International Youth Watercolor Festival 2019

Young artists need our complete attention, for they are our future. Moreover, some of the world-class watercolor masters are no more than 35 years old. 

The International Watercolor Youth Festival was held in Plovdiv from 6-8 July as a continuation of the Triennial Festival in Varna and part of the program of Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture 2019. The jury of the exhibition in Plovdiv were Atanur Dogan (Canada), Ana Massinissa (Italy), Amit Kapoor (India), Helidon Haliti (Albania), Tere Lojero (Mexico), Krasi Todorov (Bulgaria). The exhibitions of the 116 selected paintings from 30 countries, framed in innovative frames of recycled paper, took place in the “Arsenal of Art” Gallery for participants up to 21 years of age and “Permanent Exhibition of Mexican Art” at the City Art Gallery – Plovdiv for participants from 21-31 years. This last lasted until 31.07.2019.

Guests of Plovdiv were watercolor artists from China, India, South Korea, Russia, Spain, Mexico, Canada, Turkey, USA, Israel, Ukraine, Italy, Bulgaria and others.


There were demonstrations of world masters of watercolor and young artists in both galleries, as well as in the Archeological Museum – Plovdiv, for whose cooperation we are thankful. Their skills demonstrated the masters Atanur Dogan (Canada), Hong Shan (China), Amit Kapoor (India), Miran Kim (Republic of Korea), Tere Lojero (Mexico), Teresa Jorda Vito (Spain), Isabel Alosete (Spain), as well as the young watercolor artists Xinru Zhao (China), Maxim Demchuk (Russia), Moy Medrano (Mexico), Almog Golan (Israel).

Together with the “Tsanko Lavrenov” National Art School, a group demonstration of 25 young artists and masters took place in the courtyard of the high school on a 20m long watercolor paper “Arches” provided by Arista. The event was attended also by high school students, as well as director Svetlozar Chavdarov and young people from “Arteya” School in Targovishte. Children from Art School “Pastelo”, Haskovo, painted watercolors during the event.

An accompanying exhibition with paintings of Selma Todorova was organized in “Signa” Art Gallery and at the end of the festival an exhibition was opened in the yard of “Permanent exhibition of Mexican art” with paintings made during the demonstrations and Plein air sessions from Plovdiv.

Special guest at the event was the bulgarian US Ambassador’s wife, Nicole Simmons.

 Overall 14 image, money and object prizes were awarded. Many thanks to the elite brands La Petite Palette, Daniel Smith, Schmincke, Rembrandt, Escoda, Rosa, Nevskaya Palitra, Winsor & Newton, Van Gogh, Lana, Arches and their representatives, who gave their prizes and helped to carry out the demonstrations. We are also grateful to all the sponsors of the awards, as well as the galleryists who proposed a solo exhibition as a prize to a chosen author.

A bilingual, full-color, 144-page catalog with the artworks of the Festival, including prizes, sponsors and galleries of the traveling exhibition, was published and is now available at

Curator and President of IWS Bulgaria: Selma Todorova

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