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Jacek Szewczyk

Polish printmaking in the time of pandemic

Looking for an answer to such question, I would like to present an unusual phenomenon, which modern Polish printmaking is. The uniqueness is in the fact, that since many years it’s in excellent artistic condition, often claiming international awards at the reviews and competitions. For a long time I’ve been wondering, how is it possible, that despite so many unfavorable outside circumstances, which I will describe later, a good quality is continuously maintained. There is only one answer; such undeniable achievements are possible thanks to dozens of exceptional printmakers, working in the Academies and Art Departments of the Universities. The educational system, which allows to work at the Academy, to share one’s artistic experiences with students and other teachers, and to develop one’s own talent and skills, is developed and tested over the years.

This exceptional assembly of printmakers, working in academia, takes responsibility for artistic quality, knowledge of all possible techniques and technologies, as well as for diversity of individual creations – among hundreds of our students. The educational system, largely based on master-student relationship, which is costly and controversial, works exceptionally well in educating future artists. Multiple studios offered to choose from, for the Printmaking students of all years, and the teachers responsible for those programs, are perfectly satisfying most of curricular and intellectual needs of almost any student. A combination of teaching artistic printmaking and graphic design, which often includes multimedia, produces a unique teaching programme and equips students with necessary skills, so they can find their place within various working scenarios.

Printmaking students are the ones who every year provide us with new, unknown thus far visual and intellectual experiences, while exhibiting their works during final reviews, diploma exhibitions, and inter-academic confrontations. The printmaking graduates win competitions, receive important awards and special mentions in Poland and abroad. A few of them are given the chance to work in academia, to stand on the other side, and to power the ranks of academic teachers. They continue the educational traditions of Printmaking Department, and thanks to them continuity is maintained, as well as academic working culture, supported by unique competences and exceptional talents.

Being aware of the fact, that a majority of adversities mentioned below occurs not only in Poland, I decided to nevertheless list those, which are most severe and bothersome. These are: a small market for art in Poland, basically limited to antiques, shortage of art collectors and collections (especially collections of modern printmaking), a complete lack of interest from business (which could potentially be able to sponsor culture and arts), and probably the most saddening fact – that the curators of prestigious museums and art galleries are so ignorant and uninterested. Of course the basic educational system is to blame, because it focuses on teaching not art education but completely different topics.

Last to mention is the pandemic, which ruined all exhibition and competition plans, and most of all it deprived the artistic community of social interaction in person, and of the joy of meeting and working along each other, which is so desperately needed in our niche.

Professor Jacek Szewczyk
The Eugeniusz. Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław, Poland

Jacek Szewczyk (1958, Wroclaw, Poland), graduated from The Academy of Fine Arts, Wroclaw in 1982. MFA with Honours in graphic art. Since 1982 he has been working at the Academy first as an Assistent to Professor Halina Pawlikowska, now as a Professor, at the Printmaking Studio for graduate and undergraduate students, in the Graphic Art Faculty. In 2005 he was chosen the president of the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw for the term of 2005-2008. Beside teaching and printmaking he has been active in the fields of drawing and graphic design. His drawings and prints belongs to the collection of: The National Library in Warszawa, The Ossolineum Library in Wroclaw, Cabinet of Prints Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow, Norrbottens Lans Landsting - Lulea, Sweden, Boras Kunstmuseum - Boras, Sweden, Botkyrka, Lulea and Falun Kommun - Sweden, Grafikens Hus – Mariefred, Sweden.


J. Szewczyk, The Mountaineers, 1993, etching
J. Szewczyk, Torments, 2016, etching, 79.5x59.5 cm


J. Szewczyk, Dr. Jordan's Garden, 2019, etching
J. Szewczyk, Torments 1, 2016, etching, 79.5x59.5 cm



Graphic Collective Gallery, Dragoslava Jovanovića 11, Belgrade, Weekdays 12 - 20h, Saturdays 12 - 17h, Sundays closed
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