Local Artist Debuts Two Pieces Inspired by Ukrainian Culture at Angad Arts Hotel

click to enlarge The Biannual Exhibit displays work from local artists, rotating artwork out every spring and fall. - COURTESY ANGAD ARTS HOTEL
Courtesy Angad Arts Hotel
The Biannual Exhibit displays work from local artists, rotating artwork out every spring and fall.

A golden water-like orb against a pink background on a short loop was St. Louis artist Zac Farmer’s first animation for the Angad Arts Hotel (3550 Samuel Shepard Drive, 314-561-0033). Farmer, who has a degree in art from Lindenwood University, was dabbling in 3-D art while working a corporate job when the hotel reached out and asked him to craft an animation for their first biannual exhibit.

Farmer combined what he learned at Lindenwood with online video tutorials to start creating 3-D artwork on an old MacBook. Since that first Angad piece, he's been featured in four of the hotel's six shows and is now known as the “Angad Arts Hotel elevator-art dude.” The artist describes his work as “moody, but motivational at the same time” or “inspirational sadness.” Angad Arts Hotel’s newest exhibit, which opened May 10, will showcase Farmer’s new animations that are inspired by Ukrainian culture. Both pieces pay homage to the nation and will be used to raise money for the Ukrainian Red Cross.

“The whole point of my series is highlighting Ukrainian culture and trying to make sure that more people become aware of what [we’re] in danger of losing,” Farmer says.

The concept originally came from an online friend of Farmer’s who lives in Ukraine and had to flee to Poland once the war began. The friend was documenting his experience with the ongoing war, and Farmer was inspired by the artwork being produced.

Vanessa Rudloff, the arts relations manager for the hotel and the person who discovered Farmer, says that the hotel hopes to bring awareness to Ukraine’s situation through Farmer’s artwork.

“[Farmer] was very inspired by the conflict and Ukraine, and truly, as most artists right now are, just was like, ‘What can I do? What is it with my talents that I can do to bring any awareness or raise some money?’” Rudloff tells the RFT. “And so he started dabbling in there.”

One of Farmer's pieces is a four-part series that focuses on digital scans of sculptures from a virtual museum in Krakow, Poland. The sculpture represent the culture of Eastern Europe. Farmer describes the first part in his series as dramatic and opera-oriented.

The second piece focuses on Pysanky Eggs (also known as a pysanka), a Ukrainian tradition similar to America’s Easter eggs, except these are used for bigger celebrations in Ukraine like religious ceremonies or holidays, as well as a token for good luck. The eggs also are considered talismans and harbingers of good.

Farmer’s pieces will be accompanied by a QR code that links to donations for the Ukrainian Red Cross, the best spot the artist said he could find in his research. The Red Cross is on the ground, Farmer says, and all money donated goes directly to supporting them.

Also on display at Angad is artwork from 35 other artists, totaling 46 pieces. All artwork is created from artists within 200 miles of the hotel, with most of it coming from emerging and mid-level artists, but established artists will be exhibited, too. Rudloff says the exhibit is usually diverse: She once had a 90 year old woman and a 17 year old boy in the same exhibit.
click to enlarge One of the pieces on display at the Biannual Exhibit, alongside Farmer's digital animations. - COURTESY ANGAD ARTS HOTEL
Courtesy Angad Arts Hotel
One of the pieces on display at the Biannual Exhibit, alongside Farmer's digital animations.

“It's very important to me that people get a sense of all of the different... people... that are creating in the area,” Rudloff says. “I believe that if someone were to come in and see the show on multiple different occasions, I feel that different pieces would speak to them at different times.”

The Angad Arts Hotel, at its core, is a passion project, Rudloff says. And Farmer’s work is no different — he would tell new artists, in his experience, to create something meaningful and to do it with purpose.

When it comes to the hotel, Farmer says he knows Rudloff and the rest of the team are extremely passionate about having local artists on display. Rudloff says it all goes back to the words of the hotel's original founder Angad Paul: “What is art but seeing the world in a different way? And what is life but a series of experiences connected together?”

Farmer will continue to craft animations and 3D artwork to bring awareness to Ukrainian culture through social media. The Angad's biannual exhibit will feature Farmer’s work until it rotates out in the fall at the end of October. Submissions open in late fall and early spring; in order to be aware of when the forms open, potential artists should email Rudloff. The art manager also offers tours of the hotel for those interested in seeing the artwork.

About The Author

Jenna Jones

Jenna Jones is one of the digital content editors at the Riverfront Times. She would love to talk to you about Harry Styles.
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