There is an unworldly strangeness you feel when you first step into Art Villa Garikula; it’s claiming, inviting, and  mystic. You look around and imagine that you are in a fairy tale. The house, built in the style of Edgar Alan Poe, seems is a little bit scary, yet interesting and mysterious at the same time. Here is where your fairy tale adventure begins.

Garikula

Garikula
Photo Credit: Nestan Mamatsashvili

Eighty kilometers from Tbilisi, near the ancient city of Kaspi, the village of Akhalkalaki has been inspiring painters, filmmakers, and common folk with its unique colors, nice landscapes, and natural lighting changes since early 1900s.

Art Villa Garikula, the former Bolgarkiy Summer Residence turned Contemporary Art Center, is a multifunctional international platform showcasing the first artist commune in Georgia. The property also serves as an exhibition space and education center.

Garikula
Photo Source: Garikula Facebook Page

How to get there: from Tbilisi Didube Bus Station – there is a shuttle bus (Marshutka) going hourly to Akhalkalaki. Ticket price is 1 $.

Garikula
Photo Source: Garikula Facebook Page

Most of the 2,400 m²  (0.6 acre) property is occupied by fruit trees, vineyards, and hedges bearing delicious plums also used in making vodka.  Their Marani, a Georgian wine cellar, remains traditional despite the European design of the house. It can be accessed from the back of the property and feels like an integral part of it. You can learn more about their Marani when you visit.

People in Garikula
Photo Source: Garikula Facebook Page

Garikula is driven by its passion to create an environment where artists can live and work together as one team. It works to foster, within its residents, the desire to cooperate and establish networks vital to rethinking what the role of art and the artist is in the new world.

Art Villa brings together artists from all over the world to exchange ideas and implement different projects. It is a cultural crossroad for people with creative interests and various backgrounds in the arts where their imaginative energy can be focused and  brought together. 


Garikula
Photo Source: Garikula Facebook Page

The commune creates international opportunities and promotes joint contemporary art projects and interpersonal links. It’s biggest project is The Brothers Zdanevich International Festival of Contemporary Art which debuted in 2009 and has been held at the Bolgarskiy Palace Courtyard annually.

Garikula
Photo Source: Garikula Facebook Page

The artists at Garikula share a united dream to create in Akhalkalaki a self-sustaining, developmental refuge for contemporary art; an art village, gathering the people of fine arts and passions to create a universal instrument of understanding. Therefore, everyone who believes in the power of art to shape the time in which they live is invited to participate.  If you are not artist or if you are not creating something by yourself, you are still invited to visit Garikula’s events and spend your day in pleasure while eating their various fruits a bit of wine or vodka.