KIU Hosts First Kutaisi Mural Fest

An old saying: “everything new is well-forgotten old” can be successfully applied to murals. From Upper Paleolithic times, murals have been painted, but lately, with front line artists like Banksy, street art has become a self-expressive division of art, associated with freedom, youth, and new technologies, and for some, like British sociologist Dick Hebdige, even the concept of subculture. Following the heartbeat of the youth, the newly-opened Kutaisi International University decided it was time for Kutaisi to host its first-ever mural festival on the KIU campus.

From September 15 to October 8, Kutaisi hosted the KIU MURAL FEST. The festival was initiated by the Kutaisi International University and was implemented by ‘Tbilisi Mural Fest’ organization. Here to beautify the walls of the KIU campus, a world-renowned group of street artists visited Georgia for two weeks.

Among the invitees were painters from Germany, Serbia, and Greece who have painted different famous walls in different cities around the globe. The street art international stars: INO from Greece, ARTEZ from Serbia, INNERFIELDS and CASE MACLAM from Germany have now left their colourful marks on the walls of KIU campus.

Those wishing to visit the artsy walls around the KIU campus can do so as soon as on-campus learning begins at KIU.

KIU MURAL FEST was Kutaisi’s first, and, hopefully not the last, mural fest. Murals, and street art in general, bring the old into dialogue with the new: a building of a hundred years is revived with modern painting on its walls. In this way, it was quite symbolic that the event took place in Kutaisi, one of the oldest cities of Georgia, still rather conservative in its architecture. KIU MURAL FEST has brought the town a sense that it is further integrating with the modern world without losing its niche. This is how the festival aims to support the popularization of Kutaisi: the murals done by world-famous street-artists will now be on the street-art world map, making Kutaisi all the more interesting and diverse a place to visit, and the KIU campus even more unique.

The outstanding and innovative artworks around the KIU campus will create a unique atmosphere for the students to study and rest, and from now on, this will be the place where technology meets modern art.

“Founded last year, Tbilisi Mural Fest has beautified many buildings in Tbilisi. We decided this year that Tbilisi should not be the only city in Georgia hit with mural art, and we should have other parts of the country involved. We partnered up with the KIU and brought world-known artists to Kutaisi, who worked to make the place unique, and Kutaisi ever-more interesting and diverse. Murals are not mere decorations on the wall; they carry messages, and it’s important to bring new generations of students closer to these ideas of freedom and deeper meanings that come with murals. With these murals on the university buildings, the students of KIU will not be consumed by routine; they will be inspired and freed as they study, grow, and relax on the campus,” Besik Maziashvili, one of festival’s main organizers told GEORGIA TODAY.

About the organizers:

The Kutaisi International University (KIU) campus in Georgia covers 153 hectares of ecologically clean environment, uniting ultra-modern academic buildings, library, cafeterias, sport and road infrastructures, communal working spaces, student apartments, and dwellings for academic and administrative personnel. The development and construction of the college-city is being taken step by step, with the finances of Cartu Fund.

This year, KIU welcomed its first students. According to the average score results of the National exam, KIU is the first public university in Georgia.

Tbilisi Mural Fest was founded last year thanks to the support of Tbilisian and Berlinian City Halls. The idea for the festival belongs to Georgian sculptor Besik Maziashvili, who has been based in Berlin since 2012. He has created different festivals and is the organizer of this one. His works are exhibited in galleries around the globe. In Berlin’s European Cultural Museum, Besik’s works are kept in the museum’s permanent collection.

08 October 2020 18:00