Monday, October 26, 2009

International art colony stART in Split, Croatia - Summer 2004

It was little less than a year before the project, when it occurred to me that I could do something like that. Lack of cultural activities motivated me to realize my coordinating experience as well as my interest in visual arts since I study history of art. I’ve been an active member of VCZ, an organization which host short term volunteer projects and I decided to do a project for VCZ. I started to look at that not only as filling the need for my hometown Split on Adriatic coast which was a great location for such an event, but as a opportunity for myself to realize my ambition towards arts and to prove myself that I’m capable of doing it.

Then was when it all started, thinking about the content, activities, workshops, location of accommodation and workshops, searching for trainers-artists and for partner organizations. So I found a student dormitory for accommodation, the basements of old Diocletian palace in the heart of old Split for workshops and final exhibition at the end, and a public kitchen which would bring us lunch daily.

After I finalised the eight page proposal for the project, where I formalised my ideas and other formalities including the budget, I started to do fundraising which was the worst part and it all depended on it. In searching for sponsors I lost enormous energy and I did my best finding different ways to make them interested in my project, and finally City of Split gave me support and covered major costs.

Art colony consisted of painting and sculpture workshop with 20 participants, 2 trainer-artists and 2 leaders. During the colony, some of local people joined participants who were from 13 countries.

The idea of gathering artists from different countries to work in the same environment, to interact with each other and with people from Split, was attractive to me from the beginning. It was quite a challenge to put all those young people together, each with a different background, and hope something creative will come out of their mutual work.

A certain energy was created among them, an energy which has caused some great expressions, which were shown in the final exhibition.There were some really talented artists taking part in this art colony, who carried the idea of creating under the influence of the city of Split, who give me the reason to say that I am satisfied with the course of this whole event.

Participants were not established artists in their respective countries, they were just talented enthusiasts. They were artists who came there with an open mind, ready to learn, to show and express their inner selves. Ideas were drawn to the surface by the atmosphere of the city, its past and its people. They chose to be one part of the circle which they created. They trusted us and let us help them to find a way to join this journey which will not stop.

I really enjoyed participating in the creative ideas of these great personalities with whom I exchanged my thoughts, and that is why I am very sorry that I did not have time to do it more because I was to occupied with organization. I own my deepest gratitude to these enthusiasts who have made this whole thing so interesting. They have given themselves and their spirits to these pieces of art.

What did I gain with this project? A lot. Firstly, I have some strong connections with people which are personal and could be professional. Secondly, I have a great satisfaction because it was a success and people (not only participants but locals also) were affected by it. I like to think that I made a step in developing cultural activities in Split. And last, I have a great experience and result which is appreciated in my profession.

Miro Tecilazic

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