The City Art Gallery of Shemelev in Minsk
Galleries, exhibition halls
To see the talent and inspiration
In Minsk there is the municipal gallery of Leonid Shemelev - one of the most talented artists of our country – the first in the Republic of Belarus. His regalia may be listed endlessly – the People's Artist of Belarus, laureate of the State Prize of the BSSR and of the Prize of the Union state with Russia, Cavalier of the Order of Francisc Skorina. And most importantly, thanks to his energy and commitment, our capital has got a new art gallery.
The official opening of the gallery in 2003 was a real event in public and cultural life of our capital. It was the first time that Minsk and entire Belarus had got such a large collection of works of one author - 60 priceless paintings. It should be noted that before the opening of the gallery of Leonid Shemelev, Minsk had not got its own city gallery – there were either Republican, or Departmental.
The gallery is located in a building in Rokossovsky Street, 49 and occupies two large halls. In the main hall we can see the works of the master. During his long and colorful life, and to think that the artist was born in 1923 and passed the fronts of the Great Patriotic War, the artist has suffered a lot, seen a lot of things and learned much. And now he has something to tell the present and future generations. Therefore, in the exhibition hall there are pictures painted by Leonid Shemelev over a large period of his life between 1974 and 2003. It's a lot of paintings of various genres, all of them - landscapes, portraits, still-life paintings - are written in a bright original and emotive manner.
You can see everything in his works: history and poetry, city streets, and marvelous rural landscapes, the pain of war and the joy of victory. Here you can see such landscapes as "Fire Flax", "White Sun of the Blue Winter", a little nostalgic and lyrical still-life paintings "Memories. Still life", "the Black Rider", portraits "the Portrait of Elena Astrejko," "the Portrait of Elena Molochko", portraits of his friends and relatives. There are also large-scale historical paintings, such as "Vitebsk during the War of 1812". Amazing landscapes of Belarus remain in the memory: views of the Logoisk district, Naroch, the Lepiel district, the outskirts of Minsk and the hometown of the author - Vitebsk. The works by Leonid Shemelev clearly reveal the author's individuality, all bright faces of the artist's vast creative work.
In the same hall there are frequently exhibited the works of the author which are not included in the main collection of the gallery. Such exhibitions are organized by the artist himself, and fellow artists, and private collectors.
In the second hall of the gallery of Leonid Shemelev a variety of temporary exhibitions is presented. There are sculptures, art photography, and graphics of not only famous authors but also little-known Belarusian artists. It is because Leonid Shemelev and the management of the gallery are constantly looking for new names in the art world. That was the very reason the gallery was created - not only to preserve the creative legacy of Leonid Shemelev, but also to hold constantly educational events. The residents and guests of Minsk are invited to various art seminars and lectures, music and creative programs, special series: "Private Collection", "Watercolor", "Memorum".
And though the first purpose of the gallery is still to get acquainted a broad audience with the work of the outstanding artist Leonid Shemelev, which is still of current interest - his reflections about the fullness of life, the beauty of nature, the complex human relationships, the spiritual wealth of our country.