National Academy of Art - participation and awards won in the IX edition of FIG BILBAO PRINT FESTIVAL (International Printmaking and Art on Paper Festival) in Spain


The participation of the National Academy of Art in the IX edition of FIG BILBAO, that took place from 26 to 29 November 2020, was impressive.

The participants in the festival were the Graphic Art students Gergana Ivanova (II year Master, theme: "Life like a Puzzle", etching and aquatint), Alexander Lazarkov (III year Bachelor, theme: Mind Terrain, collagraph), Verzhinia Vlachkova (III year Bachelor, theme: Can Man Play God?, engraving on comatex), Nikola Tsvetanov (III year Bachelor, theme: Urban Anthill, engraving on plywood, printing on canvas).

On 24 November 2020, an online meeting was broadcast with StreamYard, at which the curatorial projects and the students' ideas were presented to the competition jury. Alexander Lazarkov won an artistic residence scholarship of CIEC Foundation for his project MIND TERRAIN, collagraph.

The project curator on behalf of the National Academy of Art - Prof. Dr. Dessislava Hristova, Head of Department of Graphic Art, shared her thoughts and experience:

After my mobility stay under the Erasmus+ programme at Facultad de Bellas Artes, Universidad del Pais Vasco (UPV / EHU) in Bilbao and my visit to the eighth edition of the international exhibition of graphic art and art on paper FIG Bilbao, I received an invitation to curate a project for the festival called The Cubes of Temptations aimed at art students. For each edition of FIG Bilbao, two higher educational institutions are invited to present four of their students and their experimental graphic objects created specifically for the three-dimensional space of the cubes. The cubes are made of plywood sized 2 x 2x 2 m. The best projects win a scholarship provided by the CIEC Foundation.

Our participation in FIG BILBAO 2020 is a great recognition and honour for the National Academy of Art, as well as an incredible opportunity for our students to get acquainted with and be part of this international event. I express my great joy at the wonderful cubes created by each of the participants, as well as gratitude to all who were actively involved in the construction and arrangement of the cubes. These are Zlatka Yaramova, PhD student, Plamen Madzharov, a third-year student in Graphic Art, and Nikol Dimitrova, a third-year student in History of Art.

About the festival:

FIG Bilbao is unique in Spain and Europe. 40 national and international galleries  for graphic art and for contemporary art, various graphic art exhibitions in museums and cultural institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts in Bilbao and some other participate in the festival. Within four days, Bilbao became a centre of art on paper, owing to its rich programme of parallel activities at the fair: forums, exhibitions, excursions, children's workshops and more.

FIG Bilbao is an international scientific research and development project dedicated to graphic art. Since its first edition, the Festival has supported young artists and their professional careers through scholarships, participation in various exhibitions and initiatives, such as Open Portfolio - the international competition for young graphic artists. The main goal of Open Portfolio is to support and promote the art of new talents in contemporary graphic art. FIG Bilbao strives to promote their art and to serve as an inspiring space and catalyst for new concepts and artistic ideas. About 100 new talents have already taken advantage of this unique platform. This is an exceptional opportunity to spread and exchange ideas, to present works and to rethink the concepts of contemporary art.

You can learn more about FIG BILBAO at: