Smetana's Creative Litomyšl 2019

Alongside the national music festival Smetanova Litomysl, a visual arts festival Smetanova vytvarna Litomysl is going to take place. Starting on June the 13th, the festival offers two main exhibitions and nearly 30 other installations to mark fifteen years of its existence. Festival is promoted by patrons of culture from Bohemian Heritage Fund and takes place between June 13th and July 7th 2019.

Those who visit the music festival have an opportunity to admire another form of artistic expression at the exhibitions. The first one is a joined display of three teachers - Milan Caus, Petr Nikl and Maxim Velcovsky - and their students who were leading in the MentART project. MentART connects well-known Czech figures with aspiring artists from elemental artistic school, and was started by Magdalena Kozena Fund. 

Milan Cais, Petr Nikl and Maxim Velcovsky are highly regarded in the visual arts scene. They spent a year mentoring excepcionally gifted students of elemental artistic schools in finding creativity, learning how to view and see and realising that the path may be more important than the outcome. Each lead their group in a different way. Petr Nikl focused on collaboration leading to a group performative work, where the student tried drawing and painting without using their hands. Maxim Velcovsky appealed for engagement - each student had to identify a problem they personally think important and then express it visuall. Milan Cais decided to explore the individual artistic potential of each member of his group and aided their path to finding their own unique manners of expression.

"The exhibition is the result of a year of collaboration and illustrated how diverse creativity is and how important communication, inspiration and cooperation becomes,"  says curator Lenka Lindauerova.

ArtMatch, a continuation of discussions, is linked to the mentor's exhibition. This time, the state of artisic education in Czechia. Does it copy general issues of education, such as the lack of funding and teachers and stagnation of learning methods? What is the goal of artistic education - to provide basic knowledge of music and visual arts, or seek and nurture the new Leos Janacek? ArtMatch will take place on Saturday, June the 15th 2019.

The outdoor installation also links itself to the mentor exhibition. Sculptur Michal Gabriel, whose work is going to appear in the area, is going to be a mentor himslef next year. His group of Explorers is probing the terrain already. Bohemian Heritage Fund is preparing a surprise for next year's outdoor installations.

The second greatest exhibition is the project of curator Adam Hnojil Kruhy a cary/Curves and lines for the 50th birthday of patron, gallerist and collector David Zelezny. Selected pieces from the rich collection of Karla and David Zelezny are going to be seen in the castle brewery. The focus lays on abstract and geometric work of not only influential artists such as Jiri Kolar, Kveta Valova, Magdalena Jetelova, Ales Vesely, Vladimir Kokolia, but also those lesser-known, for instance Frantisek Kyncl.

"This exhibition does not and can not have the ambition to map out all the tendencies of post-war Czech abstraction. It is an intimate collection, a privatissimo, which can nonetheless document what kind of art a professional gallerist would collect for himself," explains curator Adam Hnojil.

Moreover, Smetana's Creative Litomysl offers almost thirty additional exhibitions and installations in the public area, curated by top gallerists of the city.

Four of these top-notch private galleries went for well-known quality. Miroslav Kubik Gallery opens an exhibition of painter and performer Zorka Saglova. Zdenek Sklenar Gallery presents its publications since 1989 under the name Slavnost hrdinů/The Parade of Heroes, offering monographies of Karel Malich, Milan Grygar, Vaclav Kopecky and Chinese authors Zhang Xiaogang and Yue Minjun. White Gallery in Osik, in collaboration with Museo Montanelli prepared a confrontation of several author's worth of work. From the local Ludmila Jandova, with Bedrich Dlouhy, Jakub Nepras and Anna Zemankova through to foreign stars like Rosemarie Trockel, many pieces can be compared in one place. The final hall you should not pass over is Gallery Kroupa showing Czech expressionists such as Emil Filla, Bohumil Kubista, Antonin Slavicek, Vaclav Spala and many others.

"All projects and exhibitions together create a unique worthwile path around the town. Lets believe and hope that art concentrated at this occasion will generate as much emotion as the performance of singers and musicians on stages," comments Bohemian Heritage fund president Pavel Smutny on the ambitions of the visual arts festival, which the fund organised.