ACOSS (Art Centre of Social Studies) international artist-in-residence program was founded in 2006, Yerevan, Armenia by an interdisciplinary artist Mkrtich Tonoyan, under the auspice of the “Akos” cultural NGO. The program started from Mkrtich's studio as studio exchange project, later had nomad character, involving different communities in the peripheries of Armenia, where families could offer housing for artists and now it is again back next to Mkrtich’s studio where was new space built for the residency during the expanding campaign between 2015 and ending in 2019. In 2010 Mkrtich Tonoyan was elected as chairman of the Akos Cultural NGO and remained as co-director of the artists’ residency program. The ACOSS mission is creation of a liberal democratic and intellectual meeting space for local and international artists, thinkers, researchers, writers and community organizers to get together, to reflect and act on challenges and conditions of the contemporary world. Here interpenetration of different cultures is stimulated with the help of creative interactivity and topical projects, promoting trans-local dialogues between cultures and communities. This way increasing also the visibility of Armenian on the cultural landscape of the contemporary world. This is also great contribution for the community where our new space is located and where we organize nomad and socially engaged art projects. ACOSS is member of ResArtis Worldwide network of artist residencies, since 2007 and Microresidence network ( https://microresidence.net ) since 2012. Since 2006 ACOSS has hosted 242 international artists from 40 countries and continues building network and developing art residency exchanges.
ACOSS programme was founded in 2006 by an artist Mkrtich Tonoyan as the ‘Akos’ cultural organisation. The ACOSS mission is the creation of a liberal, democratic and intellectual meeting space for local and international artists, thinkers, researchers, writers and community organisers, to reflect and act on challenges and conditions of our contemporary world. The intersection of different cultures is stimulated with the help of creative interactivity and topical projects, promoting trans-local dialogues between cultures and communities. ACOSS is a member of ResArtis and the Microresidence International network. Since 2006 ACOSS has hosted 242 international artists from 40 countries and continues building networks and developing art residency exchanges.
The main object of the exhibition at Supermarket 2023 is the imitation of the “Wall of Honor” that we have created inside the art centre when we finished the construction of our new space in 2019. It has the names of individual donors worldwide whose trust helped us to have a new permanent Art Space for traveling artists in Armenia. It is act of transfer of the wall from our residency space to Stockholm and after the art fair we will take it back to its place with new names on it.
Besides the names of all supporters on it, there are also art works of local and international artists (graphic printmaking, paining and small sculptures) that donated to support our fundraising complain, offering them as a perk to our donners or sell. On the TV screen in the booth is loping testimonies from our former resident artists who also later became good friend of ACOSS and continued keeping in touch, being involved in our activities also as a international advisory board members.
There is also short intro video telling about our organization, programs and fundraising campaign.
The booth shows interdisciplinary divers circle of our visiting artists and supports. ACOSS continues accepting donations and offering perks during the expo show in Supermarket and building links with new art organizations and individual artists, interested in collaborating and visiting Armenia.