“The Creators of Silesian Culture” is one of the most important projects of the Silesian Culture Centre. Its aim is to capture outstanding figures from the Silesian region in artistic photographs. The photos are taken by Krzysztof Miller and Marek Wesołowski (members of Polish Art Photographers Association, Lower Silesia District) and presented at an annual exhibition called “The Creators of Silesian Culture” along with a calendar promotion.
The guiding idea of the project is well expressed by the Centre’s motto: “so that Silesian would give food for thought.” The purpose is to leave behind the stereotypes of Silesian culture, which usually present local people as simpletons residing in their red-brick family houses, playing cards and consuming local dishes. The authors want to ask far-reaching questions about the roots, identity and tradition of the region. They also want to show outstanding artists committed to their passions: painters, graphic artists, musicians, writers, architects, actors, operators, photographers . The impressive number of them makes the choice really difficult. Each person is presented in two photographs, one of which is published in the calendar. The original character of these photographs is displayed by the props typical of their professions, passions and interests and at the same time exposing the artists’ personalities. All these elements contribute to composing unusually sophisticated portraits of high artistic value, permeated by the spirit of Silesia and sometimes spiced with a grain of humor.
One of the portrayed characters, a poet Ewa Parma wrote for “ASF International Fine Art Photography” magazine:
“The session itself is a special experience for the characters and – as they claim – changes their perception of photographers as mere recorders of reality. Both prior preparations and conversation during the session make this event special for both sides. It is not easy to get inside someone’s personality during one afternoon, but special knowing looks and smiles exchanged at the premiere say much about the relationship which occurred thanks to this project between the authors and their characters. This is the added, or even priceless value because of its metaphysical nature.”
It must be stressed that this unique photo gallery is a rare phenomenon in our country. “The Creators of Silesian Culture” is also a project involving close contacts between artists and their audience . The best occasion is a series of autumn exhibitions promoting the calendar, when the artists arrive to meet their fans at the opening and chat with them informally. The events are accompanied by concerts or plays performed by them.
So far there have been six editions attended by (appearance by the calendar chronology):
2013 (calendar 2014)
Stanisław Zając, Erwin Sówka, Grażyna Bułka, Werner Lubos, Jan Szmatloch, Karo Glazer, Bernard Krawczyk, Józef Skrzek, Barbara Lubos, Edward Inglot, Tadeusz Sławek, Andrzej Koniakowski, Bogdan Mizerski, Zenon Dyrszka
2014 (calendar 2015)
Anna Szostak, Anna Osadnik, Stanisław Gerard Trefoń, Józef Olejniczak, Barbara Ptak, Mirosław Muzykant, Robert Talarczyk, Waldemar Jama, Janusz YANINA Iwański, Magdalena Piekorz, Wojciech Kuczok, Henryk Waniek, Krzysztof Respondek
2015 (calendar 2016)
Ewa Parma, Aleksander Nawarecki, Wojciech Myrczek, Józef Ligęza, Elżbieta Okupska, Ewa Uryga, Mirosław Neinert, Marek Moś, Stanisław Niemczyk, Kaya Mirecka-Ploss, Ireneusz Walczak, Stanisław Soyka
2016 (calendar 2017)
Tomasz Konior, Zbigniew Kadłubek, Beata Przybytek, Bartłomiej Barczyk, Kinga Głyk, Weronika Murek, Roman Kalarus, Ingmar Villqist,Adam Sikora, Arkadiusz Kubica, Kazimierz Kutz, Franciszek Pieczka
2017 (calendar 2018)
Jan P. Matuszyński, Zygmunt Tlatlik, Julian Gembalski, Ewa Majcherczyk, Ireneusz Dudek, Jan Miodek, Antoni Cygan, Henryk Konwiński, Ewa Chojecka, Grzegorz Kapołka, Wojciech Prażmowski, Marian Kisiel
2018 (calendar 2019)
Ryszard Kaczmarek, Andrzej Celiński, Ewa Leśniak, Barbara Gruszka-Zych, Anna i Teodor Segietowie, Andrzej Lampert, Jacek Rykała, Olgierd Łukaszewicz, Leszek Winder, Adam Wesołowski, Lech Majewski, Sławomir Idziak
On the origins of the project:
Silesian culture is a unique melting pot in which, during long historical processes German, Czech, Polish and Jewish influences have been mixing. Multiculturalism is a distinguished feature of our region. At the same time this strange mixture adds up to the phenomenon and true treasure of Silesia. Therefore it can be concluded that the European character of Silesian culture is unquestionable. For the rest of our homeland it was a kind of problem. Our compatriots usually perceived Silesia from the perspective of naive folk culture, St.Barbara’s feast, blood sausages and beer. Fortunately, both the “low” working class culture and high art were developing simultaneously in Silesia. It occurs again that multiculturalism and unusual variety have always been able to connect people. This way Silesian people find not only passion, but also the key to understanding beyond all divisions and differences. Thanks to the Silesian Culture Centre in Nakło Śląskie, a place where people of culture (both artists and art lovers) can meet, discuss, argue and above all create, a gallery of portraits of contemporary Silesian artists came into being. This is just the beginning of the collection, the first step. It is also an attempt to convince many people that it is not only the material world that counts, but also the spiritual one, because thanks to art our life becomes richer, more beautiful, deeper, better and simply truer.