The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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International Festival of Folk Art The Motley Glade

ppolyanaHeld every two years

Organized by:  Yasnaya Polyana Museum

                            Department of Culture of the Tula Region

                            Folk Arts Center of the Tula Region

                            Association of Patchwork Craftsmen of Russia

 The first Motley Glade Festival was held at Yasnaya Polyana in 2004. It was founded by Aleksei Chentsov (then head of the Folk Arts Department of the Yasnaya Polyana Museum) and Larisa Denisova (President of the Association of Patchwork Craftsmen of Russia).

Since then, the Festival has been held every two years, always in August; usually it lasts for 5 days and ends on August 19 – Transfiguration Day (this holiday is also called the “Apple Saviour” in Russia; traditionally it was the day when people could taste apples for the first time in the season and began picking apples in the orchards). The program of the final day of the festival includes exhibition and sale of the participants’ works, awarding the winners, concerts, and demonstration of collections of folk costumes. The Festival attracts many craftsmen from Russia and neighboring countries, and is popular among its numerous visitors.

The best craftsmen specializing in patchwork, weaving and traditional costume are invited to the Festival, whose organizers hold on to the traditional ways and techniques of folk arts and crafts, which is of great importance for maintaining old Russian traditions and customs.

The chief goals of the Festival include study and maintaining of traditional techniques of patchwork, weaving, of making folk costume and “twisted dolls,” and also presenting the best specimens of these arts and crafts to the public.

The first round of the Festival is carried out by correspondence: the judges select the works from photographs.  Then authors of selected works are invited to Yasnaya Polyana to take part in the second round, during which the participants and guests of the Festival can see not only the exhibition of the finalists’ works, but also interesting exhibitions of objects from museum collections, private collections, and leading patchwork clubs in Russia.  

The program of the festival also includes various contests for the participants, and master-classes and seminars in which both the participants and the visitors can take part, among them – a “blitz” contest on an announced theme, whose participants have only four hours to create a little work of art of their own.

The program is carried out at several venues, including museums and exhibition halls in Tula; nonetheless, the main venue is the Yasnaya Polyana estate. During the Festival, our clear glade (that’s what yasnaya polyana means) becomes a motley glade, filled with bright colours of folk art and sounds of folk music. For the participants of the festival, the place where the traditions of folk culture and of country estates are carefully preserved and that inspired Leo Tolstoy becomes a source of new creative ideas, which we will probably see in their new costumes, woven runners, or quilts.
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