Bielsko-Biała – The Regional Culture Centre
The Regional Culture Centre in Bielsko-Biała, having over 40-year tradition, is an institution of the self-government of the Silesian Voivodeship. One of its main purposes is popularising folk culture. Knowing the notions connected with folklore and folk art the Centre’s activity is focused on contacts with folk artists over the years, organizing numerous competitions, exhibitions, and festivals. The Beskids Highlanders’ Week of Culture is one of the events organized by the Centre.
The Regional Culture Centre has its own gallery and presentation of the folk art is the most important issue there. Its ambition is to present not only the art from the closest vicinity but also from the whole southern part of Poland and sometimes even from the whole country. It extends to the oldest traditions but it also shows the changes and the present state in this area. The works of the artists from the Silesian Beskids Region and the Żywiec Beskids Region are mainly exhibited and the truth is that there are so much to show here. We can boast of numerous and still live areas of the folk art and some outstanding artists. At exhibitions, we can admire glass paintings, wood and stone sculptures, lace, embroideries, paper flowers, ritual art (stars, masks, nativity scenes, etc.), costumes and toys. The gallery also presents artists from other regions of Poland such as the Lesser Poland, the Kielce region, Kashubia or the Podhale. There are presentations of chosen works from the collections (e.g. Antoni Macak from Cracow). International projects allow getting to know the folk and amateur art of the neighboring countries especially the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The exhibitions may be of different character. The substantial part of them is actually a presentation of the works of respected masters, as well as of talented novices. It is important to present the context of the Beskidian folk art. Therefore all kinds of folk phenomena, which make the whole picture of polish folklore, are present in the gallery, e.g. Paszyn or glass painting from the Podhale area. Expositions sometimes are the result of the competitions, some of which are periodic, some are international. Expositions of traditional toys and toys inspired by tradition are most often international. Toys are on permanent exhibition in the RCC and we can see toys from the area of Żywiec and other areas in Poland such as Kielce and Rzeszów. There are also international toys from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Croatia. Some expositions are theme-focused just like the last exposition on “The Pensive Christ in the art” – this particular one was organized in 2017.
Competitions are accompanied by workshops where you can learn specific techniques – they are prepared for all age groups, from the youngest to the oldest and also for the teachers. Educational work is done within the Beskids School of Folklore – it is a very important area of the RCC’s activity. The School concentrates on making paper flowers, painting on the glass, learning how to carve, etc. – all of these are done under the control of the artists or experienced instructors.
Thanks to numerous publications that accompany exhibitions, a vast record of the projects was created. It also shows the processes and the changes taking place in the folk art in region as well as the development of many artists who take up other challenges and win more and more awards in competitions.
Regionalny Ośrodek Kultury
43-300 Bielsko-Biała, ul. 1 Maja 8
tel. (+48) 33 812 33 33