Arts Council Azerbaijan is an organization with wide sphere of activities. We have a craft sector as a separate branch of our organization which we are developing and working on constantly. We have done a lot of projects in craft sector such as:
1. Drawn Carpets. As part of the traditional Festival of Arts and Crafts in the old part of Baku – Icheri Sheher, in front of the Art Tower art gallery, carpets of the Karabakh, Shirvan and Ganja schools in the style of street art were created. The main goal of the project was to promote the ancient Azerbaijani art of carpet weaving and the development of Street art.
In November 2010, the “Traditional art of weaving Azerbaijani carpets in Azerbaijan” was included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Street art is a trend in contemporary visual arts, a distinctive feature of which is a pronounced urban character. “Carpet weaving is one of the most significant and ancient types of Azerbaijani folk-applied art, the traditions and secrets of which were carefully kept and passed down from generation to generation. The carpet absorbs the desires and feelings of the one who wove it, passing on to us the secrets kept from the depths of centuries. Here it is, the Azerbaijani carpet – ancient, magical, full of symbols and secrets. You can study it for years and still find something unfamiliar, revealing more and more new mysteries. Among the Azerbaijani carpets are Absheron, Ganja, Gazakh, Shirvan, Shamakhi , Karabakh, Guba, Nakhchivan and Tabriz.
2. The Traditional Decorative-Applied Art Festivals. The festivals were organized by Arts Council Azerbaijan with the support of the Youth Network, “Icherisheher” State Historical-Architectural Reserve Department, Azerbaijan State Art Gallery, Ministry of Culture. Works of batik, tapestry, ceramics, mesh, and carpet types were exhibited at the festival. The purpose of the festivals was to promote decorative-applied arts, to help the development of these national arts by creating interest among the young generation. The festivals provided a great opportunity to preserve traditions and show the handiwork of young people.
3. “International Duet-Symposium on Ceramics”. This project was organized by the Azerbaijan Ceramics Center and Arts Council Azerbaijan with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan. Given the rich historical traditions of Azerbaijan, as well as the urgent need to popularize our ancient craft of ceramics – since only autochthonous peoples have been making ceramics based on local clays for centuries. The purpose of such a duet of the symposium is to exchange experience and study the works in the field of ceramics by masters from different countries. At the same time, it is necessary to show the ancient traditions of ceramics of our country, especially since Azerbaijan ranks first in the world in terms of the palette of clays, as well as in the number of mud volcanoes. It is possible to perform sculptural works from ceramics in various types, genres, using classical and avant-garde methods. Well-known professional ceramic artists from various countries of the world and the CIS are invited to participate in duet symposiums. Based on the works of the duet of symposiums, a collection of works of contemporary art in various types and genres were created.
4. Art market for artisans. Within the framework of the Art weekends in Icherisheher project, organized by the Department of the State Historical and Architectural Reserve “Icherisheher” and Arts Council Azerbaijan created a unique platform for young artists, ceramists and craftsmen who create their own expositions and show them to residents and guests of the capital. All presented works were made in various national directions and genres. Visitors to the event can not only get to know the authors themselves, be inspired by the diversity of the presented works and purchase the works they like personally from the authors, but also take part in the event programs, such as a master class in the manufacture.