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Pianists Beguentch Gueldyev and Mamed Guseynov together with soprano from the Helikon Opera, Daria Rubanova, sampled the oeuvre of famous Turkmen composer Nury Halmamedov for the first time in Canada. The series of concerts, Classical Turkmen Music Days in Canada, was dedicated to the loving memory and friendship of Durdy Bayramov and Nury Halmamedov. By hosting these concert evenings, the Foundation sought to provide the Canadian public with a deeper understanding of Turkmenistan’s cultural heritage.

Of four concerts, 2 took place at the Foundation, 1 at the Columbus Centre’s Carrier Gallery and the finale concert at the Ismaili Centre, Toronto.

This video features paintings by artist Durdy Bayramov set to Sounds of Dutar, written and performed by composer Nury Halmamedov. Bayramov and Halmamedov were raised as orphans in Turkmenistan but rose to become two of Central Asia’s best-known artists.

Artist and art instructor, Bahar Orazmammedova, works to conserve and restore her father’s paintings at the Durdy Bayramov Art Foundation. Bayramov often left his oil paintings to dry for two years before applying a coat of varnish to amplify the vibrancy and rich tones in his work. As a result, many of his works from 2012 and 2013 were left unvarnished due to the artist’s passing in 2014. As a trained practitioner in restoration and conservation, Bahar completes her father’s process, as seen here, by varnishing all remaining unvarnished works.

This exciting feature by Alexandra Adaskina follows the compelling story of how the Durdy Bayramov Art Foundation came to be. Filmed in Bayramov’s former residence, now home to the Foundation and an impressive collection of over 5,000 of his works, Adaskina interviews DBAF staff members. Inspired by the artwork and practice of acclaimed Turkmen artist, Adaskina digs deep to discover what inspired the establishment of the institution and what the future may hold.

This lecture was devoted to unique holidays officially celebrated in Turkmenistan. Guests learned about the history and unique features of such holidays as Turkmen Carpet Day, Turkmen Horse Day, International Day of Older Persons, Drop of Water – Grain of Gold Holiday, and Turkmen Melon Day. Discussions of these holidays were intertwined with Durdy Bayramov’s art
1. Jeren Balayeva, Former Executive Director of the Durdy Bayramov Art Foundation
2. Ayjeren Movassegi, Volunteer at the Durdy Bayramov Art Foundation. Ayjeren is a student at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada and is originally from Turkmenistan

Carpet Day is observed annually in Turkmenistan on the last Sunday of May to honour the Turkmen artisans who hand-weave remarkable textiles. Carpet making is closely intertwined with the culture and history of Turkmenistan and carpet weaving is extremely important to the national economy. Traditional Turkmen carpet patterns are depicted on the national flag and emblem of Turkmenistan, and hold significant symbolic meaning for the Turkmen people. Visitors had an opportunity to not only learn about the rich cultural history of carpet weaving, but to also see handmade Turkmen rugs.

Guest Speaker: Natalia Nekrassova, Curator, Collections and Research, Textile Museum of Canada. Nekrassova is an expert on oriental rugs and arguably one of the most knowledgeable people on Turkmen carpets in North America

This illustrated lecture explored the cultural heritage of Turkmenistan and this ancient land’s archaeology, art, and vibrant craft traditions.

Lecturer: Robert Pontsioen, Former Curator at the Durdy Bayramov Art Foundation

During this lecture museum guests enjoyed learning about the long and rich history of Turkmenistan, where Durdy Bayramov lived and worked most of his life.
Guest Speaker: Meret Orazov, Ph.D., Ambassador of Turkmenistan to the United States and Mexico.

This presentation introduced guests to the art and life of Turkmen artist Durdy Bayramov, who made a significant impact on the development of art education and culture of his home country of Turkmenistan.
Guest Speaker: Meret Orazov, Ph.D., Ambassador of Turkmenistan to the United States and Mexico.

Paul Michael Taylor, Director Smithsonian Institution Dept. of Anthropology, Asian Cultural History Program sheds light on Bayramov’s photographs visual documents of cultural history. Not only do the photographs function as inspiration for Bayramov’s paintings, but more importantly, the works stand on their own, imbued with importance and insight into Turkmen village life from 1960-1980.

Highlights from the opening reception of Through the Eyes of Durdy Bayramov: Turkmen Village Life 1960s-80s, May 8, 2015. A Featured Exhibition in the 2015 edition of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, marked the first time Bayramov’s photographs were shown publicly in a museum. Collectively, the work on display emphasized 3 themes of Turkmen village life: Villagers at work, Villagers at Home and at Play, and Portraits of Turkmen Villagers.

After Bayramov’s passing in 2014, daughter Keyik was moved to honour her father’s memory, and his wish to have a solo exhibition in Toronto, by displaying a selection of over 240 his celebrated paintings in his former home in North York, now home to the Durdy Bayramov Art Foundation.

While visiting his daughter during a sabbatical, the artist encountered a local collector, Walter Zenko, who takes an intimate glimpse into the Bayramov’s artistic process. In a brief 12 minutes, we enter Durdy’s studio in Toronto as he captures the likeness of Zenko’s wife, Eleonora Aroutiounian, onto canvas. The artist’s organic approach to capturing the beauty and spirit of his sitter while remaining consistent in reflecting his dedication to realism.

During Bayramov’s visit in 2012, he was interviewed by local collector Walter Zenko. In this footage, Zenko asks Bayramov to comment on the following topics: grandchildren, perfecting his practice, art criticism, interpretation, and the power of words and nature.  With sincerity and openness, Bayramov provides insight and shares his inspiration.

This footage showcases critical events in the artist’s final years and his ongoing legacy. This includes Bayramov’s last solo exhibition during his lifetime devoted to his 75th birthday and 55 years as a practicing artist (2013), Bayramov’s first visit to Canada (2012), a country he came to love, and the formation of the Durdy Bayramov Art Foundation. Two short years after the monumental exhibition in Ashgabat, and three years since his visit to Canada, daughter Keyik Bayramova and the Bayramov family transformed the artist’s former residence in Canada, Keyik’s family home, to establish DBAF.

Pieced together from a selection of film negatives found in Bayramov’s estate, is uncovered footage featuring formative moments in the artist’s life and career. Bayramov can be seen in his studios alongside paintings that are now found in museums throughout the globe and interacting with family, colleagues and students. As we continue to sift through the vast content in our archive, we look forward to discovering more unseen treasures