Latgale Arts and Crafts Centre

In 1533 on the left bank of the river Dubna, near the place where it meets the Daugava river, a landowner Lieven built a mansion and named ir after himself: Lievenhof. From this family name the place that had been inhabited already for ages and was called after the river Dubna (Dubnava), got its name that has been used up to this day: Livani. Nowadays in the place where the mansion used to be, there is the Livani Arts and Crafts Centre.

 From the year 1677 Livani (the Livani mansion) belonged to a Polish magnate Leonard Pocej, but till the year 1920 – to the Korf's family.

 In the middle of the mansion there once was a white living house, but a bit further from it – household buildings. During the World War I the living house and a great lot of the household buildings were ruined. Unfortunately, they have never been renovated. Only the barn that dates back to the 19th century and a part of the old vaulted cellar have survived up to this day.

 During the Soviet time the old mansion stables were rebuilt and used as dormitories for the workers of the glass factory. One could see these buildings up to the year 2003.

 In 2003 the municipality of Livani region aided financially by ES PHARE 2000 programme, carried out a project “The IT Support for New Competitive Arts and Crafts in Latgale Region”. Within the framework of this project the Livani region municipality's Latgale Arts and Crafts Centre was built and the old barn was renovated.

Exposition "Artisans in Latgale During the 19th – 20th Century"

In 2003, Livani District Council with its cooperation partners implemented a project called "Information Technology Support for New Competitive Arts and Crafts Products Development in Latgale" where one of the tasks was to gather historical material and information about ancient artisans and the craftsmen still working nowadays.

 A research expedition was organized in frames of the project. During the expedition, the reseach group visited craftsmen and crafts-related people in Livani and Livani district, Jersika village, Varkava district and village, Sauna, Rusona villages, Preili town, Vipe and Atasiene villages, Rezekne district and Ilzeskalna village. The work carried out resulted in the creation of a historical exposition "Artisans in Latgale During the 19th – 20th Century”.

 The information and materials displayed in the exposition are organized thematically, grouping together all the major craft fields and their representatives in Latgale. The representatives of the most important craft industries are weavers, needlewomen and knitters, shoemakers, tailors, potters, woodcarvers and blacksmiths. Over time, the in-depth information about Latgale culinary heritage has been added to the exhibition, which is an integral part in the story about the household life of Latgale craftmen. Besides, since 2006, a bobbin reel has been set up in the central part of the exhibition hall, where a unique 94 meter long belt is the main adornment.

 The overall purpose of the exposition is to introduce its visitors to the applied, descriptive and written materials from the stock of Latgale Art and Craft Centre, thus encouraging the visitors to appreciate things made by the masters of the 19th and 20th century, as well as to see the working performance of modern craftsmen.

Tradicional events
  • SNOW SCULPTURE PLENAIR

Snow Sculpture Plenair is one of the most unpredictable, but highly anticipated annual events at Latgale Art and Craft Centre, when professional artists together with ordinary creative and imaginative people perpetuate the snow into different shapes.

The idea to make snow sculptures at Latgale Art and Craft Centre began in 2005, when on a snowy winter morning, people on their own initiative had created interesting shapes from snow.

Snow sculpture plenairs are attended by the artists and creative people from Livani, Daugavpils, Rezekne, Riga, and Livani sister city in Lithuania - Ukmergė.

The organization of snow sculpture festival is subject to the amount of snow. Due to the lack of snow, the event has been cancelled several years, but the tradition continues and the hope for a new year, for a new winter is living along.

  

  • THE NIGHT OF MUSEUMS

For several years in a row, in May, Latgale Art and Craft Centre opens its doors also during night and together with its visitors dives into creative activities of the worldwide Museum Night.

 

  •  OUTDOOR POTTERY FIRING KILN

Right at Latgale Art and Craft Centre, thanks to active potters from "Pottery School", a wood-fired kiln has been built for firing ceramic pots. Thus, at least twice a year, there are kiln opening festivals taking place here thanks to such potters as Evalds Vasilevskis, Stanislavs Vilums, Ilmars Vecelis, Aivars Ushpelis and other ceramists from Latgale.

 

  • FLORAL WAVE

Floral wave as a tradition at Latgale Art and Craft Centre began in 2004. Livani inhabitants took part in the first creation of floral wave in frames of Livani city festival - they were invited to give flowers as a present to their city. Under the supervision by professional florists, these flowers were used to create original, thematic sculptures and flower compositions. In 2010, the tradition of the floral wave developed further with a new idea - floral arrangements at Latgale Art and Craft Centre were made with a certain topic by Livani district organizations, companies, groups of friends, neighbours or individually. The tradition is still alive and every year, during the city festival, it brings joy to the visitors of Latgale Art and Craft Centre.

 

  • CHRISTMAS TREE

The tradition of unusual trimming of Christmas trees dates back to 2006 when a 94-meter long national belt was woven and hanged in the branches of the Christmas tree. Later on, Christmas trees have been decorated with 138 knitted pairs of gloves, 300 white crocheted snowflakes, handmade puzurs (traditional Latvian room decors made of straw or bent), 155 knitted pairs of socks, 295 home-baked gingerbreads, and on the 10th anniversary the Christmas tree had 300 hand-made greeting cards hanging in its branches. The unusually decorated Christmas trees are made with the great contribution of responsive Livani population.