By Hannah Chapman
Hannah Chapman is majoring in Russian Studies, International Business, and Political Science at Stetson University. She spent spring semester, 2009 studying abroad with The School of Russian and Asian Studies (SRAS) in Moscow on the Translate Abroad Program.
Once a winery and now an art center, Winzavod spans seven buildings that total 20,000 sq. m. (215,000 sq. ft.). Here you will find artists’ studios, a photography studio, an outdoor film theatre, an avant-garde clothing store, a café, and one of Moscow’s largest art supply stores.
Opened in 2007, Winzavod (whose name actually means “Wine Factory” in Russian) can still be considered “off-the-beaten-path” for now, but it likely won’t be for long. It’s striving hard to be a global center for the arts, hosting awards, holding events, inviting international artists, and more. They have marketing deals with Red Bull and other trendy brands to make sure that their events are well-attended and well-stocked with beverages, funding, and things to do and see.
In addition to being able to see big names from the global modern art world and up-and-comers of the Russian art scene, one of the main draws to Winzavod is simply its architecture. Built over 100 years ago, the winery went out of business when the USSR fell, and now has been adopted by a major urban renewal project. The center prides itself on using everything as a “found space.” Restoration has largely been limited to cleaning and sealing the brick work and the facility feels very industrial but also clean and cozy.
Exhibitions change frequently and often vary in composition and quality. Check out their website for current exhibits and plan accordingly. Also, the facility now host several awards ceremonies (such as the annual Best of Russia competition and the Kandinsky Prize). These are generally the best times to go and see the facility in full swing. The annual “museum night” event, held in mid-May, is also a great time to go and mill with Moscow’s hoards of young, aspiring artists enjoying an all-night, free art fest.
The shops and cafes are overpriced, but fun to go in. Try to come during the week, as many of the places close during the weekend. Make sure to take a look at the graffiti scattered around the premise, updated each year at their annual graffiti festival.
Details: Prices vary according to exhibit. Hours of operation can also vary fairly widely, but the site is easy to navigate and plan your trip by. Photography is permitted in many parts of the facilities, but prohibited in some of the exhibits. Check their website for more info.
Directions: Click here for a Google Map. Winzavord is located at 4-th Syromyatnicheskiy lane, 1, bld. 6. Exit metro Чкаловская (Chkalovskaya) and head south down Садовое кольцо (Sadovoe Ring). Take a left at Сыромятнический пер (Siromyatnichneskiy Lane). Continue until you come to a fork in the road and take a left (follow the sign at the fork). Take a right down 4-й Сыромятнический переулок (4th Syromyatniskiy Lane) and Winzavod is on the left.
View Moscow Guide from The School of Russian and Asian Studies in a larger map