A Growing Mecca for Art Lovers

Expats.cz

The country’s only nationwide showcase of contemporary art is back for its 13th edition March 11-16 at Kafky dum (nám. Franze Kafky 3). Art Prague brings together galleries, individual artists and art groups for an intense one week gala of art.

“Every year I look forward to everything Art Prague has that is new,” said Jana Smreková, Art Prague’s media specialist. “One example this year is Salons S, and the ACB project, a series presenting young artists in the field of street art and classical paintings.”

The 2014 edition will encompass about 600 original works of art spread across the four floors of Kafkův dům, right off of Old Town Square. No limitations to a medium or artist’s creativity—paintings, sculptures, installations, new media and more will all be on display, and for sale. Local galleries who have confirmed participation include Galerie Gambit, Galerie umení pro deti and Artinbox Gallery.

“People should definitely make an effort to see this attractive, live action event—it is the only such widespread platform which will feature 30 different exhibitions of contemporary art through which visitors can see fine art and galleries from a new perspective,” Smreková said. “When else can you visit as many interesting galleries in one day, under one roof?”

Another highlight of the annual event is the awarding of the UniCredit Bank Art Prague Young Award, given to an artist under the age of 35 or a new gallery. The award is aimed at financially allowing the winner to continue producing art. Past winners have included painter Lyube Petrov and The Chemistry Gallery.

A program of themed discussions and lectures as well as children’s activities is also planned, watch the website for details. The permanent theme of Art Prague is ‘Invest in Art, Invest in the Future’ and the accompanying program traditionally aligns itself along this topic. Smreková said program highlights include a discussion on the theme of cooperation between galleries and artists and companies and the NGO FairArt will give a lecture on the changes impacting artistic operations following the introduction of the new Civil Code. There will be daily workshops for children and adults, artists meetings during Nocturna, and more.

“We are a dynamic cultural event with an overlap into other fields which are influenced by culture,” Smrčková said. “It is intended that the whole week become a Mecca for art lovers, from the large number of participating young artists and students of vocational schools, gallerists who continue to bring new names, but also we want to keep it reminiscent of the classic live Czech art scene.”

For those who like to check out art on occasion, this is a great opportunity to get your fix for the next six months. If contemporary art is your thing, especially what’s hot, what’s new and who are the up-and-coming artists, this week in March is for you.

“Each year we try to come up with new interesting projects that enrich the fair and possibly create a wider discussion across the cultural spectrum in the Czech Republic,” Smreková said. “We would like to keep the interdisciplinary communication about the importance of art in society and life throughout the year, and not have it die on the closing date of the fair.”