Artists for Peace: Georgian creative protests country’s occupation with New York project

Artist Tedo Rekhviashvili (centre) photographed at the New York Academy of Art 2019 Tribeca Ball. Photo: Tedo Rekhviashvili on Facebook., 11 Jun 2019 - 16:47, Tbilisi,Georgia

Artists from around the world joined young Georgian creative Tedo Rekhviashvili, a student at the New York Academy of Art, in support of Georgia and against the ongoing occupation of two of the country’s regions in an artistic project involving displays in the United States.


Over the past few weeks Rekhviashvili has been involved in exhibiting artwork created under Artists for Peace, an initiative involving fellow students of the field in the US with the aim of reflecting on the ongoing occupation of parts of his country and on the subject of peace.


Working with Tato Okruashvili, Young Ambassador of Georgia to the US, he spoke to those involved in the workshop about the reality of Russia’s occupation of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia), two Georgian regions, since the 2008 war between the two countries.

See the video for the project Artists for Peace, featuring comments from Rekhviashvili and messages of support from involved creatives:


Artists involved in the workshop then created works in genres and techniques ranging from composition to abstract and expressionist, Rekhviashvili said in his comments on the initiative. They also shared their messages of support for the idea and for the initiator of the project.


To my great surprise, I received so much unexpected support and warmth from them, which served as a motivation for continuing our work on the project with even more enthusiasm — Tedo Rekhviashvili.

A follow-up part of the project involves exhibiting the results of the workshop in three American cities, with a display in Philadelphia followed by shows in New York and Washington, DC.


The opening exposition involved 15 works on show, with Rekhviashvili noting a combined “high value” of the exhibits in an interview with the news website.



The Georgian plans to return to home country following his studies in New York. Photo: Tedo Rekhviashvili Art on Facebook.


Many of Rekhviashvili’s family members have background from Abkhazia, a region which an estimated quarter million ethnic Georgians fled following a 1992-1993 conflict.


The artist noted the 1990s war and the more recent occupation of the country’s north-western region by the Russian military as a subject “sensitive” for him and Ambassador Okruashvili, with their concern resulting in the idea for the artistic project.


The young creative, who graduated from the Tbilisi State Academy of Art before continuing studies in the US, has also said he intends to return to Georgia after graduation from the New York school.


The artist’s plans involve campaigning for reforms to the Georgian educational system to benefit the “young people in need of a chance for a better education to become professionals”.