Residence

In 80 km from Tbilisi, near the ancient city Kaspi, environs of Akhalkalaki village ("new city", formerly a King's city) has been inspiring painters and filmmakers with its unique colour palette, impressive landscapes and fast-changing lighting conditions since 1900s. Garikula is driven by the passion to create the environment,  where artists can live and work together as one team; at the time of change, the desire to cooperate and establish useful contacts becomes stronger as it allows one to rethink the role of art and artist in the new world.

Bolgarski Citadel - the headquarters of Garikula, was built as a summer residence in 1885. The Polish engineer and architect (known to have engineered Central Exhibition Hall of Tbilisi) enjoyed his own generated electricity and a complex system of watering, filters and drainage that helped him in agricultural production and export.

After Soviet revolution the citadel served as the army base and the orphanage. The last successor of Bolgarski family, painter Vera Beletski, wished to create there an art school.

Centre
The artist group involved in Garikula shares a dream: to create in Akhalkalaki a self-sustainingly functioning infrastructure of contemporary art, an art village gathering the people of fine arts and passions to create a universal instrument of understanding, democracy, and balance through elegance. Everyone who believes in the power of art to shape the time in which we live, is invited to participate: meetings, workshops and festivals of art gain international scope; the residency project invites people to witness Georgian esthetics of gardening and agriculture, environment history, and art.

Garikula plays its role as the regional base where people interested in art, culture and science can meet each-other and spend time  in residence.

Country
Georgia has a tradition of friendship with different nations, well illustrated in epics and other art pieces. The country spanned over most of South Caucasus in the Middle Ages, remaining important stopover for travel and trade connections also much later. Its culture historically absorbed great number of foreign influences; interestingly though Georgians used this only to become more faithful to their country. Georgia lived through many wars while defending its vivid and diverse land and faith – Orthodox Christian. Since 19th c. people from Russia, Turkey, Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, India and Europe purchased their shops in Tbilisi, using the city as crossroads for their business. This particular movement of people from different cultures, was later caused in istablishing different traditions and cultural norms. 

Native Caucasians and Europeans, Armenians, Azerbaijani, Greeks, Jewish, Kurds, Yzids and other people felt  at home in the capital Tbilisi, enjoying friendly connections and unrestricted business. Their culture and religion gained the same kind of meaning in the town,  as those of any native citizen. the expansion ofd different cultures and traditions can be seen in other cities of Georgia as well.  In Tbilisi today,  within half kilometre,  there can be found synagogues, mosques and Christian churches of Lutheran, Catholic and orthodox denomination. Many streets have foreign names, where dialects heard here belonging to Tbilisi alone. Verses of war, faith and friendship were remembered and cited by heart amongst poets,  who testify these were predominant subjects to the mind of their forerunners. Although less colourful at this point – 1990-es wars causing immigration and internal refugees – Tbilisi is still a lively city striving to overcome isolation and reunite with its self.

Garden
Most of Art Villa's 2400 sq. m  land is occupied by fruit trees and a vineyard, whereas hedges consist of "slivy", local plums used for making vodka. There are the remains of 19th century complex water infrastructure constructed by Bolgarsky:  watering, cooling, filter and drainage systems used to feed pools and circulate water economically.

The excavations reveal traces of channels and wells.

Marani - Georgian version of vine cellar is traditional despite European design of the house. It is accessed from behind of the house and feels integral part of it; Bolgarsky used to follow the most ancient Georgian wine-making technology that is Kvevri method so Marani at the ground floor of Art Villa with the huge prettey well preserved Kvevries is a pride of the Centre for Contemporary Art at present times.