Tamarisi Art Gallery displays Edisher Baramidze’s paintings

Susanna Melo and Tamara Tsintsadze in Tamarisi Art Gallery; copyright Keith Kenney, 2012.

Tamara Tsintsadze; copyright Keith Kenney, 2012.

Story by Susanna Schisler Melo

I started up a conversation with Tamara Tsintsadze at an IWA (International Women’s Association) coffee morning when I thought I had overheard her say that she was a Latin American Studies specialist and had been to a conference in Rio. The latter was correct, but she is an African-American Studies specialist—and the only one in Georgia!

Tamara is well traveled and has many interests. You could say she is a woman who wears many hats. She is president of a couple of organizations (Rotary; Society of Georgia-China Friendship) and Director of the School of Languages and Humanities as well as the “Tamarisi” Art Gallery.

Since Keith and I enjoy learning about Georgian artists and their work, we decided to pay a visit to Tamara’s gallery in Saburtalo. She was kind and gracious as she talked to us about how she started her gallery and her various collections of art.

We were quite surprised when we walked into her well-lit, well-designed, spacious room with paintings covering all wall surfaces. Most of the displayed paintings are by the deceased artist Edisher (Botso) Baramidze, whom Tamara began collecting 15 years ago. She now owns approximately 250 of his paintings.

The story behind Edisher is bittersweet. He would have been my age had he not died 6 years ago. His bohemian lifestyle cut his life short. He came from a creative family, but according to an article I read, the family members were so involved in their own work and careers that Edisher was neglected. As a schoolboy, Edisher got involved with music; he put together bands and experimented with a variety of music trends. It was only later in his life that he began painting.

Keith and I enjoyed looking at Edisher’s various painting styles. Many of his works use mixed media such as “paint, stone, brick, clay, sawdust, human hair, woolen threads, seeds and other things.” The photo below shows a portrait of a man whose hair is actually the human hair that belonged to his daughter after she got a haircut!

If you would like to see Edisher’s paintings, please contact: Tamara Tsintsadze at Tamriko@gmail.com.

Edisher (Botso) Baramidze’s painting incorporates his daughter’s hair; copyright Keith Kenney, 2012.

Some of Susanna’s sculptures

Dona Maria and Senhor Jose

Dona Maria and Senhor Jose

“My Gift to Keith” and “The Etruscan Dreamer”

“My Garden”

Teapot set

Happy birthday and anniversary, as well as a welcome and goodbye party

We had so many reasons to celebrate. Let’s begin from the left. We welcomed Stewart Lindsay, our neighbor in Columbia, South Carolina, who traveled to Georgia and Azerbaijan for a vacation. Susanna Melo and I celebrated our 8th anniversary and have been grateful for the ten years we’ve known each other. In addition, we celebrated Susanna’s and Anderson’s July birthdays. We bid farewell to Anderson de Jesus Lopes and William Santos, our two Brazilian “sons.” Two hours after our dinner, they returned to Brazil  for a well deserved vacation after dancing through Japan for a month. Our Georgian “daughter,” Tamuna Gabelia, who is a good friend of Anderson and William, helped make the party soooooo lively. The Brazilian ambassador to Georgia, Carlos Alberto Asfora, honored us by joining this festive occasion. Copyright Keith Kenney, 2012.

On this day, eight years ago . . .

Susanna and I were married at Washington Street United Methodist Church in Columbia, South Carolina, eight years ago on this date–July 24. We first met exactly two years earlier on a group Fulbright trip to South Korea for educators in South Carolina. We really believe that we love each other today more than ever. We wish that everyone can experience the closeness, friendship, and happiness that we’ve enjoyed.

Khinkali birthday dinner in Dusheti

Dusheti, a town 30 miles northeast of Tbilisi, is well known for its khinkali. Susanna joins other women in making khinkali for a birthday dinner; copyright Keith Kenney, 2012.

Tamuna Gogatishvili invited us to Maia’s home in Dusheti, where friends and extended family members gathered to celebrate Mate’s 15th birthday; copyright Susanna Melo, 2012.

Mate blows out the candles on his birthday cake–a raspberry layered white cake; copyright Susanna Melo, 2012.

Maia must have spent the entire day in the kitchen cooking the meal and making the delicious birthday cake; copyright Susanna Melo, 2012.

After dinner, the young generation danced traditional Georgian dances and played the piano for everyone’s pleasure; copyright Keith Kenney, 2012.

Susanna’s ceramic mugs, teacups and snack bowls




Susanna’s blue-green period in ceramics