History

In 1987, Małopolskie Biuro Wystaw Artystycznych [ Małopolska Art Exhibition Office] made the decision to organise the first contest of pastel art on the national level.

The idea of organising “the 1st National Pastel Exhibition’ originated from a combination of personal artistic tastes and more general artists’ aspirations for such exhibition to take place.  Having worked at BWA for more than a dozen years, I had noticed an increased interest in this technique. Works in pastel started appearing more and more often at official exhibitions and not only in commercial galleries as commercial art, light, easily understood and pretty in its nature, which was often considered a less important trend in artistic output of the majority of artists. One could also find works which were excellent and ambitious in their conception. Is it then possible to express oneself fully as an artist using pastel and what are the differences between contemporary works in pastel and traditional pastel works?

This Exhibition was to provide the answer to these questions. (…)”

The above excerpt, from the Introduction to the catalogue of the first pastel exhibition, was written Krzysztof Kuliś, the then manager of the Art Exhibition Office, the originator and the driving spirit behind the contest as well as its long-time curator.

In the subsequent years, namely in 1989, 1991 and 1994, the next National Pastel Exhibitions were held which attracted a growing number of  supporters and won the recognition among the artistic circles. These factors enabled to transform the contest to the National Biennial Pastel Exhibition held in 1996, 1998 and 2000. Finally, in 2002, the contest acquired the status of the International Biennial Pastel Exhibition.
Following the change in the status of the Małopolska Art Exhibition Office, which became a branch of Małopolskie Centrum Kultury SOKÓŁ [ Sokół Małopolska Culture Centre], the decision was made to continue the review of the pastel art in its in international form.

The present, sixth edition of the Contest is being organised  within the project titled “European Pastel Festival – Małopolska, 6th International Biennial Pastel Exhibition – Nowy Sacz 2013.” The project is co-financed by the European Union under the Małopolska Regional Operational Programme for the years 2007 – 2013.

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