Vesselina Sarieva was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
She describes her work at the beginning of her career in Bulgaria as a "cultural activist", later as a "curator of context", and in this broad concept covers her diverse work positions in the field of culture. Since 2004 Vesselina has worked actively for the creation and sustainable development of innovative models and practices for supporting the contemporary Bulgarian culture and art. For this purpose, she founded together with Katrin Sarieva a three-way model, consisting of a gallery – Sariev (2004-2011 Sariev Gallery for Contemporary Ceramics and Photography until 2004, Sariev Contemporary gallery with a representative list of authors since 2012), Open Arts Foundation (2007) and cafe and community center – artnewscafe (2008). The headquarters of these organizations are located in Plovdiv, next to each other at 36, 38 and 40 Otets Paisiy Str., forming a kind of cultural center, supplemented in summer by an open stage for art and culture – FLUCA: Austrian Cultural Pavilion (since 2016).
Today, the activities of Sarieva and her organizations extend beyond these physical spaces with projects in the public space and other cities, both Sofia and international, working with broad partners network and finding recognition and followers. Vesselina Sarieva began working in the field of visual arts and culture in 2004 with her mother Katrin Sarieva, with whom she developed the family tradition of supporting artists, art and culture. Prior to her work in the visual arts, Vesselina Sarieva was engaged in literature. She has Master's degree in Slavic Philology from the Plovdiv University, she has specialized in Croatian language and literature. Until 2006 she had realized several poetic projects and the book "OSHT" published by Janet 45 with editor Georgi Gospodinov.
Vesselina Sarieva’s work and vision have been a key factor for activating the cultural scene in Plovdiv and for the promotion of Bulgarian contemporary art abroad in the past years. For her merits she received the Iron Medal for Contemporary Art “Ventsislav Zankov” in 2010 and the Woman of the Year Award of Grazia Magazine in 2011. Capital Newspaper included her in its top 100 of the most influential women in 2012. She was also part of the project “40 under 40” by Darik Radio for successful young people.
Her work and different projects have been covered in international media such as New York Times International, TAZ, Die Welt, Blunderbuss Magazine, Art Review, Art Guide East, Forbes Bulgaria. Vesselina Sarieva is alumni of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) - U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. She has also been guest speaker at conferences and forums for cultural management, contemporary art and cultural policies in Sofia, Istanbul, Berlin, Bucharest, Hamburg and others.
Some of the key larger projects, initiated and conceptualized either individually or in a team of experts, and organized by Vesselina Sarieva and her organizations, are:
- „Night of Museums and Galleries“ (today known as NIGHT/Plovdiv) – yearly since 2005;
- „Introduction to Contemporary Art“ – yearly since 2011;
- Artnewscafe bulletin – launched as monthly printed issue in 2008 and online since 2015;
- „Collectors’ Forum“ – launched as lectures in 2011;
- Focus: Bulgaria at Viennacontemporary – one-time project in 2015;
- The book „Introduction to contemporary art“ with author Vessela Nozharova – research process launched in 2012, book published in 2018;
- Alternative map of Plovdiv (together with Katrin Sarieva) – printed issue in 2013 and online since 2013 with additions from 2017;
- project ”Background: Young artists" – launched 2010 as an exhibition project;
- Otets Paisiy St. Festival – yearly from 2010 to 2013;
- City Arbor (with Katrin Sarieva) – in 2012 and 2015 ;
- FLUCA: Austrian cultural pavilion – launched as yearly project in 2016;
- Working Visits for International Curators and Art Critics – yearly since 2015;
- Open Art Files – launched online in 2018 as well as a number of exhibitions and events in the programs of Sariev Contemporary, Open Arts Foundation, artnewscafe.
- Sariev + Markov sculpture projects - Context development and realization of projects in public space, launched in 2019.