If nothing else,
believe in art
Mikhail Zhuravlev – president and founder of the Erzia International Art Foundation, Association for International Cultural Cooperation in Carrara ACISE, businessman and philanthropist. Co-founder of the Teribersky Bereg construction development group.
Born in Saransk in 1959.
For more than 20 years Mikhail Zhuravlev has supported socially important projects in culture and art both in Russia and abroad. In 2007 these activities were brought together in an international foundation – a non-profit public artistic organization, created with the aim of search, study, preservation and popularization of the universal artistic heritage of Stepan Erzia, an outstanding sculptor of the XX century.
Today, due to Mikhail Zhuravlev efforts, the Erzia Foundation has become a highly reputed expert organization and a coordination, consulting and information center to provide the management and legal support to the international cultural projects, to be responsible for the co-operation with foreign partners, to help draw investments in the sphere of international cultural and art collaboration.
All public efforts target cultural and charitable activities to inform the public of life and creative work of the great sculptor Stepan Nefedov.
Today Mikhail Zhuravlev projects reach a number of countries such as Italy, France, Spain, Finland, Estonia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Argentine, Uruguay, etc.
The objectives of social and business projects are aimed globally to save from neglect the great heritage of Stepan Erzia-Nefedov as well as strengthening social and cultural relationships between Russia and foreign counties.
Erzia Art Gallery
Erzia Gallery is an exhibition space dedicated to the art of Stepan Erzia, it was opened in the Shcherbinka district in October 2015. The pieces of art of modern artists, concerts, meetings, and master classes were also held in the gallery. In February 2022 the showpieces of the gallery were transferred to Erzia centre for its permanent exposition.
Restoration of the John the Baptist statue
Restoration of the John the Baptist statue created by Stepan Erzia in 1914 for Cristo Re church in Fezzano as well as two copies of the statue (bronze and cement) – one for Italy and a other for Russia.
The restored statue is located in a special exedra inside the Cristo Re church.
Stepan Erzia Street
In November 2017 upon an initiative of Mikhail Zhuravlev one of the streets in Moscow was renamed Stepan Erzia Street.
Erzia memorial plate in Carrara (Italy)
Opening of the memorial plate on the building of the former Garibaldi Boarding House (via Santa Maria) in Carrara, where S. Erzia lived in 1914.
Commemorative Plaque in Moscow
The ceremonial opening of the commemorative plaque in honor of Stepan Erzia on the facade of the building where the artist spent his last years living and working in Moscow was held in 2015. The address of the building is 2-ya Peschanaya str., 3 (Sokol district). The author of the commemorative plaque is a famous sculptor and art academician Ivan Kazansky.
Cultural Centre in a Water Tower
A unique project of redevelopment of a water tower into a cultural centre in the Shcherbinka district. The plan is to turn an abandoned water tower into the cultural core of the area, to make it a catalyst of employment in the field of culture, art, and handicrafts. For now, the open tender among the best architectural bureaus was held and “AND architects” have won it. At the moment the working draft of the project is being developed.
Mikhail Zhuravlev initiated the edition of the book “Sculptor Erzia: Honors and Tragedy” by Y. Paporov in Russian, Italian and Spanish languages. This book is a documentary story about Erzia’s life and the articles of other researchers about different periods of Erzia’s life and work. Right after publishing the book had a major impact on art lovers in Russia and abroad. The Spanish edition includes precious photos from Argentinian museums and private archives that are published for the first time.
Moreover, there is another book that was published with the financial support of Mikhail Zhuravlev. It’s an anniversary album “Erzia International Art Foundation: restoration, collection, projects” dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the foundation. The book has Russian and English versions.
The book has Russian and English versions. This book describes the multifaceted activities of the foundation, mostly cultural projects directed to the popularization of Erzia’s heritage in Russia and around the globe. The edition is illustrated by professional and archival photos.
Commemorative Plaque in Novorossiysk
The ceremonial opening of the commemorative plaque in honor of Stepan Erzia on the facade of the Cadet Corps in Novorossiysk (Pobedy str., 6) was held in November 2016. The author of the plaque is a sculptor from Moscow, Petr Dobaev.
The ceremony was opened by the mayor of Novorossiysk Igor Dyachenko together with the administration of the town, the local department of culture, and Erzia International Art Foundation.
The place for the commemorative plaque was chosen on purpose. Erzia lived on the second floor of this building during his stay in the town in 1921-1922. Novorossiysk has become the third city where the Erzia commemorative plaque is installed (the others two are Moscow and Carrara in Italy).
Recreation of Erzia’s creative studio in Moscow
The main goal of this initiative is to revive a missing piece of the “Silver Ring” in Moscow. There are creative studios of the Russian sculptors of the “Silver century” Sergey Konenkov and Anna Golubkina that are already recreated. Erzia’s studio can be harmoniously added to the list.
The initiative is actively supported by public opinion, there is extensive feedback from the residents and the guests of Moscow as well as from foreign art lovers. Mikhail Zhuravlev got a lot of offers and demands about the recreation of Erzia's studio in Moscow. It would be fair to honor the name of the famous artist in Moscow regarding his upcoming anniversary, which will be celebrated by cultural circles around the world. The support of this cultural initiative will contribute to the positive development of the cultural space in the Russian capital. This initiative is published on relevant sites and online resources.
Exhibitions and Events
Mikhail Zhuravlev initiates the projects that pointed at the popularization of Erzia’s cultural heritage in Russia and abroad for more than twenty years. The goal is to form an open communicatory environment for more successful research of the artist’s heritage, search, and exploration of his less-known works. During the last twenty years many international conferences, festivals, and exhibitions were organized in Russia, Europe, and South America.
The cultural and educational activities of Mikhail Zhuravlev directed to the introduction of the society in Russia and abroad with the life and art of Stepan Erzia. The management and legal support of the international and local cultural projects, the collaboration with the foreign partners are also provided by the efforts of Mikhail Zhuravlev.
The opening of “Erzia centre” in Moscow was timed to the 145th anniversary of the birth of Stepan Erzia.
The new art space opened its doors to the first visitors in November 2021. The permanent exposition of the centre consists of unique casts of works of Stepan Erzia made from originals that are not available for public view and belong to private Russian and foreign collections. There are also valuable bibliographic materials, archival documents, and photos in the exposition.
Besides the introduction to the life and art of the famous sculptor, visitors also have a chance to visit the exhibitions of the modern artists, lectures, master classes, and meetings that are held in “Erzia centre”.
International Youth Contest “The Worlds of Master Erzia” and Contest of Creative Arts “The Great Calypso”
International Youth Contest “The Worlds of Master Erzia” and the Contest of Creative Arts “The Great Calypso” are held every year with the support of Erzia International Art Foundation and personally Mikhail Zhuravlev. The contest of creative arts “The Great Calypso” is dedicated to the Erzia’s “Calypso” statue and “The Worlds of Master Erzia” is a youth contest with participants from all around the world. The foundation has more than 500 pieces of art from the participants that are of great interest from the artistic point of view.
Erzia International Art Foundation supports young talents and cooperates with promising artists.
The delivery ceremony of John the Baptist to the museum of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra
Mikhail Zhuravlev initiated a large-scale project to create a copy of the statue of John the Baptist by Stepan Erzia and its presentation as a gift to the museum of the Moscow Theological Academy. On July 7, 2022, in the presence of Bishop Feodorit of Zvenigorod, Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Mordovia under the President of the Russian Federation Svetlana Fedonina and benefactor Sergei Puntus, the statue was solemnly handed over to the Church Archaeological Cabinet. Now students of the Academy and all visitors of the museum will be able to get acquainted with Erzia's piece of art.