"Doors" - 1st edition of the Chris Schwarz Memorial Art Award

The Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow announces an open call for proposals for the 1st edition of the Chris Schwartz Memorial Art Award.

Chris Schwarz was a British photo journalist and the founder and first director of the Galicia Jewish Museum. His intellectual courage, willingness to ask the most difficult questions and efforts made to answer them, brought countless people together and gave them a new understanding of Polish-Jewish history.

The objective of the Competition is to promote and develop contemporary art as well as to create a forum for dialogue on history and Polish-Jewish relations.
The Competition is addressed to professional artists and final year art students (university level), possessing Polish citizenship or the status of long-term residency in the territory of the Polish state.

The Jury of the Competition envisages financing the realization of the winning proposal and its presentation in an exhibition organised at the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow and granting money prize in the amount of PLN 20 000 on successful completion.

The theme of the first Competition entitled “Doors”, is inspired by a story told by Stanislaw Aronson, a Holocaust survivor and veteran of the Polish Home Army, which serves to present the wider context of Polish-Jewish interactions during the World War II.

Choć metafora drzwi i wizjera w stanowią punkt wyjścia dla projektów konkursowych, pozostajemy otwarci na różne propozycje i interpretacje tematu, o ile będa zgodne z jego założeniami i wartościami. Nie narzucamy konkretnej dziedziny sztuki oraz techniki wykonania dzieła.


We are glad to inform you about the results of the 1st edition of the Chris Schwarz Memorial Art Award .

61 works of various media, chiefly sculpture, painting, installation, photography and video, were submitted to the Competition.

The following six artists selected in the first round of the Competition participated in the final:

  • Piotr Brożek
  • Osmo Nadir
  • Dorota Nieznalska
  • Magdalena Tyczka
  • Michał Wielopolski
  • Karolina Zielazek-Szeska

During the final, all of the artists met with the Competition Jury in Kraków and presented models of the work they submitted to the Competition.
The Competition Jury:

  • Tomasz Strug – Chairman of the Jury, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Galicia Jewish Museum
  • Prof. Krystyna Zachwatowicz-Wajda
  • Prof. Antony Polonsky
  • Dr hab. Bogdan Achimescu
  • Hannele Tilles
  • Bogdan Frymorgen
  • Christian Davis

The Jury emphasized the high artistic and substantive level of all of the final works. After a long discussion and several rounds of voting, the Jury decided to award the Competition’s main prize to Karolina Zielazek-Szeska.

Karolina Zielazek-Szeska’s winning work creatively uses the idea of Bentham’s panopticon while simultaneously meeting all of the Competition guidelines.

The work by Karolina Zielazek-Szeska will be presented in the Competition exhibition at the Galicia Jewish Museum, the opening of which will take place on 5 September 2019 at 6 pm. It will also feature models of the Competition works from the final. The exhibition will run at the Galicia Jewish Museum until 13 October 2019, followed by the planned exhibitions in other Polish cities.

Press release

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