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SPIRAL - 12th International Artists’ Symposium in Árkos/Arcuş

After five years, we were glad to host again a fine art symposium here in Transylvania, Three Chairs, Árkos. Together with our Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian guests we had spent 10 days rich in creative strive and playful survey, which ended with a high-standard trip to the Gyárfás Jenő Art Gallery and which is meant to be recorded and immortalized by this short brochure. The motto of this year’s event is the Spiral, because we believe that the European “ring dance” we have started twelve years ago, instead of closing, it gets round on a higher level each year. In other words, the meetings organized once a year, in summer, always bring new energies, something different and something new, as the basic principal of all-time Art demands it. In what way could or can this international workshop give more and better than the others? Why is this visual training camp attractive for artists coming from different parts of Europe? Looking back to these twelve years the answer is more than simple; it can almost be expressed in keywords: sense of freedom, closeness to nature, free interferences of genres, workshop, lightness, professional quality, playfulness, humane, spontaneity. Creative freedom in nature has been our leitmotiv in Felsőörs, Arjang, Sugásfürdő, Karjaa and during this event here in Árkos. Members of the multilingual team had forged and polished a common language of the symposium by their painting, graphic, sculptor and action art dictionaries, a language which was mainly about the interdependence and willingness for cooperation of the European communities.

During these magic summers some artist tired to behave as a community for a very short period of time, greeting each other on each other’s language, who had recharged and refreshed themselves by collecting/gathering experiences and impressions. The time spent together in Árkos proved to be a real time travel, while in the regions our guests come from the different forms of archaic rural life can only be seen, since a long time, inside/among the walls of museums. In the same time they appreciated with surprise the kindness, openness and creativity of local people too.

We, as hosts of the event, guiding the guests, moving and living together with them, had the possibility to see our everyday life from a different angle, the positive side of our lives becoming more significant, while the dark side less significant. Our everyday life became somehow more sublime and festive. While presenting our monuments and art collections it was nice to our guests surprise, and admiration, which somehow made our works become more meaningful for ourselves too. The professional discussions, projected lectures held in the evenings brought us closer to each other, while, besides the Artist, the illustrations and narratives inevitably involved the human being itself, with its family, environment and friends. In one word, it gave us more a complex and human picture of each other, since during the symposiums the presence of the artist in person is the most important. The fragmentariness or Europe is fading, we have to learn how to live with our freedom. The political, economic expansion has to be enforced in art too, we should grasp this opportunity. We, organizers of Spiral, thank our fellow artists for the wonderful time spent together, for our supporters, sponsors and colleagues the help rendered, for our public their devotion and loyalty; and we are confident that this wonderful series will continue for a long time.

Enikő Daczó, Mihály Vargha

Welcoming Speech by Eva Eriksson
12 July 2011
Gyárfás Jenő Art Gallery, Sepsiszentgyörgy

Dear President, dear Spiral participants, dear colleagues and friends

First of all, I would like to take the opportunity to on behalf of the County of Värmland and the Artists Association of Värmland express my sincerest thanks for the invitation to take part in the opening ceremony of the international artists’ symposium Spiral in Gyárfás Jenő Art Gallery. I am sorry that I cannot be there. I would dearly love to revisit Sepsiszentgyörgy, but it was unfortunately not possible at this moment in time.

I am especially happy that artists from Värmland have been given the opportunity to take part in the artists’ symposium this year. Ever since the Artists Association of Värmland first took part in the annual symposium in Sepsiszentgyörgy in 2006, we have seen relations develop between artists from Värmland, from Kovászna and from the other regions taking part. For Värmland’s part, this culminated in last summer’s symposium in Värmland. We were happy that the symposium provided the opportunity to attract new visitors to Värmland and to show Värmland to artists from a not insignificant number of regions in Europe.

I very much hope that our artists as well as the artists from Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, Norway and Transylvania have had a fantastic and rewarding week. I cannot imagine a better inspiration for artists than the flowing landscape of Transylvania and the quiet village surroundings of Árkos. I imagine that the artists, after one week in these fantastic surroundings, have some fantastic works to unveil at today’s opening ceremony!

We, like you, have proud traditions. It is by understanding these traditions that we get to know each other better. Art and culture is very much a means by which we can get to know each other and each other’s cultures and traditions better. The importance of events like this, when artists, citizens, “ambassadors” of different countries come together and spend some real time together should therefore not be underestimated. Ten days in the company of good friends and colleagues in great surroundings can leave impressions to last a lifetime!

People meeting and getting to know each other better is central to the idea of Europe, which is why an event like this is perfect as part of the cooperation between regions in Europe. In times of economic hardship, it should not be forgotten that Europe still needs to invest resources into making it possible for Europe’s peoples to meet. Now that the artists’ symposium has become an annual event, we could say that this is an example for others to follow.

This year, Värmland and Kovászna celebrate the seventh anniversary of co-operation. We have already used this partnership to the benefit of both our counties. We have jointly taken part in several EU projects and project application. As the importance of cooperation between Europe’s regions continues to be emphasised by the European Commission, we hope that we have many valuable and exciting projects ahead of us.

I would like to repeat what I have said before; that well functioning partnerships based on mutual trust are of utmost importance if the regional level is to make use of the opportunities offered by the European Union. It is exactly this that is the reason why partnerships like ours are of great importance if we are to be heard in Europe and if we are to be competitive in Europe.

I hope very much that all artists have had a great week. Once again, I thank you for making it possible for Värmland’s artists to take part in “Spiral”!

I wish you a grand opening, a successful exhibition and a lovely summer.

Best wishes,

Eva Eriksson
County Governor

  The commune Árkos and the Covasna County Capital, Sepsiszentgyörgy will host an extraordinary event: the ‘Spiral’ International Contemporary Art Symposium takes place here at the Training Center and the garden of the Szentkereszty Castle.
‘Spiral’ is part of a series of programs started 12 years ago in Felsőörs in Veszprém County (Hungary). During the dozen of years Finn, Swedish, Hungarian and Transylvanian (Székely) partners have been alternately hosting the symposium. The ArtAgora Association from Sepsiszentgyörgy has last served as host 5 years ago. The creative workshop then was held in Sugás Spa, while the closing exhibition was organized at the ‘Gyárfás Jenő’ Art Gallery, and the event was distinguished by the presence of the Finnish Ambassador.
Last year a group of 5 visiting artists represented Sepsiszentgyörgy in Arjang, Sweden, and in 2009 in Karjaa, Finnland.
During the symposium, beside their creative work, the invited artists will give presentations with projections every evening, they are going to visit the Székely National Museum and its branches, also they are going to visit artist workshops, the they participate in a sightseeing tour.

The opening of the symposium exhibition will be held at the mellow old ‘Gyárfás Jenő’ Art Gallery on July 12, 2011 at 7 o’clock in the evening. The opening speech will be given by Mihály Vargha, director of the Székely National Museum, János Demeter, vice-president of Covasna County Council

During the symposium the interested art amateurs may visit freely the program, since one of the main aims of the event is learning about various (visual) cultures, reviewing their affinities and differences. The organizers welcome everybody during daytime activities as well as for the evening shows.

The exhibition may be visited from 12 July to 7 August 2011, dayly between 09:00 and 16:00.
Address: ’Gyárfás Jenő’ Art Gallery, 520003, Sfantu Gheorghe, Pta. Libertatii No. 2, Covasna County
Telefon / fax: +40 267 314 367

Contact, curator: Enikő Daczó 0740086630

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Executive editor: Vargha Mihály.
© Copyright: The Székely National Museum, 2023.