A group of interdiscliplinary medical professionals visited Konotop in 2017, the first project was a medical project sponsored by the department for global health and development, from the medical University in Graz. The aim was to help the local circle of friends group and run first aid and art therapy workshops courses for students. One of the medical professionals on the visit was Dr. Margarethe Brugger, she met the very active and interesting local lady Svetlana Shut, CEO from the Ukrainian award winning social project the Viden club (Vienna Club) in Konotop. This organization has been active for more than twenty years in the district and has many German and Austrian supporters.
Now, the second project was a cultural project. In Austria Dr. Brugger contacted partner organizations who work in the fields of art and cultural exchanges but she also decided to run a training course in Konotop for physiologists who work intensely with traumatized youth. She and art therapist Sabina Baumgartner introduced them, through a series of intense workshops to the concept of art therapy, something most had no contact with. Financially the project was supported by World House in Graz.
So in 2019 a very ambitious progam was written for the city of Konotop and titled Transart Summer School. While the art therapists worked with the professionals in childcare and psychology, two other partner organizations´ from Austria were also involved, they also work in social and artistic clubs in Austria. Veronica Dreier an artist of international repute worked with a group of young art students on a series of paintings that would eventually become a permanent part of an international art project called see the big picture. She advised, mentored and helped the young artists find ways to discover their own expression and unique style; under her encouragement 7 paintings are now part of the art project and will be shown in international galleries in the coming years. Desmond Doyle the iniator of the big picture was also at the workshop and played some music with the musicians from the circle of friends group.
To say the Transart Summer School in Konotop was a success would indeed be an understatement, the hospitability and gratefulness of the people was overhelming, we came as strangers and left as friends, it was for all concerned very emotional an educational exchange process. It Kiev the new paintings from Konotop were exhibited in the international art and language school Master Class and will be on display for the people of Kyiv to see until the 12th of July. The friendships forged here will continue in the future that is the opinion of all involved. The projects aim is to draw attention to the young people of the region through art therapy and art.
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