On 1 February, on a press conference, the Covasna and Harghita County Councils presented the call for application of the 4th edition of the Graphic Art Biennial of Szeklerland, one of the prestigious fine arts events of the Carpathian Basin. The competition welcomes the participation of artists from both Romania and abroad. Beginning with this year artworks can be submitted in one category; the deadline of uploading the digital reproductions is 25 March.
Sándor Tamás, president of the Covasna County Council, quoted the thoughts of Botond Részegh, artist from Miercurea Ciuc, in connection with the 4th Graphic Art Biennial, according to which the value of a town is determined by its cultural life. The county leader said: “This is true also in the case of Szeklerland; the value of this region is mainly defined and determined by its cultural value. This is the reason why eight years ago, when we planned the future with a few politicians from Szeklerland, we assigned an important role to culture. It is my conviction that a community with a cultural background is the one which can develop; besides infrastructure and education, culture must especially be supported. This event is one of the most important events that reinforce identity in Szeklerland. The total sum of the event taking place under the patronage of Hunor Kelemen, former Minister of Culture of Romania, is 92,000 RON, which is the equivalent of the construction costs of 230 m county road.”
According to Csaba Borboly, president of the Harghita County Council, it is good to see that the Graphic Art Biennial is gaining force, the participation of inland and international artists indicates a continuous dynamics. “This event is a good example of cooperation in Szeklerland, the result of joint efforts. Scandals and conflicts have never brought success for Szeklerland, only positive events have. I can say in connection with this event that this is the way it is worth working for Szeklerland, this is how we can make our region more beautiful and more attractive, and this can have an impact on the youth’s intent of remaining in their homeland or their returning home. This is why this cultural competition also has a political purport, and this is why I believe in such events” – the president of the Harghita County Council said.
The Consulate General of Hungary in Miercurea Ciuc has offered a special prize, which will be awarded based on the evaluation of the professional jury. Barna Pál Zsigmond consul general expressed his view that he considers it important that the Biennial, as a prestigious event based on modernity, strengthens the international reputation of Szeklerland. The material of the exhibition presented in Sfântu Gheorghe will also be exhibited in Miercurea Ciuc, jointly organized by the Harghita County Council and the Consulate General of Hungary in Miercurea Ciuc.
From the outset the Graphic Art Biennial of Szeklerland has assumed the task of formulating the integrating role of graphics. Zsolt Siklódi, the curator of the Biennial drew attention to the new aspects of this year’s edition: “After extensive discussions with the jury we decided that it was time to redefine the categories of the classical and experimental techniques markedly distinct in the 1990s, since by now these means have come to exist in permanent interaction.” The call for application does not make a distinction between artworks created with traditional and modern multiplication techniques applied in graphics; the only condition of participation is that the artworks have been created in the past two years. It is also a novelty as compared to the previous editions that the artworks can be directly uploaded on the website of the event: www.grafikaiszemle.ro.
The 4th Graphic Art Biennial of Szeklerland sets itself the aim of presenting a valid and thought-provoking visual universe for the public living their daily lives overcrowded by visual content. At the same time, the Biennial is a means of seeking ways in generic terms, since it searches for the place of graphic artworks created with various techniques in the international trends by juxtaposing the local and the universal.
“The artists can submit maximum three artworks in electronic format by the deadline, 25 March. Only individual artists – professional artists and fine arts university students – can submit their artworks” – István Imreh-Marton, director of the Cultural Center of Covasna County, made known the conditions of participation and submission requirements. The evaluation of the artworks will be carried out by internationally acknowledged art historians, university professors and graphic artists in two phases. After the preselection the artworks selected by the jury must be submitted in original. From this material the exhibition of the 4th Graphic Art Biennial of Szeklerland, the opening event of Szeklerland Days, will be organized, hosted by the Transylvanian Art Center in October 2016. The awarded artworks will be selected from those remaining in competition after the preselection. Besides the 2000 Euro main prize, the international jury will award three prizes of 1000 Euro each. The detailed call for application is available on the official website of the event.
In the month preceding the announcement of results the organizers of the event plan several fine arts events. Traditionally, there will open an individual exhibition of Erika Szőke graphic artist, who won the main prize of the 3rd Graphic Art Biennial of Szeklerland; this year the public will also have the opportunity of getting acquainted with the world of contemporary Polish posters. In the spirit of the Biennial, the event will provide a possibility to reinterpret Polish poster art, now regarded as being classic.
The Graphic Art Biennial of Szeklerland was initiated in 2010 by the Lăzarea Cultural and Creation Center and the Cultural Center of Covasna County. The previous three editions have achieved considerable results; more than 900 artworks were submitted from 41 countries altogether. The international recognition of the event is growing year by year, which also manifests in the number and diverse nationality of the participants.
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.
Sfântu Gheorghe, February 1, 2016