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4th International Glass Art Festival – Sofia 2016
History

The international glass art festival began in 2010 as a too ambitious project which aimed at reviving glass art in Bulgaria. The first edition of the festival was organized by “Arosita” Gallery, The Fridge, Lachezar Donchev and Krum Temelkov. Hosts of the exhibitions were the following galleries: “Sklada”, “Arosita” and “Vitra”. Authors who took part in the festival came from ten different European countries – Bulgaria, Great Britain, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Poland, France, The Netherlands and the Czech Republic.  The nature of the festival corresponded with current international tendencies in presenting glass as a material used in design, architecture, applied and fine arts and as the main focus of respected global and European events.

Except presenting the modern tendencies in the development of art glass, the first edition of the festival also set long-term educational goals. Therefore the festival team included series of lectures and demonstrations in the program of the second edition of the festival in 2012.

Main accentuation of the International glass art festival in 2012 was a Bulgarian-American exhibition in “Raiko Alexiev”Gallery. The program included also the “Yuzina” and “Arosita”galleries, where viewers from Sofia could meet the artistic provocations of Ekaterina Getsova, Anastasia Andreeva and Boris Shpeizman. While these are glass artists, who reached excellency in handling the peculiar nature of art glass, the exhibition at “Raiko Alexiev”gallery became a special symbiosis between disciplined plastic skills and intended conceptual approach. Bulgarian authors participating in the exhibitional provocation attempted to use this material for the first time. The result was wide and provocative use of a material which is traditionally thought of as bearer of decorative value.

The third edition of the festival continued exploring the decorative and conceptual sides of glass. This time the location was dramatically changed and focused on traditions and current state of glass art in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. The exhibition “Brilliant by design” showed the big value of the worldwide acknowledged Czech school. Successful design choices, completed with historical photos and information about the methods of production were demonstrated.

“Raiko Alexiev” Gallery hosted the International exhibition “Czech Art glass” – Bulgaria with prof. Svilen Stefanov (National art academy) and doc. Konstantin Valchev (New Bulgarian university) as curators. Among the Bulgarian authors except well-known artists such as Anastasia Andreeva, Ekaterina Getsova, Ivo Bistrichki, Konstantin Valchev, Krasen Troanski, Luben Kostov, Mirena Zlateva,  Sasho Stoitsov, one could see the presence of young artists from the National art academy and New Bulgarian university – Alexandra Kotseva, Alexandar Tasev, Denitsa Desheva, Elizar Milev, Penka Mincheva, Silvia Bogoeva, Stefan Velev. Works of Bohumil Elias, Christoph Rybak, Milan Crichek, Petr Stanicky showed the evolution of Czech glass art. In the exhibition also took part Stefanie Pender, Chris Taylor (USA), Boris Speizman (Israel). The selection of artists not only put Bulgarian decorative and conceptual glass art in an international context but also stimulated  the quality dialogue between different generations of artists. A perfect atmosphere for exchange of ideas, experience, reflections between artists, viewers and explorers was created.

The third edition of the festival was completed by the anniversary exhibition of Ekaterina Getsova in “Sredets”Gallery as well as series of educational events in Sofia and Veliko Tarnovo, where the International glass art festival was a guest to the creation of a new specialty in the faculty of fine arts in Veliko Tarnovo University “Sts Cyril and Methodius”.

4th International glass festival – Sofia 2016

The fourth edition of the festival follows the same concept over the years – traditions and the potential of glass as an art material and the innovations in creating glass art. The festival’s goal is not only to provoke the interest of both Bulgarian and international viewers but also to show and strengthens its positions as an international forum for professional artists, who work with this special material – glass. These goals are set in the program of the festival which includes four different exhibitions:

“Raiko Alexiev” Gallery will host an exhibition – “Glass”, which will show again the selection, experiment and provocation which tempted some of the most interesting authors from the Bulgarian art set to create their works in  the context of their personal style.

Participants:

Anastasia Andreeva & Boris Shpeizman, Bistra Leschevalier, Bobi Korudzhikov, Emil Bachiyski, Zoya Lekova, Katya Getsova, Nikola Enev, Pancho Kurtev, Philip Gaidov.

Exhibition at the new specialized glass art gallery “Evdokia Art Glass”. Its participants are approved authors who work especially with glass – Bobi Korudzhikov, Veselina Marinova, Danail Nikolov, Darina Tsureva, Evdokia Yocheva, Katya Getsova, Maya Savova, Nikola Enev, Peter Malamat, Petar Savov.

Separate exhibition at “Evdokia Art Glass” will have Nikola Enev.

Arosita Gallery – Students from Veliko Tarnovo University “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” Artistic glass – Denitsa Dobreva, Denitsa Todorova, Plamen Kondov. Works and diploma master’s degree with the main teachers Anastasia Andreeva & Dr. Boris Shpeizman – Visiting Professor. Head of department Dotsent- Boris Jelev ”St. Cyril and St. Methodius” University of Veliko Tarnovo.

Students from the Art Academy in Sofia, specialty – Design of porcelain and glass Maria Mihaylova, Merlina Genova. Head – Prof. Stoyan Gaydov, Bobby Korudzhikov.

The festival always actively supports students working in the field of glass art. Therefore the festival’s team has invited the famous painter from California, USA – mrs. Aimee Sones – teacher at the Fullerton state university, Pilchuk Glass School. She will perform a demonstration using the technique “Lampwork”, which is currently worldwide popular but unfortunately unknown and not used in Bulgaria. Familiarizing the students from specialty “Porcelain and glass design” in the National art academy with this technique will be very beneficial.

One of the most interesting events during the Festival will be the lecture at atelier ?7 of the National art academy, Sofia. The events from the glass art festival  “Glassstress” – part of the Venetian art biennale will take place there. Invited lecturer is Jane Rushton from the US – director of the Berengo Studio Foundation, Venetia and manager of special projects.

Jane Rushton works and lives in Venetia and New York.

In 2013 Jane joins the Berengo Foundation created by Adriano Berengo in Venetia. Currently she’s the director of the Foundation. She manages the special projects of the Foundation and organizes the additional exhibitions for the Venetian biennale “Glassstress” in 2013 and 2015 in cooperation with the Hermitage State Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia. “Glassstress” is an official event in the Venetian art biennale in 2009 and presents modern glass art works, created in the Berengo studio furnaces at Murano. In 2016 Jane organizes a retrospective exhibition for the notable architect Zaha Hadid.

Jane works as a volunteer at the New York Art Academy. She’s also an active participant in cultural-philanthropy organizations, including Peggy Guggenheim in Venetia, Rise Design, Chipati in Marfa.

Berengo Foundation has two main goals. First, they want to revive the famous Venetian glass art at Murano, so that it can take its place as global cultural heritage, thus turning the small island in a worldwide famous center for glass industry. Second, the foundation offers education to those who have interest in glass art as a skill and craft of high importance. Main aspect of the work of the foundation is the participation in international events with series of glass art exhibitions, created at Murano by worldwide famous artists, known by the name of “Glassstress” – part of the Venetian Biennale.

The foundation also sponsors an internship program for art students in the fields of visual arts, architecture, philosophy, art, history and management.

Bulgarian participants

Anastasia Andreeva
Bobi Korudzhikov
Veselina Marinova
Danail Nikolov
Darina Tsureva
Denitsa Dobreva
Denitsa Todorova
Evdokia Yocheva
Emil Bachiyski
Zoya Lekova
Katya Getsova
Maria Mihaylova
Maya Savova
Pancho Kurtev
Merlina GENOVA
MIRO Dimitrov
NIKOLA ENEV
PANCHO KURTEV
PETER MALAMAT
PETER SAVOV
Plamen KONDOV
PHILIP Gaydov
Rositsa Getsova

Guests

Boris Shpeizman (Israel)
Jane Rushton (USA)
Aimee Sones (USA)
Bistra Lechevalier (France)