Exhibition "75 years of MURAL PAINTING" in the town of Sliven
"75 Years of Academic Discipline MURAL PAINTING / Exhibition of Teachers and Students"
13–27 April 2022
NOVA Gallery at "Dimitar Dobrovich" National High School of Arts – Sliven
On 13 April 2022, an anniversary exhibition of the Mural Painting Department will be opened at "Nova" Gallery of the National High School of Arts in the town of Sliven. It is organised on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of its establishment at the National Academy of Art. The exhibition includes projects and realisations of teachers, PhD, MA and BA students in the last few years – murals, stained glass, mosaics and other techniques studied in the department. Works by Mural Painting teachers digitally recorded visual material are also part of the exhibition.
Presenting the exhibition in Sliven is actually the first event in the programme for commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Mural Painting at the National Academy of Art. It will as well be shown in other cities round Bulgaria. In the autumn, a scientific conference will be held at Academia Gallery of the National Academy of Art and the conference proceeding will be published.
The exhibition is realised as a project under the Programme for Scientific and Creative-Artistic Activities of the National Academy of Art 2022.
The application and influence of mural paing has been present since 1924 and can be traced in the works of great Bulgarian artists such as Dechko Uzunov, Ivan Penkov, Ivan Nenov and Iliya Petrov.
Mural painting not only has deep historical roots in the Bulgarian artistic tradition, it lives and develops dynamically in modern times, thanks in large part to the Department of Mural Painting at the National Academy of Art.*
In 1924, the discipline Decorative Art with Practical Application was introduced in the then State School of Art and Industry. As a result of organisation reforms at the Academy in 1932, Dechko Uzunov became the head of the Atelier for Decorative Arts. From 1945 onwards the discipline was called Decorative Mural Painting. In 1947, the Academy was structurally divided into Fine Arts Department and Applied Arts Department. The Applied Arts Department had Atelier for Decorative Mural Painting and Atelier for Mosaics, both headed by Ivan Nenov. In 1948, the two ateliers merged under the name of Decorative and Monumental Painting and Mosaics. From 1953 to 1972 the department was headed by Prof. Georgi Bogdanov. He was the one to found "a school" in contemporary Bulgarian monumental art. In 1967, the Atelier for Decorative and Monumental Painting and Mosaics became the discipline Mural Painting at the Applied Arts Faculty, and in 1973, Mural Painting became an independent department at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the National Academy of Art.
Among the most prominent Mural Painting teachers are Prof. Mito Ganovski, Prof. Dimo Zaimov, Prof. Ilia Iliev, Prof. Toma Varbanov, Prof. Ruzhko Chelebiev, Prof. Nikolay Drachev, Assoc. Prof. Atanas Kozhuharov, Assoc. Prof. Nikola Bukov, Assoc. Prof. Asen Gitsov , Rev. Nikolai Panayotov.
Currently, Prof. Dr. Oleg Gochev, Prof. Dr. Boyan Dobrev, Prof. Dr. Zdravko Kamenarov, Assoc. Prof. Pencho Dobrev, Sen. Lec. Strahil Nenov, Ch. Asst. Prof. Dr. Radostin Sedevchev, Asst. Prof. Dr. Lyubomil Draganov work in the department as full-time lecturers.
Students, who study Mural Painting, receive rich general and professional knowledge, which makes it possible for graduates to integrate in various fields of work – from applied arts to the design of architectural spaces, design objects and multimedia creation of games, websites, installations and many more. The possible professional realisation widely varies – from wall painting in Orthodox churches to constructing of stained glass, stained-glass windows, mosaics in public and private spaces, from work in the field of education to spatial planning, design and layout of interior and exterior spaces, and work with various media and technologies.
* from National Academy of Art 1896–2016. Publication of the National Academy of Art, 2016, pp. 241–242