Gallery of Spis Artists is the youngest among the Slovak funds organisations. The foundations of its collection came from the Museum of Spis in Spišská Nová Ves, of which there was detached and kicked off the collection fund by delimitation of 520 works of art, the works of Spis artists were already included in them. I quote e.g. the works of Jozef Hanula, of portrait painters Andor Borúth, Max Kurth, Andrej Bača as well as the representation of prominent personalities like: Ladislav Medňanský and Ferdinand Katona or of the authors of the 2nd half of the 20th century like Ernest Rákosi, Jozef Fabini and Jozef Majkut. Of course, it is not possible to enumerate all the major creators in the entire collection. This currently involves 1898 art-works in painting, sculpture, photography, drawing and graphics.
The historical building in the centre of the city Spišská Nová Ves in Zimná Street 46, reconstructed in 1979 – 1986, became the seat of the gallery. The history of the building, originally a town house, goes back to the second half of the 16th century. Interesting Renaissance architecture with three-dimensional division with cross and barrel vaults with well-preserved details of arcades, columns, cornices and beams forms an attractive environment for a visitor, filled with art that gives the opportunity of cognition, education, discovering, gaining new experiences and meetings.
The art collection has grown more than three times the amount during the twenty years of the gallery functioning, today it comprises 1898 pieces of artistic artefacts from the area of painting, graphics, illustration, photography and sculpture.
The works of art from the art collection are presented on three permanent expositions. Since 2002 the exposition of the art of sculpture in the Garden of Art, since 2012 the second permanent exposition – Terra Gothica / Gothic route, since 2013 re-installation permanent exposition of Jozef Hanula’s drawings and paintings.
Besides collecting, scientific and research and culture-educational activities of the gallery, the attendance activities are an important part of its functioning. The exposition activity of the gallery maps and presents mainly the artists with relations to the region, but it touches also Slovak visual art and in not a small amount it presents the work of foreign artists. Besides a lot of Slovak authors’ expositions, the works of the artists from Poland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, France, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Austria, Germany, Ukraine, Hungary, Canada, Israel, The Czech Republic, Ireland and other countries of the world filled the exposition areas of the gallery.
About twenty-five domestic, but also foreign, expositions a year take a turn in the exposition areas of the gallery.
Nowadays, the gallery has well-developed culture-educational activities aimed at the communication with a visitor. Their aim is to address and attract different target groups from the children of preschool age through the students of various types of schools and young people within educative and different interactive projects.
Permanent exhibition presents 5 major circuits of Hanula´s work from the collection of Gallery of Spiš Artists, which chronologically follow the painter´s creative beginnings, development and top of his production of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as his last creative phase – sacral implementations.
A part of the exhibition is an interactive map that serves as a guiding panel giving the information on the sites of sacral implementations of Jozef Hanula – here are marked sacral objects in which the author applied the murals: in the territory of Slovakia there are more than 60 sites, two were made in Hungary and a few in neighbouring Poland. An accompanying slideshow presents the works from the Gallery collections and archives as well as an overview of sacral implementations.
Jozef Hanula (1863 – 1944), a native of Liptovské Tri Sliače, lived and worked in the region of Spiš and in city of Spôišská Nová Ves in the years 1900 – 1944. In the collection of Gallery of Spiš Artists there are 72 paintings, drawings, sketches and studies that illustrate the evolution of the Hanula´s work throughout the whole creative period. The archival fund contains other 265 items coming from the author´s heritage, the prevalent parts of which are designs and sketches to wall paintings.
Hanula´s work affected the history of the Slovak fine art in the early days of the 20th century and became the link between Peter Michal Bohúň and Jozef Božetech Klemens – the artists of romanticism with elements of realism, the representatives of the so-called national romanticism, which emphasised the National ideals and national school presenting the new Slovak visual art tendencies in a spirit of realism of th eend of the 19th century (Martin Benka, Janko Alexy, Ľudovít Fulla, Mikuláš Galanda).
The new permanent exhibition from the collections of the Gallery of Spish Artists.
Gorhic route in pictures is based on the presentation of the art-works that come from the gallery collection of gothic topics. 45 exquisite artists with the origins mostly in Spish region, depict in their pictures and drawings jewels of architecture like vistas, cityscapes and the particular Spish landscape.
The program Terra Incognita (Unknown Country) is geographically oriented to the whole Košice Region. Its long-lasting aim is to point out the interface of the region´s cultural traditions with the culture heritage of europe by means of thematir routes: the Wine, Gothic and Iron Routes.
Gothic Route in Slovakia is the first thematic cultural-educational route of its style that enables one to discover the rich treasures of the regions of both Spish and Gemer. Gothic Spish has become a cocreator of the art and architectonic profile of Europe thanks to the creative abilities of master-builders, wood-carvers, painters as well as of stonecutter craftsmen.
This exhibition is made possible thanks to financial support of Košice Region by the special donation – Terra Incognita 2012.
Garden of Art
In connection with finishing the reconstruction of the gallery building in Zimná Street 47 in years 1994–1996, an architectonic solution for the realization of the gallery Garden of Art was produced. Subsequently, grassing and planting of decorative bushes was realized. The content of this cultivated exterior of the gallery is aimed at the presentation of the sculptural works gained mainly from the International Sculptural Symposiums, which were organized by the Spiš Artists’ Gallery in two-year intervals.
The idea to create a sculptural exposition in the exterior of the gallery tries to follow the next Spiš tradition, the coexistence of more ethnic groups and vital foreign contacts. In the past the Spiš region was a crossroads of various cultures and today this fact is followed by an international cooperation, particularly in the area of Carpathian Euro region.
The works of sculpture made of Spiš travertine, wood and metal, positioned up to the present days, were created by artists at three symposiums in Spišská Nová Ves in years 2002, 2004, 2006. The basic exposition comprises thirteen works representing the present sculptural production of the artists from Poland, Ukraine, Romania, The Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The permanent exposition of the gallery has been created since 2002 in the areas of the gallery garden situated behind the buildings of the gallery in Zimná Street 46 and 47.
Since 2015 we are part of an international project Google Art Project that aims is through the development of the latest technologies to mediate artworks Internet users around the world.
In the last yeas of the gallery acting its orientation has come out from the reflection of the dynamic changes of the social and cultural conditions in Slovakia and in Europe, which consequence is a constant broadening of its field of activity and cooperation from the regional environment to the whole European area. The main activities of the gallery are concentrated on the cooperation and support of common projects with foreign partners and on the propagation of our visual art abroad.