With the opening of the Glass Art Centre in Sazava, the Czech Republic has opened a new door of interaction and opportunity for glass artists and aspiring artists. It will also help promote glass art to the general public. “There is not any other place in the Czech Republic at the moment, which would offer the same interactive environment and conditions for visitors, artists, experts and students as our new Glass Art Centre in Sazava,” said Frantisek Janak, an Art Manager at the Glassworks Frantisek, a newly renovated, non-profit organization owned by the “Josef Viewegh´s Foundation Glassworks Frantisek.” It was previously an old glassworks, part of the Kavalier Company.
Janak is a practicing artist and teacher, a glass designer and a freelance glass artist who travels internationally to conduct workshops. He also fought to help keep the glassmaking school at Kamenicky Senov open. “I was finally obliged to leave the school and my case at the court is [still] not over, but our effort was working. [The] school is operating and there is a new director, who hopefully will lead the school towards better times,” said Janak.
The Centre project will be divided into two main categories. The first is a permanent display of glass artifacts from the International Glass Symposiums in Novy Bor. The Symposium is a once a year event where glass art professionals gather to showcase their work. These artifacts will be opened to the public and a tour guide will be present. There will also be guides set up for students in levels ranging from elementary to college, in an effort to encourage more people to become artists. “We want to help [the] public to understand better what is going on in world of glassmaking and glass art and want to convince children to choose glassmaking like their future career,” said Janak.
The second category will be specifically for both aspiring and professional artists. The Centre will host a series of studios and workshops, aimed to give glass artists an opportunity to be exposed and strengthen their skills. All teachers, with the exception of Janak, will be changed every year. This years teachers includes: Janusz Pozniak and Chad Holliday from USA, Barbara Idzikowska from Poland, Pavlina Cambalova, Dagmar Pankova, Lada Semecka, Petr Novotny, Frantisek Janak, Ivan Mares, Alena Matejka, Zdenek Lhotsky, Pavel Vydra, Jan Frydrych, Jitka Skuhrava, Jiri Tesar from the Czech Republic.
“Each group will be treated differently and actually kept separately,” said Janak. “But everybody from the non-professional public may ask for a visit to the studios and workshops and watch artists and students at work, if they will be interested.”
The Czech Republic has a long rich history involving glass art that dates back to the Middle Ages. In the 20th their abstract glass art. Janak hopes to continue the national legacy, by making the Glass Art Centre a unique and creative place that will attract artists from all levels, and keep the public aware of the art world. As of now, workshops and studios will only be held a selected few times a year, with hopes of slowly increasing awareness of their mission.
“Of course the ideal would be to have these activities spread through the entire year. And we will work on it hard. But experience from other glass centers indicates that most of the workshops and classes will be organized in summer season, when schools have their holidays and when we may expect higher demand for them,” said Janak. “Our mission is to connect history of glassmaking and glass art and cultural heritage with present times, cultivate it and keep it for future.”
—Samuel J. Paul
IF YOU GO:Cesty skla o.p.s Centrum sklářského umění, Huť František v Sázavě Na Kácku 218 Sázava, 285 06 Czech Republic Tel: 420.728.856.044 Email: Info@cestyskla.cz Website: http://waysofglass.wordpress.com/contact/