In 2011, OPEN ARTS Foundation in partnership with SARIEV GALLERY carries out a new initiative – the Education platform “INTRODUCTION TO CONTEMPORARY ART”.

The first initiative of the platform is an EDUCATION COURSE IN 3 SESSIONS, “Introduction to Contemporary Art”, which is being held in 2011 and 2012 in Sofia. The course has been in preparation since 2010 with the support of America for Bulgaria Foundation. Its concept and structure are developed by the art critic Svetlana Kuyumdzieva.

These five thematic sessions of the education course “INTRODUCTION TO CONTEMPORARY ART” develop both the knowledge and the aptitude of understanding contemporary art and offer basic knowledge for the most important currents and their encyclopedic representatives; it considers the history of prestigious international forums and institutions linked to the presentation and the commercial realization of contemporary art. The course is thematically oriented, not chronologically. Each of the issues and subjects considered is illustrated by examples from different historical periods and authors. Even though there is a separate session of the course dedicated to that subject, Bulgarian contemporary art is put into parallel to all other examples. The theoretical part of the course is accompanied by rich visual materials. After the end of each lecture, there is time set apart for discussions with the participants in the course and the aesthetic problems touched upon.

SARIEV GALLERY is a private gallery for contemporary art created by Katerin and Vesselina Sarievi in September 2004 in Plovdiv. Today, with its active job and selection of names Sariev Gallery has become a motor and communicator of Bulgarian contemporary art. The gallery is noted for its exhibition policy and its place in Bulgarian cultural life in many prestigious polls and national media. Sariev Gallery is the initiator of three organizations developing the concept of its creators – the development of urban culture, contemporary art and creative economy. The other two platforms are Open Arts Foundation and artnewscafe, Plovdiv.

The OPEN ARTS FOUNDATION was founded in Plovdiv, in 2007. Our mission is to activate, reflect and communicate the city with the medium of the arts. The foundation’s policy is to develop and produce our own cultural production. Our three main programs are: Night of Museums and Galleries, City & Culture and the Film Program. From 2011, the Open Arts Foundation started its own Educational program in Contemporary art and Project for Public Spaces archive.

SVETLANA KUYUMDZIEVA (born in 1977) is a curator and an art critic from Sofia, Bulgaria. She graduated from the National Academy of Arts, Sofia in 2003. Since 2010, she has been preparing a PhD degree at the Institute for research in the field of Arts at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. She regularly contributes to “Culture” newspaper. As an independent consultant in contemporary art, she writes for a number of weekly and monthly reviews. She is a member of the Union of Bulgarian Painters, The international organization of independent curators and a co-founder of the only Bulgarian curators’ association – the “Deeds and Documents” foundation.

VESSELA NOZHAROVA (1974, Blagoevgrad) is a freelance curator based in Sofia, Bulgaria. She has worked at various art spaces in Sofia including the Red House Centre. She has curated a series of exhibitions, some of them in cooperation with other curators from Bulgaria and abroad. She was the curator of the Bulgarian Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Art Biennial (2007), and assistant curator of Bulgarian Pavilion at the 11th Architecture Biennale (2008). She is a founding member of the Art Affairs and Documents Foundation in Sofia (2008).

VERA MLECHEVSKA is a curator and art critic. She is a member of the board of the Art Affairs and Documents Foundation, where she is in charge of the foundation’s residency program. She is also editor of Blister Magazine, on-line media for culture and arts. She has curated the following exhibitions: In Search of Lost Time, Sofia City Gallery, 2007; Persona, Institute of Contemporary Art, Sofia, 2010; Handle with Care, Unicredit Studio, Milano,2010; Transgressions, Credo Bonum Gallery, 2011, Background: Young artists, Sariev Gallery 2011


Stanislava Grueva / coordinator
0885 787 306,

The education course in five sessions “Introduction to contemporary art” is carried out with the support of America for Bulgaria Foundation.