International WATERCOLOR & SPIRIT Triennial 2016


The watercolor technique in art marks Renaissance throughout the whole world. The Bulgarian watercolorists are part of this revival, thanks to IWS Bulgaria, an integral part of the big watercolor community IWS.  The International Triennial WATERcolor & SPIRIT, which was held on 15.07-15.08.2016 at the Art Gallery Boris Georgiev in the town of Varna is the natural and adequate native reply to the challenges, presented by the traditionalists in the genre. Thanks to the proven high artistic level at our previous participations, the reputation of IWS Bulgaria around the world, the competence of the jury, as well as the wonderful opportunities, which the city of Varna and the Art Gallery Boris Georgiev offer, were selected 276 participants from 51 countries. Many of these artists are internationally recognized masters of watercolor, and their names are written on series of world famous high-quality art materials. Four of these trademarks – Schmincke, Fabriano, Daniel Smith and Escoda – are sponsoring the demonstrations during the days of the Festival from 15.07 to 18.07.2016 and are attributing some of the Triennial awards.
To our satisfaction, the Bulgarian artists are well represented. Most of them, independent from of schools and currents, form their own unique appearance and bring variety and value to the national and global palette. In the selection for the exhibition, there are included 69 Bulgarian artists, many of them known not only as watercolorists, but also for their outstanding achievements with other visual art techniques.
Another six of the best city galleries in Bulgaria recognized the significance of the international watercolor forum that will take place in our country, and decided to host a traveling exhibition with works from the International Triennial till March 2017. These are: Art Gallery Assen and Ilia Peykovi – Sevlievo, where there are exhibited the works of Assen Peykov, the creator of the Leonardo Da Vinci sculpture at the airport in Rome; Art Gallery Dimitar Dobrovich – Sliven, the third in wealth of it’s fund gallery in Bulgaria; Art Gallery George Papazov – Yambol; Art Gallery Nikola Marinov – Targovishte; the gallery of the Union of the Bulgarian Artists in Sofia Rayko Aleksiev; and the largest on the Balkan Peninsula Art Gallery Vladimir Dimitrov – the Master in the town of Kyustendil.
It was presented 16 image, cash and objects awards and 21 honorable nominations.  All paintings, information for awards and galleries which hosted traveling exhibition, were published in high quality 300 p. catalogue.
Our little Bulgaria is rich with impressive gallery spaces, worth of accommodating any respected world art forum. A project of such scale as the International Watercolor Triennial – Varna, Bulgaria with a national traveling exhibition, it’s an honor for our country. An invited artist is the world famous ballet dancer Vladimir Vasiliev, chairman of the Jury at the International Ballet Competition – Varna 2016, who has been painting watercolors for years and presented solo exhibitions. There are common traits between the ballet and the watercolor: grace, expressiveness, and spiritual message. The first edition of the International Watercolor Triennial, as well as the festival associated with it, were in close connection with the International Ballet Competition. Well-known artists from all over the world came and some of them made demonstrations:  Liu Yi, Atanur Dogan, Ali Abbas Syed, Ze Ze Lai, Stella Canfield, Helidon Haliti, Rainbow  Tse, Munkbaatar Surentsetseg.  The International Triennial WATERcolor & SPIRIT received prize of the Second Independent Awards of Culture “Media AwARTs”, Varna 2016.
Curator and President of IWS Bulgaria: Selma Todorova

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