II International WATERCOLOR & SPIRIT Triennial 2019


In July, two unique international events for the Watercolor took place. II International Triennial “WATERrcolor & SPIRIT” – Varna, 2019 and International Youth Watercolor Festival – Plovdiv, 2019. Both of the projects were organised by IWS – Bulgaria.

In the festival city of Varna, the sea capital of Bulgaria, the event was held in partnership with “Boris Georgiev” City Art Gallery, with the financial support of Fund “Culture”, Municipality of Varna.


The Triennial Festival started early on the morning of July 1st. There is an annual tradition along the bulgarian shores of the Black Sea of welcoming the sun in the first sunrise of July, (www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pwJ-oibeVw).  Our experience this year was accompanied by the “July Morning” song of Uriah Heep and 70’s live tunes performed by Toria and Zhivko Stanev. With gratitude to the Moonlight Bar for the great location and assistance. The festival continued until July 5th. More than 250 participants and guests from India, France, Iceland, Peru, the Republic of Korea, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Bangladesh, Thailand, Spain, Italy, China, Russia, Ukraine, Japan, Serbia, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey, Canada and, of course, Bulgaria. The opening and award ceremony, as well as the 16 one-hour individual demonstrations of world watercolors masters, took place in the neo-gothic Concert Hall of “Boris Georgiev” City Art Gallery with free entrance. They received huge interest while being projected on a screen in the hall, broadcast live on Facebook and of course the professionally captured video of the demonstrations will be uploaded to IWS Bulgaria’s channel at YouTube. Among the masters who presented their demonstrations are: IWS Globe President Atanur Dogan (Canada), Hong Shan (China), Amit Kapoor (India), Miran Kim (Republic of Korea), La Fe (Thailand), Nicolas Lopez (Peru), Teresa Jorda Vito (Spain), Isabel Alosete (Spain), Ihor Yurchenko (Ukraine), Armand Xhomo (Italy), Foti Kllogjeri (Greece), Stella Canfield (USA) Anna Chepurnaya-Oleynik (Belarus) and Krasi Todorov (Bulgaria).

Especially for the event arrived the product manager of the Fabriano paper factory, Giuseppe Prezioso and presented the lecture “Fabriano – the art of paper”. 

More than 370 artworks of different authors from 63 countries participated in the Triennial exhibition – jury, invited authors, honorary participation of classicists and selected participants from a prestigious international jury – Liu Yi (China), Stanislaw Zoladz (Sweden), Ali Abbas Syed (Pakistan), Kiril Bozhkov (Bulgaria), Stella Canfield (USA), Plamena Dimitrova-Racheva (Bulgaria), Selma Todorova (Bulgaria). In the magnificent halls of the City Art Gallery Varna, the artworks were arranged in eight categories, framed in innovative frames from recycled paper, which is a first-time display as a concept and product. We thank the team of City Art Gallery Varna and its director Plamena Dimitrova-Racheva for the wonderful atmosphere and professional organization.

Overall 33 image, money and object prizes were awarded at the Triennial. We are particularly grateful for the support of companies like Fabriano, La Petite Palette, Daniel Smith, Schmicke, Rembrandt, Escoda, Rosa, Nevskya Palitra, Winsor & Newton, Van Gogh, Lana and Arches, who gave their awards and helped to carry out the demonstrations. With much gratitude and appreciation to all the sponsors of the cash prizes, as well as the galleryists who proposed a solo exhibition as a prize to a chosen author.

Simultaneously with the exhibition were presented 90 sculpture portraits of artists participating in the Triennale, made by Denitsa Dimitrova with Krasi Todorov’s unique Zn Art technology.

A group demonstration of 26 artists on 20 meter paper Fabriano Artistico, provided by Directa, was held in front of a large audience, with the assistance of “Sea Casino”.

During the days of the festival four accompanying watercolor exhibition were opened in the best galleries of Varna: “10 Artists – Contemporary Bulgarian Watercolor” (Graffit Gallery): Kiril Bozhkov, Stella Canfield, Nenko Chanev, Krasimir Todorov, Radoslav Marinov-Junior, Lubomir Yotov , Selma Todorova, Tsvyatko Ostoich, Tzvetan Kazandzhiev, Ivan Milushev; exhibition by Andrian Bekyarov (“Le Papillon” Art Gallery); an exhibition by Ivan Dodov (Largo Art Gallery) and an exhibition by classical artist Alexander Caprichev (“Theresa Zikovska” Art Gallery). A piano concert by Margarita Ilieva was also presented. On the last day of the festival in Varna was organized an exhibition of 60 watercolors, at the main entrance of the Sea Garden with works created during the Plein air painting around the city. The best of them were awarded. 

After the end of the Triennial Exhibition in Varna on July 31st, more than 270 of its artworks will be included in a traveling exhibition in eight of the best galleries in Bulgaria until March 2020. In August, the collection of selected works of the Triennal will be hosted by the “Nikola Marinov “ Art Gallery – Targovishte, which is its co-organizer, together with “Le Papillon” Art Gallery, “Assen and Ilia Peykovi” Art Gallery – Sevlievo and “George Papazov“ Art Gallery – Yambol.

A bilingual, full-color 420 pages catalog with the artworks of the Triennial including prizes, sponsors and galleries of the traveling exhibition, was published and is now available in www.iwsbulgaria.com/shop

Curator and President of IWS Bulgaria: Selma Todorova

17 thoughts on “II International WATERCOLOR & SPIRIT Triennial 2019”

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