Discovering Art Talents in Montreux
SUISSEPIC recently had the opportunity to interview a talented young lady named Valeriya Khachaturova. She worked in the art business curating private collections art galleries. Years ago, Valeriya moved to Switzerland to share her expertise, inspiration, and knowledge across the country. She helped create the Association Riviera Culturelle and the experiential education project called the MusicArt Centre, which helps with the development of cultural work in the Montreux region.
Today, Valeriya owns a private art studio that helps individuals of all ages discover their hidden artistic talents.
Photo by Valeriya Khachaturova
SUISSEPIC: How did you discover your love for art?
Valeriya: I completed my art education at a private art studio in Russia. For 13 years, I learned how to draw objects, humans, animals, and how create good compositions based on the latest art education programs in America and Russia. I also discovered popular artistic techniques that included decorative art, such as crafting with clay and metal. Yet, I am not a painter. I was very interested in the art history and would have liked to have been an antique appraiser. This is why I continued my studies in art history and the business of art. They were as fascinating as the painting itself.
After I completed my education in art business, I continued my research work in art history. It was about this time that I discovered a new and interesting way of experiential learning for children and adults. By blending my technical experience, knowledge of art history, and art business, I have been able to share this wealth of information with my students, allowing them to learn how to paint at an exceptionally fast rate.
SUISSEPIC: Why Montreux? What draws you to the town?
Valeriya: When I arrived in Switzerland, I was curating a Russian’s art collection that contained Dutch and Flemish painters from the 17th and 18th centuries. We opened an art gallery consisting of the Old Masters in Montreux, as well as exhibitions on the Old Masters and contemporary artists.
For centuries, Montreux has been a place of historical significance, attracting a variety of cultures and individuals. The power of this town inspired me create the Association Riviera Culturelle. This includes an experiential education project called the MusicArt Centre, which allows for the development of cultural work in the region.
Together with my partners, we offer walking tours through the city centers of Fribourg, Geneva, and Montreux. Follow one of our guides and you’ll discover the various historical buildings, architecture, and artistic elements within these beautiful cities.
Photo by SUISSEPIC
SUISSEPIC: What is the idea behind your business?
Valeriya: I believe that everyone can draw and create beautiful works of art without having to spend fives years at an art university. If one offers a great explanation, then a student can learn the techniques quickly.
In 2015, I started a project called the MusicArt Centre under the Association Riviera Culturelle with 10 Swiss students that had no previous drawing experience. Within 4 hours, we were creating oil paintings.
Since its founding, the Association has grown to over 250 students, ranging in age from 4 years old to adulthood. Over 1,000 pictures have been created from a variety of painting methods, including acrylic, oil, and watercolor. I also work with locals and expat communities in the Cantons of Geneva and Vaud.
Photo by Valeriya Khachaturova
SUISSPIC: What is your professional goal with these art classes?
Valeriya: The goal of my art classes is to have people discover their artistic abilities and show them in a variety of ways that will further their development. Everybody has a different experience when it comes to art classes. For some, art is relaxing after a long and tiring day at work. Whether you’re a banker, diplomat, fashion designer, lawyer, or a mompreneur raising 4 to 5 children, art is a nice hobby that separates one from their full-time job. For others, creating art brings excitement and removes boredom.
One major challenge for some of the students is to have them overcome a lack of confidence and convince them that they can create art. A student studying in my classes will be able to overcome such a challenge and not have any difficulty entering an art university in Europe or participating and winning an art contest. Some of my adult students have even received orders to paint a portrait or decorate an interior.
I usually teach small groups of 3 to 5 people, allowing each student to receive his or her initial results fast. With smaller groups, I can attend to the individual’s needs and create a personal program for each of my students. This will encourage them to continue painting and apply what they have learned in my classes. I also listen carefully to their style preference and the types of artwork they would like to create. Based on this information, I can guide the student towards creating magnificent paintings, as well as suggest various techniques that will develop a student’s artistic skills.
SUISSEPIC: For individuals that are curious or wanting to become a potential student, what would be the first step?
Valeriya: Please come to our annual exhibition on the 7th of December 2019 in Geneva (Maison Internationale des Associations, Rue des Savoises 15, 1205 Genève).
If you are a prospective student, I will let you know that we are growing fast, and our classes fill up quickly. We have ambitious plans for the future and are always open to new painters.