Stone sculptures are being created on Landek again

Even though Friday the 13th of August may have seemed ill-fated to some, the Association for Organizing International Stone Symposia (founded by Martin Kuchař in 2002) chose exactly this date for the official opening of the fifth annual Landek International Sculptors' Symposium. It took place in the complex of the Mining Museum in Ostrava-Petřkovice with the attendance of important figures in the region's cultural and public life and of course with the presence of the sculptors themselves, who will be creating on Landek for the entire month of the symposium: namely, Jaroslav Koléšek from the Czech Republic, Matej Rosmány and Štefan Papčo from Slovakia (however only Rosmány will stay at the symposium, replacing Papčo is unable to participate because of study obligations), Agnieszka Mikolajczyk from Poland, Valerian Jikia from Georgia, Zhao Li from China and Tets Ohnari from Japan. During the opening, participants had the opportunity to become familiar with works by the sculptors, who exhibited their small-scale pieces in the neighbouring Studna Gallery.

Already by the day of the opening, a warm and friendly atmosphere of artistic and cultural intermingling reigned on Landek. There is an almost palpable creative energy in the air, intensified at the opening by the artists' longing to pick up their carving tools as quickly as possible. For this, however, they had to wait until Monday. Over the weekend, they made a visual inspection and final selection of the sites where their works will be installed after the symposium ends, and also picked their stone of choice. The sculptures will emerge from marble, granite and sandstone.

An integral part of this type of symposium is the establishment of sculpture parks, that is, open-air sculpture galleries. Thanks to the Landek Symposium, three such galleries have originated: at Horní Dvůr in the town of Těrlicko-Hradiště, at the Mining Museum in Ostrava-Petřkovice, and at Central Park in Havířov. Sculptures will be placed in all these places after the end of the symposium, and this year they will additionally decorate several spots in Ostrava-Vítkovice and in the town of Třanovice.

As the organizers note, the idea of holding a stone sculpture symposium isn't a new idea. The first such international symposia of this kind were organized right after the end of World War II in Austria, Slovenia and Germany. "The former Czechoslovakia wasn't the exception in this respect. In the 1960s two Czech sculptors, Vladimír Preclík a Miloš Chlupáč, started a sculptors' symposium in Hořice in the foothills of the Krkonoše Mountains and on the top of St Gothard and Vyšné Ružbachy below the Tatra Mountains," says the association's spokesperson, Hana Kuchařová. Martin Kuchař's Association for Organizing International Stone Symposia links back to the tradition of international granite symposium, which took place for eight years in the 1990s, organized by the sculptor Josef Andrle in the area of Milevsko and Jindřichův Hradec.

Below, you can see photos from the opening event. During the symposium, we will bring you interviews with individual sculptors on our website, as well as photo reportage of their works in progress.