The Assortment Room/Asortymentna kimnata, an artist run residency space, was founded by Alona Karavai in 2014 during the last Russian attack as a retreat for artists. It is located in Ivano Frankivsk, in western Ukraine. Since February 2022, Lesya Khomenko, an artist and curator from Kyiv who fled to Ivano Frankivsk has helped to organise the project. The initiative has created a place for cultural workers who had to flee from embattled areas but want to stay in Ukraine. Both living space and studios are provided.
Another important goal of the initiative is to offer spaces for the storage of artworks from the major cities under attack. Artworks are transferred to Ivano Frankivsk and kept there safely.
The artists' space currently consists of a large appartment, a cellar and storage rooms. The plan is to rent additional studio space of 70 square metres in the same house, where until March 2022 a private art school for children was located. This room will cost an additional 300-350 euros per month. Another appartment where Asortymentna kimnata hosts artists is located outside Ivano Frankivsk in the countryside.
Lesya Khomenko (*1980) is a Kyiv based artist and curator. Since 2004 she is a member of the Revolutionary Experimental Space (R.E.P.) group. In 2007 and 2008, Khomenko and other members of the R.E.P. established a group to support young artists at the Center for Contemporary Art, Kyiv. She is also co-founder of the curatorial Union HUDRADA, a self-educational community based on interdisciplinary cooperation. She has been artist in residence at the Center for Contemporary Art at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Kyiv (2005-2006); the LIA (Leipzig International Art program, 2008). In 2009, 20011 and 2013 Lesya Khomenko was a finalist of the Pinchuk Art Prize, Kyiv.
Alona Karavai is the co-founder of Insha Osvita, co-developer of horizontal school in MitOst, co-founder of the social enterprises Khata-Maysternya and Agency for educational events and products INSHI, a social investor at Urban Space 500, co-founder of gallery and project space Asortymentna kimnata, and co-organizer of Porto Franko festival. She has studied organisational development at the Technische Universität, Kaiserslautern. Karavai is co-author of several publications and handbooks for non-formal education.
Interviews with Alona Karavai on the safeguarding of artworks (in German):