Art Soiree founders profiled InTheCapital as DC Trendsetters

Original article – DC Trendsetters: Sandro Kereselidze and Tatiana Pastukhova Celebrate Four Years of Thrilling Art Soirees

DC Trendsetters: Sandro Kereselidze and Tatiana Pastukhova Celebrate Four Years of Thrilling Art Soirees

Published:  October 18th 2013, 2:07pm By: Sophie Pyle – InTheCapital

Sandro Kereselidze and Tatiana Pastukhova at Art Soiree’s 4th Anniversary Gala

September was a big month for Art Soiree. Sandro Kerasa and Tatiana Pastukhova, the founders, blew the candles out on a cake at Malmaison for Art Soiree’s 4th Anniversary Gala, hosted over 10,000 people at the Wonderbread Factory in Shaw for an all-night Nuit Blanche Art Party, launched the Fall Fine Art Friday series at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, and entertained guests at close to a dozen more artsy parties held on the stunning roof of the Beacon Hotel.

Art Soiree fits nicely in D.C.’s nightlife scene. Guests come to their parties (held about once or twice a week) for sensory entertainment. Live music, light shows, cocktails, and live painting are a few of the elements typically seen at Art Soiree events.

Photo from Art Soiree’s Nuit Blanche party on September 28

“We started to have repeat artists actually after our huge show at the Georgetown Waterfront, where 27 artists painted live right in front of 3,500 viewers. For many of these artists, this was a huge task to undertake, as they’ve never painted a canvas of 8-ft x 12-ft, live, and on a short time frame. They were a great team,” said Sandro in an email.  “Two months later when we were hosting our 3rd Annual Midsummer Night’s Dream show again at the Georgetown Waterfront, we approached them with a new task. This time, instead of the canvasses, they had to do the body painting. This was another challenge that we undertook together and created a special memory for all of us, which keeps us coming back to each other as we create new amazing things together. This is probably one of the most amazing aspects of Art Soiree is that we love to challenge ourselves and artists and encourage in the artistic development.”

Art Soiree is neither for-profit or non-profit; Sandro actually calls it a “low-profit organization.” In spite of its popular appeal and apparent success, the organization truly puts art first. Events are usually free for attendees, and any profits generated at their events are typically put back into Art Soiree to fund future events and large projects. For example, the money raised from their weekly Sunset Rooftop Performance Series in 2012 was used to fund an Art Basel Miami trip for 10 D.C. artists. Art Basel Miami is one of the largest and most respected art festivals in the world. Thanks to Art Soiree, the D.C. artists were able to show their work at the three-day event, all expenses paid.

The parties are meant to excite the senses and support local artists, but there are some genres that are unwelcome. Sandro explained why he sometimes rejects performers and artists from participating in Art Soiree. “I hand pick and choose all the artists and performers we showcase. I personally don’t like dark and negative art; I think we have enough of that happening in this world. Art is an emotion that we express and share with others, and I believe it should always add lightness and positivity to our everyday lives.”

Though art aficionados may balk at Sandro’s stance on dark art, it’s a stance that is probably appropriate for an organization that seeks to enlighten and entertain through art-based social gatherings.

The growth Art Soiree has experienced since their first 500-person event in September 2009, to over 10,000 people at Nuit Blanche, is nothing short of remarkable. The couple continues to challenge artists and raise the bar with their gatherings, while still staying true to their core mission of showing off the talent of D.C.’s emerging artists. There are no other art programs that have ignited an interest in local artists the way Sandro and Tati have over the last four years.

Check out Art Soiree on Facebook for details on upcoming events, and photos from soirees past.

Images via Art Soiree