Results from the competition for art projects by women artists “State of Emergency”

  •  October 3, 2022

The Bulgarian Fund for Women (BFW) is pleased to announce the results from the competition for financing art projects by women artists “State of Emergency”! 

We received conceptual projects from over 200 female authors and collectives from all around Bulgaria. The proposals were examined by an expert jury composed of the curators Daniela Radeva, Margarita Dorovska, Svetlana Kuyumdzhieva, Stefka Tsaneva, as well as Gergana Kutseva, Dobromira Terpesheva, and Rosena Ivanova from the Bulgarian Fund for Women, whose evaluations were combined and considered as one vote. They selected ten project ideas of eight artists and two collectives, taking into account the following criteria during the evaluation: 

  • Creative achievements and artistic qualities, the assessment is subjective according to each jury member and is formed complexly based on the presented portfolio and project proposal. For collective proposals, the jury also looked at the results from any previous projects the artists had collaborated on. 
  • Level and comprehensiveness of the presentation that preferably includes quality images, additional materials, and links and references that could provide the most realistic presentation of the candidate’s/team’s portfolio/s and the specific project proposal. 
  • Justification for the conceptual project that describes the idea as clearly and concretely as possible and contains detailed information on the preliminary study the project is founded on, as well as an implementation strategy.  
  • A realistic budget based on a preliminary study of actual costs of materials and execution.  

Names of the artists, whose projects are approved for implementation: 

The open call titled “State of Emergency” was intended to challenge women in the arts to propose projects for new works that address topics and issues relevant to our society. The project we received examined the theme of the open call through various forms of contemporary art –painting, photography, installation, performance, video, etc.  

Each of the chosen projects will receive funding worth up to 5 000 lv., after which the female authors will have six months to create their works. The finished artworks will be presented in a group exhibition in 2023, curated by Svetlana Kuyumdzhieva.  

The Bulgarian Fund for Women thanks everyone who submitted their ideas. We wish the candidates who were not selected great success, and we will contact the approved artists with further information. Due to limited resources, BFW is not able to send reasons for rejecting the unapproved projects.  

About the Fund for Art Projects by Women Artists: 

“State of Emergency” is the second edition of BFW’s Fund for Art Projects by Women Artists. The first edition titled “Everything is Just Fine” was held between 2018 and 2020 and aimed to combat the underrepresentation of women in the professional arts and culture sector, to provide visibility to the work of female artists, and to increase their access to financial recourses. 

In 2018, in parallel with the establishment of the Fund for Art Projects by Women Artists, the BFW sent an inquiry to state galleries in Bulgaria, including the National Art Gallery, to check the ratio between women and men represented in their collections. The results showed that 91% of the artworks in the permanent exhibition and 78% of the solo exhibition of the National Art Gallery (NAG) are of men. Whereas only 16% of the artworks in the NAG’s collection were by women.  

The results of the inquiry are described in detail in curator Dobromira Terpesheva’s study ”Where are Women in the Whole Picture,” in which she examines the problem of the unequal representation of women in art on a global and national scale. The study concludes that almost the entire visual history of our country is one-sided. And that the woman’s function and presence in art is that of the muse and the mother, but she is rarely the artist herself.  

This year, the Fund for Art Projects by Women Artists’ Open Call “State of Emergency” aims to support more ambitious works, and to create a snapshot of women in art, filling in the chronological and historical picture of their involvement and impact on events.  

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