The seven-member international jury selected 312 artworks for the second phase of the 4th Graphic Art Biennial of Szeklerland. According to the jury, the selected material meets the expectations and is a representative section of contemporary graphic art. The list of the selected artworks and names of artists will be made public on the official website of the event on 7 April 2016; these artworks must be submitted in original by 20 May.
The biennial is undergoing a process of maturization. 1238 artworks have been submitted altogether by 507 artists from 41 countries, which means an almost 40% growth as compared to 2014, when 314 artists from 32 countries submitted 783 artworks. The evaluation has been carried out exclusively according to professional criteria; we examined the artworks three times, first we excluded the ones not complying with the formal conditions of the call for application, then we discussed each artwork in part, and finally the jury voted in the case of each artwork – Zsolt Siklódi artist, curator of the biennial and president of the jury, explained the procedure of evaluation.
The jury evaluating the submitted artworks consists of seven members; its composition reflects the origin of the participants, as both in 2014 and this year the most artworks have arrived from Romania, Hungary and Poland. The artworks have been evaluated by Dr. István Erőss graphic artist, Head of the Department of Visual Arts of the Eszterházy Károly College from Eger, dr. Kaja Renkas graphic artist, staff member of the Art Institute of the University of Silesia in Katowice, Zsolt Siklódi artist, the curator of the biennial, dr. Béla Szepessy graphic artist, Head of the Institute of Visual Culture of the University of Nyíregyháza, József Szurcsik painter, Vice Rector for Education of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, Ovidiu Tarța graphic artist, staff member of the University of Art and Design from Cluj-Napoca, as well as Zoltán Vécsi Nagy art historian, director of the Transylvanian Art Center.
The submitted material is much better as compared to previous editions – Zoltán Vécsi Nagy art historian appreciated the artworks. For me, the biennial means the meeting of various cultural and aesthetic concepts, and this year this manifests in the diversity of the material. The artworks arriving from Asia are different from the ones coming from Europe. There are pronounced Bulgarian, Polish, Hungarian and Romanian profiles; within the latter, the characteristic features of distinct graphic art schools can be recognized in the submitted artworks – Vécsi added.
As regards the submitted artworks, the Graphic Art Biennial of Szeklerland is of international standards, resembling the International Print Triennial in Krakow in several respects – Dr. Kaja Renkas graphic artist, the Polish member of the jury, emphasized.
According to Dr. István Erőss graphic artist, it is an art historical momentum that the call for applications did not allow the distinction between the techniques of creation of the artworks, thus they could be evaluated based on the artistic content and not according to techniques. “We are the witnesses of the canonization of digital technique, 20–25 years ago it was not possible to participate with digitally created artworks anywhere, later they figured in separate categories, and now they have become equal with artworks created with traditional techniques” – he added.
Organizers of the 4th Graphic Art Biennial of Szeklerland: the Covasna County Council, the Harghita County Council, the Cultural Center of Covasna County and the Lăzarea Cultural and Creation Center.