Third Edition

For the second time, the High School of Fine Arts in Żory won a grant within the "Wena" competition from the Starak Family Foundation. This time, the Competition Jury was unquestionably enchanted by the idea of creating a mosaic in Żory. According to Małgorzata Szram-Lipka, the author of the project, "An image as a work of art is in its essence a certain frame, a fragment of reality. Since the dawn of time, it has been a record of a sensitive perception of the world and a treasury of knowledge about past times. Therefore, the project assumes that its participants will create a series of subjective representations, frames, individually perceived reality in the form of ceramic paintings made using the mosaic technique. 


Mosaic as a form of expression gives the possibility of enclosing a selected framework in a cad, and a wide range of colors and materials allows for the realization of any idea. The well-known properties of ceramics, its durability, and its resistance to weathering allow for the instalment of mosaics in public spaces. Wonderfully preserved mosaics are known from antiquity, where they served as decorative elements of walls, temples, theaters, public buildings, thermal baths, and even stores. Referring directly to the history and function of the mosaic, we want the final result of the project to be the installation of the resulting works in public space, as a decorative element of the facade of a building, congress hall, or a train station waiting room. Such a finale of the project protects against a possible wave of further restrictions, closing down of galleries and cultural centers and gives the possibility of contact with art to people who are not used to visiting such places. We want the mosaics to be not only decorative but also a sensitive commentary on the current situation in the world. The final result of the project will be the creation of a series of ceramic mosaic paintings by the students and installation of the works in selected places in the public space. The aim of the authors is also to further observe social behavior on the newly revealed object in public space. Students from the High School of Arts in Żory visited Warsaw last week in order to seek inspiration and gain knowledge from master ceramicists.

The main purpose of coming to Warsaw was to meet on Wednesday with artists and workers from the multi-generational mosaic studio of the Grześkiewicz family, located in Łomianki (near Warsaw). The works of the studio are known not only in Poland but also abroad, testifying to the exceptional craftsmanship, skills, and imagination of its creators. A group of young artists met with one of the continuators of the family legacy, Mrs. Dorota Grześkiewicz. The Grześkiewicz studio is undoubtedly an important place on the map of Poland. Their works are known not only in Poland but also abroad, they are of great value for our culture and art.


The students began their sightseeing tour of the capital with a visit to the Copernicus Science Centre and a meeting at Charlotte Café, the walls of which are decorated with interesting glass mosaics. They met there with Ms. Iwona Makowska, who runs the blog, and provided the students with invaluable information about the history of Warsaw's mosaics. The students also had the opportunity to see the mosaic ceramics that decorate the buildings of the Faculty of Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at the Warsaw University of Technology and the Constitution Square arcades, which are examples of Socialist Realist construction in the Marszałkowska Residential District (MDM). Thanks to the courtesy of the staff of the club-café „W Orbicie Słońca" located in this complex, students could admire two most famous mosaics of Mr. and Mrs. Grześkiewicz from 1960, discovered and saved during the recent renovation of this interior.


On the way there, they also managed to see the first exhibition organised as part of the Warsaw Gallery Weekend, at Jadwiga Sawicka’s Biuro Artystyczne in Warsaw. Her works can also be seen in the Starak Collection. In the afternoon, the Foundation team showed the students around the permanent exhibition displayed in the Foundation's headquarters. Young artists also had an opportunity to see the current exhibition created by the Spectra Art Space team „What's Most Important Is Invisible": where they could admire works of i.a. Sasnal, Kantor, Łukasz Korolkiewicz, Włodzimierz Pawlak, and many other Polish painters. Thanks to the curator's guided tour and a short lecture, they deepened their knowledge about contemporary Polish painting.


On the last day of the trip the group visited the Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw. We hope that Warsaw’s atmosphere of cafes and art galleries decorated with mosaics as well as exhibitions located in important exhibition sites in the capital will be appreciated by the students from Żory and that the ceramic work created by them will become a permanent and symbolic work, thanks to which mosaics will gain a significant place in the world of art and not serve solely a functional and decorative purpose!

Małgorzata Szram-Lipka - is among the laureates of „Wena" for the second time, at school she leads the program of artistic ceramics and graphic design. She also teaches ceramics and graphic design as part of her doctoral studies at the Cieszyn Faculty of Art and Science of Education at the University of Silesia.

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