The idea of the Hestia Artistic Journey competition originated with Piotr M. Śliwicki, president of the ERGO Hestia Group and a patron of arts; it was held for the first time in 2002. Through its initiatives, the Sopot insurer promotes patronage of the arts in the business community. With the competition, the Foundation offers young artists an opportunity to make their mark in the world of art, both in Poland and internationally, and to find inspiration for future work.
During the first few years, the competition was run in cooperation with the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk; since 2009 ERGO Hestia – currently acting through the Foundation – has worked with all art schools in Poland. Each year a jury that includes artists, curators and gallery managers chooses two outstanding artistic personalities from among the fourth and fifth year students of art departments of Polish universities.
The winners get the opportunity to complete an artistic residency program at a renowned centre of art: Residency Unlimited in New York, Politechnica di Valencia in 2008-2017, and this year at Rupert’s Residency in Vilnius. Since 2014, students also compete for the Special Award, sponsored by the president of the ERGO Hestia Group, Mr Piotr M. Śliwicki. The winner of this award is commissioned on commercial terms to design the visual presentation of the Annual Report of the ERGO Hestia Group.