Introduction to Contemporary Art

In the frames of the educational program “Introduction to Contemporary Art”, Open Arts Foundation has been working for years to promote Bulgarian contemporary art in the country and abroad and to focus on education among local audiences, realizing the importance of these efforts to achieve lasting results that are relevant to the whole art scene in Bulgaria.

In 2008, the artnewscafe bulletin has been launched, at first on paper and subsequently as an online publication and a mobile application. Since 2011, educational courses and lectures have been organized annually with guest speakers, curators, artists, critics under the name "Introduction to Contemporary Art" in venues in Sofia, including Sofia City Art Gallery, Vivacom Art Hall, Cultural Center of Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", National Academy of Art – “Academy” Gallery, and in 2015 and 2016 lectures on contemporary art were held in Plovdiv. The platform is organized in collaboration with gallery SARIEV Contemporary, which has an expertise in various projects and initiatives in the field of contemporary art. In addition, for the popularization of Bulgarian contemporary art abroad, the two organizations periodically organize working visits of curators, art critics and collectors in Bulgaria.

In 2015 they organized Focus: Bulgaria at Viennacontemporary, which is the first major presentation of Bulgarian contemporary art at a fair. The presentation included more than 50 Bulgarian contemporary artists, a program with talks and performances and a publication, aiming to present the most detailed picture on the stage in Bulgaria.

Another significant initiative aimed at the art market and its promotion is "Collectors Forum", which presents Bulgarian and international collectors in lectures, meetings, articles and working visits.

In 2016, Katrin and Vesselina turned to artist Luchezar Boyadjiev for the preparation of "Walk & Talk with Luchezar Boyadjiev" in Sofia, which offered a new approach for active involvement of the audience and for connecting art and public space and putting them in a broader context.

Another initiative is the publishing activity related to books devoted to the history of Bulgarian art and contemporary art in general. Such was the publication of the book Introduction to Bulgarian Contemporary Art (1982– 2015) by Vessela Nozharova (2018) which is the first comprehensive history of Bulgarian art from the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century.

As an additional activity, Open Arts Foundation initiates or supports exhibitions that are important for the understanding of contemporary Bulgarian art.

In all its projects, Open Arts Foundation works with established critics and curators who develop their concepts together with the foundation and the SARIEV gallery team: Vera Mlechevska, Svetlana Kuyumdzhieva, Svetla Petkova, Vladiya Mihaylova, Vesela Nozharova, Iara Boubnova, Dessislava Dimova and Boris Kostadinov.

The "Open Art Files: Topics, People, Spaces, Files in Bulgarian Contemporary Art" project is based on the experience of Open Arts Foundation and aims to expand and provide even more extensive content.

The Open Art Files project is supported by the Municipal Foundation "Plovdiv" 2019 and Gaudenz B. Ruf.