The key objective of the Global Art Lab program is to develop, encourage, and demonstrate innovative new ways of understanding complex social dynamics and addressing common social challenges through the arts. The program facilitates the exchange of innovative art practices between artists and arts organizations in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan) and the U.S. and helps distribute this information to larger audiences through educational programs, public presentations, and an actively maintained website.

By creating new methods for addressing social concerns and building an international network of artists and arts organizations, Global Art Lab aims to expand contemporary art discourse to individuals who may have had no previous relationship to contemporary art.  The program  supports artists from Central Asia and the US in cultivating dialogue within and between their rich creative communities.


In March 2009, CEC ArtsLink’s Central Asian partners – Shaarbek Amankulov, Tamara Kadyrbaeva, Georgy Mamedov, and Naim Hakimov – visited New York and San Francisco Bay area alternative arts spaces where they reviewed US artists’ applications for social practice art projects.

As a result of this visit, in September 2009 US artists Amanda Eicher, Daniel Gallegos and Jerome Waag, Kendal Henry, and Marisa Jahn conducted public programs and art projects in Bishkek and Osh (Kyrgyzstan), Dushanbe and Khujand (Tajikistan). These projects encouraged and enlivened engagement and accountability between the audience and the artists. For more information on each artist's project, follow the links below.
  • Amanda Eicher was hosted by Shaarbek Amankulov, Director of B’Art: Bishkek Art Center (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan)
  • Daniel Gallegos and Jerome Waag were hosted by Tamara Kadyrbaeva, art historian at Osh University and regional advisor to the Kyrgyz Minister of Culture (Osh, Kyrgyzstan).
  • Kendal Henry was hosted by Georgy Mamedov, Program Director of Bactria Cultural Center (Dushanbe, Tajikistan).
  • Marisa Jahn was hosted by Naim Hakimov, Director of Scientific Research at Institute of Art Knowledge, Sogdiana Cultural Center (Khujand, Tajikistan).


CEC ArtsLink’s Global Art Lab continued in the Spring of 2011 with a visit to New York by six artists from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. During their intensive trip, the group met with organizations and artists working in the fields of public art and socially engaged art and visited a wide range of contemporary arts museums, galleries, and arts centers. Following this visit to NYC the program participants, together with CEC ArtsLink, will choose 4 US artists to travel to Central Asia to conduct workshops and seminars in September and October, 2011.

Through meetings with some of New York’s leading organizations in the field of public art, including Creative Time, Third Rail Projects, No Longer Empty, the Percent for Art Fund, and Wooster Collective, the Central Asian artists learned not only how public art projects are designed and implemented in the U.S., but also about the wide range of artistic practices. They also conversed with numerous US artists working in the public realm including Clarina BezzolaMarisa JahnKendal HenryDaniel Gallegos, and Jason Eppink.

The program was not limited to meetings and conversation, however. The group collaborated with the artist Gabriel Reese on the creation of a large scale work on an outside wall in Brooklyn, spent the day at The Point in the Bronx learning about the important role of murals and graffiti in this community and helping a local artist complete a community mural, and toured galleries and public art works in Soho and Chelsea with the art critic Agnes Berecz.  In short, the 9-day program was filled to the brim with the best of the best in NYC public art today and was designed to encourage and explore possibilities of future cultural discourse between artists from both the US and Central Asia.

The Global Art Lab 2011 participants include:

Funding for the Global ArtLab has been provided by the Christensen Foundation, the Kettering Family Foundation and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.