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May in Legnica without SILVER

While the jewellery market was going through a period of stagnation and sales of jewellery products were falling, the world of culture also found itself at the receiving end of the crisis and looked to the future with uncertainty. Artists were deprived of the possibility to display their works, and the need for contact with art and interest in cultural matters gave way to mundane concerns. Galleries and museums remained closed for a long time, and events that had been planned and prepared for months got cancelled.

This was also the case with Legnica SILVER Festival, which was to culminate in early May. Because of the pandemic its programme – modified and enriched with new events – will be realised next May. To a large extent it will include presentations planned for 2020 (solo exhibitions of Prof. Andrzej Szadkowski, Marion Delarue and Delphine Perrache, a group exhibition Extranalities, presentations of Silver Schools from Shanghai and Bratislava and many others), but there will be room for new projects as well.

The event was thorougly arranged and its cancellation meant that the organizers as well as artists and specialists involved in the realization of particular exhibitions had to face a completely new and very difficult situation. The dilemmas connected with the Festival cancellation were finally settled by governmetal regulations prohibiting the organization of mass events.

From the very beginning a virtual edition of the Festival seemed rather unrealistic. SILVER Festival means meetings, talks, grand vernissages, hours of jury discussions over hundreds of displayed competition works that can be not only seen but also touched, felt and directly experienced in every possible way. The decision to postpone the Festival to 2021 was one of the most difficult ones (if not the single most difficult resolution) that the organisers of the event have been faced with in recent years. It was finally made in the conviction that the safety of Festival guests is an utmost priority.

It is very encouraging that despite numerous obstacles and difficulties of external and internal nature, so many artists decided to submit their works to the 29th International Jewellery Competition. The contest will be settled by the jury in 2021 and the results will be traditionally announced during the culmination of next year's SILVER, which we are very much looking forward to.

Meanwhile, we continue our day-to-day activities aimed at promotion of contemporary artistic jewellery. Currently, we are preparing – in cooperation with Prof. Sławomir Fijałkowski – an exhibition of the International Collection of Contemporary Jewellery, It will be the first such extensive presentation of the Gallery's collection.

The Gallery began working on creating a permanent jewellery collection in 2004. At present, it comprises about half a thousand objects representing the latest artistic trends, most of them created in the 21st century. To a large extent, they are the winners of the International Jewellery Competition – the main event of Legnica SILVER Festival – and works presented at accompanying exhibitions. You will also find there examples of works by jewellery artists from different corners of the world, showing a wide range of possibilities arising from an effort to turn body decoration into a work of art. The Collection presents a wealth of contexts, techniques, materials and ways of thinking about jewellery – from speculation on the traditional understanding of decoration, through the medium used to manifest the artist's views, to the conceptual work of art.

The planned exhibition will present works selected by Prof. Sławomir Fijałkowski, who was the Festival general consultant of for many years, thus having a direct influence on its shape and development. The exhibition will be presented at the Gallery of Art (1 Katedralny Square, 59-220 Legnica) between August 27 and October 25. Afterwards, there are plans to show the exhibition in other locations.

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