Union of Bulgarian Artists / Exhibitions / Archive70 YEARS VELIKO TARNOVO ARTISTS 1948 – 2018

17.07.18 - 30.07.18 | Gallery of UBA "Shipka" 6, Sofia

In 2018 we commemorate the 70th anniversary since the founding of the Veliko Tarnovo Artists Association, today called the Veliko Tarnovo Representation of the Union of Bulgarian Artists. Established in 1948, for its 70 years of existence, the Representation collects and displays the works of five generations of artists who lived and worked in the old capital of Bulgaria. Among them are the dignitary names of Boris Denev, Vassil Stoilov, Lyuben Zidarov, Rafael Mihaylov, Yanaki Manassiev and so on, who set up the foundations and the high artistic standards of cultural life on a regional and national level. Nowadays the Representation prides itself on a multitude of artists whose works compile in continuity with modern forms of expression and creative communication.

Three representative exhibitions were organized on the occasion the anniversary: the first of which in the „Rafael Mihaylov“ Exhibition Hall in Veliko Tarnovo /20 March – 18 April 2018/; the second at „Iliya Beshkov“ Art Gallery of Pleven /20 April – 4 May 2018/ and the third in „Shipka 6“ Gallery of Sofia /17 July 2018/. The exhibition of 323 works brought 149 artists together in the full scope of art forms: painting, sculpture, graphics, drawing, illustration, graphic design, ceramics, glass art and stained glass, art installation, photography and textiles. The exhibition includes Tarnovo artists who started their creative path back in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as young and prolific authors who have been involved in the art life of the city throughout the last decade.

The works of the artists who are no longer among us, such as Angel Angelov, Blagoi Ivanov, Velyo Mitev, Georgi Kostov, Krasimir Dobrev – the Doctor, Margarita Pueva, Nenko Marov, Nikola Gelov, etc., owned by the „Boris Denev“ Art Gallery of Veliko Turnovo are displayed in the municipal galleries by means of a multimedia presentation. The exhibits feature also the original works by Alexander Terziev, Ivan Marinov, Motko Bumov, Stefan Stefanov, Dimitar Bonev, Ognian Stanimirov, Georgi Raychev, Tsani Vassilev, Todor Evtimov, Antoaneta Ilcheva and others, provided by their relatives and family members (heirs).

The purpose for publishing this catalog is to help the organizer archive the general overview of fine art trends which flourished in the region for the given period. This form of presentation is particularly important because it includes artists of five generations and facilitates the description of 214 artists with 440 works of art. Among the Veliko Tarnovo artists of the last century, there are some whose works are considered a national treasure. Equally and warmly represented, the young generation of artists includes winners of numerous awards at exhibitions and competitions at home and abroad.

„We value this presentation approach because the younger visitors to cultural events in the city are not familiar with the legacy of the mid-twentieth-century authors, whose works are not present in the virtual space and are not publicly available to a wider audience. The book form enables a peculiar „journey through time“, allowing its readers to trace the relationship between several generations of artists“, says Nikolina Dzhanovska.

A catalog of the Veliko Tarnovo artists was published on the occasion of the Represenation’s 60th anniversary and was printed in 2008. The current edition includes a larger volume of authors, taking into account the broader timespan. The exhibitions and the catalog present outstanding artists with significant contributions to art life and its development in Veliko Tarnovo, a compilation of well-known names and emerging young artists. In the three representative exhibitions we focused our attention on promoting young artists and their participation in the cultural forums in our city. Most of them display their works using virtual media, and thus remain without a public presentation in a gallery setting. This deprives our other target group, the gallery-goers, from meeting and valuing these young artists and finding their place in an actual social environment.

This updated edition with reproductions indeed complements the existing representative archive of the Veliko Tarnovo artists and the Union of Bulgarian Artists. We hope its publication will enable us to track the development of contemporary art through the eyes of our artists.

The catalog has no commercial purpose – it is intended for distribution in various cultural and public institutions: libraries, universities, galleries in Bulgaria and abroad.

The publication of the catalog is co-financed by the Municipality of Veliko Tarnovo under the Art and Culture Program Veliko Turnovo 2018. The management of the Veliko Tarnovo Representation of the UBA would like to express our gratitude to the Municipality of Veliko Tarnovo for its consistant support in promoting our ideas, initiatives, projects, and to all our supporters, sponsors, donators for their devotion to the organization, the research work and the completion of the exhibitions and the catalog. We are thankful to all contemporary authors, for working and being present in the life of our artistic community.


Marieta Konova

сhairperson of the Veliko Tarnovo Representation of the Union of Bulgarian Artists