and the ability to compete, locally, regionally and internationally. The mentoring platform is further complimented by the establishment of international and host artist residency programme with the Maraya Art Centre in Sharjah an important cultural city in the Gulf, as well a programme for independent artists and curators to conduct research in Baku. Such partnerships are on par with YARAT’s ethos to not only support artist development, but to also create and secure partnerships with different geographies and emerging arts centres.
For younger audiences YARAT has developed a taster programme entitled ‘Little Yarat’ aimed at school age children through to teenagers. Little Yarat is a playful arts platform for young people that enables them to get involved in Yarat’s workshops and interact with local and guest artists. Each unique workshop is inspired by individual artist’s respective practices and provides a window into art making through play. Activities range from traditional painting & drawing to more creative workshops such as new media exploration making cameraless films, street photography and fashion and art collaborations. In addition, in the summer of 2015 Yarat will host the 1st Children’s Art Festival, which will feature works produced in nationwide school workshops across Azerbaijan under the theme ‘Describe the Sky', exploring science, the universe poetry and the changing environment.
We also encourage you to take part in ARTIM (meaning Progress in Azerbaijani), YARAT's Young artists support programme, which aims to encourage the next generation of Azerbaijani creative talent to seek a career in the arts, and gives young practitioners the opportunity to exhibit their works in a professional context.