Texts as Cultural Treasure

15.12.23 - 30.08.24
The project aims to refocus attention on library books/journals as an important source of cultural heritage and a vital inspiration for creative practitioners, both local and international.

The project aims to refocus attention on library books/journals as an important source of cultural heritage and a vital inspiration for creative practitioners, both local and international. During The State Silk Museum’s ongoing architectural renovation process when the museum’s vast collection of silk industry-related objects are in storage we seek to re-activate its extraordinary yet underutilized library collection. 

6 accomplished Georgian and American cultural practitioners from visual artists to fashion designers to poets and book arts makers to filmmakers and new media artists to conduct research in The Silk Museum’s library and generate a new work based on their site-specific research. 

During Spring 2024, when the four US participants (3 artists and 1 co-curator) will be in residence in Tbilisi for 14 days, they will work closely with Silk Museum staff to conduct their research and exchange ideas with their 4 Georgian artistic counterparts, helping to foster a new international cultural network. Along with learning about each other’s practices as artists and arts educators, all participants will be featured in the museum’s “Texts as Cultural Treasure Festival”, presenting public talks and hands-on workshops to wider local audiences in the museum’s newly renovated basement rooms.  

Once the commissioned pieces are completed in the following months, the artists’ works/process will be featured on the museum’s newly launched website by Fall 2024, enabling international audiences to virtually access them and learn more about the hidden treasures in the Silk Museum’s library. These final outcomes will ultimately be installed as interventions within the library space itself, serving to inspire the museum’s curators to generate future exhibition and educational strategies, public programs and projects with the library as their cultural heritage focus.


US artists:

Stacey Steers - Internationally celebrated filmmaker, member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Guggenheim Foundation/Creative Capital/American Film Institute Fellow; Adjunct Faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Mary Tsiongas - Greek-born, internationally exhibited New Media artist who was designated the honor of “Women to Watch 2015” by the National Museum of Women in the Arts; Professor of Experimental Art + Technology at University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

GE Patterson - Acclaimed African American poet and critical writer working as a teacher, editor and collaborator with international artists across multiple fields including music, dance and public art; Adjunct Faculty at Metro State University in St. Paul, Minnesota.


Georgian artists:

Nino Kvrivishvili - Accomplished mid-career textile artist who has received residencies/exhibitions in Lithuania, Austria, Switzerland and Germany; educator at the Tbilisi Art Academy and the Free University of Tbilisi.

God Era - Nino Goderidze is a visual artist and a non-binary slow fashion brand known for sustainable and ethical fashion practices, experimenting with eco-materials and queer speculative fictions; recently featured in Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi.

Mariam Zal - Mariam Zaldastanishvili is a graphic designer and illustrator. Works in book design, visual identity, exhibition design. Participated in 4 personal and several group exhibitions in Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria and Georgia. She is a laureate of many artistic awards. Leads the Visual Communication Program at the Free University's School of Visual Arts, Architecture and Design (VA[A]DS)


Project co-curators: Lydia Matthews, Nino (Chuka) Kuprava, Mariam Shergelashvili

Fiscal sponsor: CEC ArtsLink

Funded and supported by US embassy Georgia