First enamel symposium in Gánovce

Professional artists from several countries come to rural Slovakia in order to create enamel art inspired by nature.

In the period from 10 to 22 June 2018 for the first time an International Enamel Symposium “Nature – muse of inspiration” took place in the picturesque village of Gánovce – well known for its healing mineral springs and paleontological finds, including a petrified brain of a Neanderthal man. The symposium was organized by Machaon International in close co-operation with Slovak Paradise National Park and Annogallery. It was supported by the European Commission in the framework of the Project: “Areas of Inspiration” and by the administration of Gánovce village.

In a period of two weeks artists Vdovkina Anastasia (Romania), Aleksandrova Oľga (France), Selischev Mikhail (Czech Republic), Ariskin Vladimír, Ariskina Aľbertína and Jevdokimova Jelena (Russia) under the artistic supervision by Mikhail Beketov (Russia) created more than 30 unique and diverse enamel art works. The enamel technique was chosen not only for its versatility, a variety of rich colours and textures, but also as a new form to promote the uniqueness of the area.

As in the previous years, also this symposium was accompanied by rich cultural programme and allowed also local children and artists to participate in enamel and stained-glass master-classes led by the artists themselves. As usually, artists and local people had get-together evenings with warm atmosphere, participated in interesting excursions and did not miss the opportunity to swim in the famous healing mineral water of Ganovce.

We think the main basis of our success in Ganovce are local residents who sincerely love the artists and the wonderful creative atmosphere that they create. Children receive creative impulses, constantly turning around and listening to everything – and this is very much appreciated by their parents (and not only), who support such symposiums in different ways – from coffee and pies for the artists to their own volunteering and financial help. We have formed an initiative group, which organizes symposiums, because one is not a warrior in the field. Artists live in local families of residents, can delve in our culture, have open communication, and at any moment any villager can come and see how masterpieces are created.

And this does not give rise to chaos, everything goes quite organically. And in every symposium we try to achieve a harmonious balance of work and rest – the program includes excursions and bathing in our famous mineral water. An important point – each symposium has its own theme and a noble idea which contributes to the development of the village and preservation of local natural heritage.Our focus is not so on art production itself, but on the creative environment which lures artists to freely create and enjoy the process. Often they create great art in this way, and local people help them and become proud of their own village.

Post-symposium study-tour  for artists was organised to national parks High Tatry  (Slovakia),  Sumava (Czech Republic) and Bavarian Forest (Germany) to study of the best examples of how art can influence the development of rural areas and nature conservation. Sumava and Bawarian forest national park are called together «Grean heart of Europe» and save large forest area. Both parks not only takes care of nature conservation and recreation, but become not only a favorite destination for nature lovers, but also a cultural centers. Art events have become a tradition here, too. Wooden sculptures dotting the area attract particular attention as artists try to convey to the viewer a wide variety of ideas that are relevant in the modern world. Visitors (especially children) who come here really like this combination of nature and art.

Artists – participant of post-symposium study-tour got an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful landscapes, at the same they can marvel at the art works harmoniously integrated into the landscape and inextricably linked with it, and finally understood what art is a powerful tool in the development of effective environmental education and nature conservation. Our idea was to motivate artists to love nature, rural landscapes and people, and we think we achieved it.


Posted by: Jozef Bednar, July, 2, 2018

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