Any activity in the field of art not only involves the creative act but also requires meeting diverse expectations and challenges. With this in mind, the 18th edition of the Hestia Artistic Journey Competition has just started, providing an opportunity for a discussion on the condition of contemporary artists and audiences who are increasingly forced to struggle with a mutable, uncertain and ambiguous reality. The competition is intended for year 4 and year 5 students taking degree programs within the field of fine arts at schools of higher education in Poland.
The latest 18th edition of the Hestia Artistic Journey Competition (APH) draws attention to real problems faced by both young artists and art audiences living in a world of constant action and reaction, criticism and more or less risky endeavours. From the perspective of students who have only just started their artistic careers, participation in the Hestia Artistic Journey Competition is a major step towards overcoming inherent insecurity. It is also one of the many ways to become an artist.
All students interested in the competition, who create artworks representing a variety of fields including painting, graphic arts, sculpture and installation art, photography, digital art, and performance, can enter their projects for the Hestia Artistic Journey Competition by 13 November 2018 using a special panel on the event website. The participants of the 18th edition of the APH competition will be competing for a one-month-long journey and an artist-in-residence programme in two thriving residency centres: New York and Vilnius. In addition, one of the finalists has a chance to win a commission to develop the visual concept of the Annual Report of the ERGO Hestia Group on commercial terms.
“The latest 18th edition of the competition puts emphasis on the reality of the world of fine arts and the need to raise questions about the condition of the artist and the art audience these days. As difficult as they are to answer, such questions provide a pretext for a meaningful discussion about the background, experience and fears all of us face today regardless of our walk of life. Because artists struggle with the same problems as anyone else, and a thoughtful creative process is just as big a challenge as implementing a business concept or following a professional development path each of us has chosen. The message behind this year’s competition focuses on emphasizing and recognizing the efforts made by the participants – young people who aspire to become artists despite the risk involved,” explains Magdalena Kąkolewska, President of the Hestia Artistic Journey Foundation.
What makes the APH competition different from many other art competitions is the focus on and fascination with artistic endeavours of young people who have yet to graduate from their universities. In addition, participants definitely benefit from having their artworks evaluated by people from outside the academic circle. After all, the finalists and winners of the APH competition are selected through a multi-stage adjudication based on voting by a jury composed of renowned Polish contemporary art authorities. By supporting students’ independent creative explorations, the competition organizer – the Hestia Artistic Journey Foundation – encourages young people to pave their own artistic path. It is important to stress that the APH competition is not only a process of professional adjudication and selection. It is also an extensive programme of meetings with the public, fostering dialogue between the artist and the audience, and blending different environments in the field of art. Each of the exhibitions presenting finalists’ artworks features topical problems and issues which are important for the youngest generation of artists. In this sense, the perspective on the reality adopted by young artists inspires the audience to embark on their own search.
The APH competition is sponsored by Sopockie Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń ERGO Hestia SA. The initiative owes its well-established position to the institutional partners who have cooperated with the APH Foundation for years. They include art universities across Poland, the Residency Unlimited Artist-in-Residence Centre in New York, and the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw which hosts the exhibitions featuring finalists’ works. As a result, since the competition began more than ten years ago, a collection comprising more than 40 works of art has been created, 28 artist-in-residence programmes have been held in New York and Valencia, and 43 individual and group exhibitions have been organized across Poland.