This year, the Municipal Gallery bwa in Bydgoszcz celebrates its 70th anniversary. In 1949, the Central Bureau of Artistic Exhibitions in Warsaw (CBWA) decided to establish four local branches of the gallery: in Bydgoszcz, Kraków, Katowice and Poznan. The seats of the newly established institutions were located in the existing premises, often belonging to the Association of Polish Artists and Designers. In Bydgoszcz, the POMORSKI ART HOUSE, which was established in 1946, performed such a function. The gallery was subordinate to the central unit until 1962, when the field delegations were transformed into independent Bureaus of Artistic Exhibition (BWA). The dynamics of the changes at the time, and the reconstruction of creative circles led to specific decisions aimed at broadening the exhibition possibilities. In Bydgoszcz, Andrzej Szwalbe began his efforts to build a new facility. In 1970, the current gallery building was constructed, using the money from the Fund for the Construction of Schools and Boarding Schools. The designers were Zdzisław Kostrzewa and Tadeusz Czerniawski. The new building was named one of the “most expansive pavilions in Poland.” Over the following decades, the name of the gallery, its structure and logo have been changing. The Bydgoszcz institution has gained additional space to present exhibitions, organize various meetings, workshops and competitions. Among the projects presented in the gallery there were thousands of exhibitions – nationwide, foreign premières, exhibitions of the local community, which were eagerly reported by national media.
On the occasion of the anniversary celebrations, we will open an exhibition which will showcase selected archival materials. Creating such a presentation was a challenge – selecting together the things we wanted to show in the exhibition, many hours of work with press and film materials. Browsing thousands of files relating to specific exhibitions, hundreds of slides, and photos and files accumulated over the years.
We wanted to recall many exhibitions, artists who appeared in the gallery in Bydgoszcz. We have also selected archival materials that relate to the history of the building itself, to the employees. None of the exhibitions that have taken place here over the course of several decades could have taken place without the participation of the staff preparing each event or project. The gallery team consists of people dedicated to their work, committed and extremely creative – able to react quickly to various types of changes in the concept. Each of the artists hosted by us, just like each project, is a different story and a different way of working. We do not repeat anything, we do not duplicate anything, and we want to realize the vision of a given artist as best we can each time.
We believe that the final shape of the exhibition will appeal to the residents. The Municipal Gallery bwa in Bydgoszcz has always been an important place on the cultural map of the city. In retrospect, many of the events that took place here acquire new meanings and say a lot about the changing history of Bydgoszcz.
Karolina Leśnik

A few minutes before the official opening of the exhibition, we switched on the neon sign on the Gallery building.

The exhibition is open until 01.12.2019

Exhibition was prepared by:
Karolina Bogdan, Wiesław Garnkowski, Agnieszka Gorzaniak, Mikołaj Górski, Ewa Janiec, Elżbieta Kantorek, Karolina Leśnik, Hanna Łuczak, Danuta Milewska, Ewa Nowak, Artur Owczarczak, Danuta Pałys, Karolina Pikosz, Karolina Rybka, Ewa Szubarga, Katarzyna Tużylak, Grażyna Stanecka, Tomasz Zieliński

Beginning 22.10.2019, 6pm
20 Gdańska St.
End 01.12.2019

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