SILVER'S CROSSROADS IN LEGNICA
A CITY FESTIVAL CONNECTS ART WITH ECONOMY AND CULTURE
By Priscilla Katz
"About the Artists exhibition" - Brooch by Andrzej Boss. Legnica Jewellery Festival SILVER 2022
Legnica, an historic town of almost 100,000, is in Lower Silesia in southwestern Poland. The city has been shaped by Polish, Czech, and German traditions. For centuries the region has been famous for its gold, silver, and copper deposits. Today, mines and smelters still thrive with world-scale copper and silver production.
Since the 1950s Polish jewelry has been made mostly with silver and Baltic amber. The first jewelry exhibition in Legnica, curated by art historian Marek Nowaczyk, was held in 1978. His idea was to unite Polish art goldsmiths and create a place for presenting them. One year later he organized the 1st National Review of Goldsmith Forms SILVER '79. In the late 1990s, the event hosted an International Jewelry Competition.
"Stone age smartphone pendant" - Pendant by Tadeusz Jaskowiak. Grand Prix of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.
Although contemporary Polish goldsmiths and designers have a strong tradition in art jewelry, the discipline is still not considered an art form in Poland. The mission of non-commercial Gallery of Art in the city of Legnica, a public cultural institution funded through grants and donations, aims to change this perception through exhibitions and by showcasing high-quality design that facilitates the public's access to art. For more than forty years, Gallery of Art's main goal has been to present, promote, and document contemporary jewelry.
The Gallery of Art organizes the annual Legnica Jewelry Festival SILVER every May. It also publishes exhibition catalogues and owns a collection of approximately 500 contemporary jewelry pieces designed by international artists. Festival events span numerous jewelry exhibitions, theory seminars, and the International Jewelry Competition. Entry to the events and shows is free of charge.
In 2020, the festival was canceled due to the pandemic. It took place in a hybrid form in 2021, combining jewelry shows in Legnica with online events. The challenge of reaching a new audience makes this hybrid formula a necessary tool for the post-covid era as well.
"A Roll-on-Print to strengthen you" - Bracelet & tool by Jonas Schwalenberg. Silver Schools 2022. Photo: J.Schwalenberg.
"TOUCH" - LEGNICA’S 30TH INTERNATIONAL JEWELRY COMPETITION
The TOUCH Competition promotes creative explorations in the field of art jewelry by artists, goldsmiths, and designers. Selected works will be presented during the main exhibition of Legnica Jewelry Festival SILVER from May to June 2022, which reaches the peak of its activities on May 13 + 14, 2022.
SMCK Magazine is communication partner of Legnica Jewelry Festival SILVER.