The 3rd Festival of Visual Arts in Bielsko-Biała 2014

Photo report:
festival launch >>
performance by Patrícia Corrêa >> 
exhibitions >>


28 June - 24 August 2014

festival logo by Piotr Wisła

Galeria Bielska BWA in Bielsko-Biała provided the venue for the launch of the Third Festival of Visual Arts. The festival continues the long tradition of the so-called art salons which were once held locally in spring and autumn, but it has a broader format. One important change is that artists not holding a degree from an academy of fine arts may now also participate in the festival. The first FVA was held in 2007.

The festival has an interdisciplinary character, comprising 13 different categories of visual arts: painting, drawing, print, poster, photography, sculpture, object, installation, ceramic, fabric, filmmaking, video, and performance.
‘Visual arts is a term which came into a more comprehensive use and replaced the former, now largely forgotten, term "plastic arts." Not only do present day artists focus on painting, sculpture, drawing and print; nowadays the so-called new media, i.e. photography, video, installation and performance are becoming increasingly popular. Thus, we might say that the new term [visual arts] encompasses a broader scope of creative activity pursued by contemporary artist,' says the festival curator Agata Smalcerz.

‘Visual artists have always constituted a strong and important group with a substantial influence on the cultural development of Bielsko-Biała. They held their first Exhibition of Paintings in one of the city's landmarks, the Sułkowskis Castle, as early as September 1945. The exhibition featured paintings by nine artists - all trained before the war - who gave rise to the ZPAP [Polish Visual Artists Association]. Since then, the Exhibition has been held every spring and autumn, attracting more and more artists by the year. 1960 marked the completion of the first Exhibition Pavilion in the Province of Silesia, devoted entirely to contemporary art. Today, almost 70 years later, it has become necessary to use all of the city's exhibition spaces to show the latest works by artists from Bielsko-Biała and the region.

Following the political transformation, artists are no longer required to be ZPAP members. Also, a degree in arts, though still important, is no longer the only way to become an artist. The Visual Artists Association and the Photographers Associations, which are the two bodies responsible for recruiting artists for the festival, make their selection on the firm basis of recommendations and assessment by the Commission. The festival itself, however, is very egalitarian in its character, featuring works by a broad spectrum of individuals who create art professionally and participate in the artistic life of the city and region.

This year's exhibitions show a huge potential of the enterprise. The level is surprisingly high, allowing each of the galleries to show unique works. The city's largest exhibition spaces - Stara Fabryka [Old Factory], being a branch of the Historical Museum of Bielsko-Biała, and Galeria Bielska BWA - both feature works belonging to different artistic categories, such as painting, sculpture, video and installation, as well as ceramics and fabrics in the Factory; drawing, print, poster and metal casting in the Sułkowskis Castle; and photography in the B&B Gallery showing works by members of the Polish Photographic Artists Association (ZPAF) and in the Foundation Centre for Photography displaying works by other artists.
The festival benefits tremendously from the numerous young artists, usually fresh graduates from Academies of Fine Arts, who have an opportunity to make their debut on the "home turf". Some of them haven't even made it to an art academy yet - one of the youngest artists, born in Bielsko-Biała in 1994 and now living in London, has already exhibited his works in Warsaw's Museum of Contemporary Art, and won an award in a prestigious international photographic contest. He is represented by a well known art gallery in Warsaw,' says Agata Smalcerz.

Like in previous years, the festival extends beyond exhibition rooms, presenting the works in public spaces. One example is an installation by Ernest Zawada, consisting of a fine mesh strung at the height of four metres over the square adjacent to Galeria Bielska BWA (In the Net).
Another one is an object entitled Bed Intruders Theatre by Patryk Chwastek, showing a car which doubles as a travelling theatre. This summer will see some more works in the public spaces of Bielsko-Biała.


3.BFSW, Ernest Zawada



3. BFSW, Patryk Chwastek,Bed Intruders Theatre


This year's award winning artists include: 

Teresa Gołda-Sowicka who received the Main Award of the Mayor of Bielsko-Biała Jacek Krywult for her latest oil paintings Chmurzysko [ominous cloud] and Zmienność [volatility]; Tamara Berdowska received an award sponsored by AQUA SA. for two painting reliefs Untitled. Four artists received Special Awards in the form of an invitation to a solo exhibition. The director of Galeria Bielska BWA presented her award to Karina Czernek from Bielsko-Biała for ‘an original technique she employed in order to create the illusion of interpenetrating surfaces.' Her solo exhibition will be held in Galeria Bielska BWA.


Teresa Gołda-Sowicka,Ominius cloud, 2014, oil on canvas, 112 x 142 cm


Teresa Gołda-Sowicka, Volatility, 2014,oil on canvas, 120 x 165 cm


Tamara Berdowska, Untitled, 2014, relief,oil on wood, 40 x 40 cm

Tamara Berdowska, Untitled, 2014, relief,oil on wood, 40 x 40 cm


Karina Czernek, Matrioszki, 2014, technika własna, 150 x 110 cm

Karina Czernek, Odpoczywające I, 2014, dyptyk, technika własna, 40 x 30 cm; 40 x 40 cm

The Chairman of the Foundation Centre for Photography gave his award to Piotr Targosz whose works ‘falling into the classic photography category, were conspicuous by their impeccable composition, ideal sense of theme and technical perfection.' The artist will show his works in the Photographic Gallery B&B.


Piotr Targosz, W obłoku delikatności 1/2, 2012, fotografia cyfrowa – wydruk

The Director of the Historical Museum in Bielsko-Biała bestowed her award on Łukasz Karkoszka for his series of ceramic sculptures; and the President of the Bielsko-Biała Branch of Polish Visual Artists Association singled out the sculptor Joanna Żochowska. Her solo exhibition, to be held soon, will also mark the opening of the ZPAP Gallery in Bielsko-Biała.


Karkoszka Łukasz, Kremowa, 2012, masa szamotowa, szkliwo, 1200 st. C, 185 x 30 x 45 cm



Joanna Żochowska, Buddha, 2012, ceramika, tkanina, metal 30x40x40 cm

The festival is organised by Galeria Bielska BWA, co-organised by the Historical Museum of Bielsko-Biała, the Photographic Gallery B&B, the Foundation Centre for Photography and Management of the Regional Branch of the Polish Visual Artists Association, and sponsored by AQUA SA.

The festival is held under the auspices of Mayor of Bielsko-Biała Jacek Krywult.

Festival curator - Agata Smalcerz
Exhibition arrangement - Krzysztof Morcinek
Artists participating in the exhibition >>

The works will be shown in the following:

Galeria Bielska BWA - ul. 3 Maja 11

The Historical Museum of Bielsko-Biała:
Zamek książąt Sułkowskich - ul. Wzgórze 16
Stara Fabryka - pl. Żwirki i Wigury 8

Galeria Fotografii B&B - ul. 1 Maja 12

Fundacja Centrum Fotografii - Rynek 11

Public spaces of Bielsko-Biała

Download and print festival map >>

The exhibited works can be purchased.

Festival launch took place in Galeria Bielska BWA, Friday, 27 June 2014, 6 pm

The vernissage has been accompanied by the music band Radiovidmo.



Galeria Bielska BWA



Bielsko-Biała  Acitivities of Bielska Gallery are finnanced by City of Bielsko-Biala




Muzeum Historyczne w Bielsku-Białej



Galeria Fotografii B&B

Fundacja Centrum Fotografii

ZPAP Okręg Bielsko-Biała





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