Summer Academy 2018

Looking forward to seeing you again from 16 July to 25 August 2018.

New programme will be online in December 2017

31/08/17 14:14 Summer Academy 2016

SUMMER ACADEMY 2017 BLOG - Table of Contents



 17   In Between the Thought and the Artwork - The Focus is on Art Production! 
 18  At the Beginning, We Make Connections
 19  Making a Stepping Stone in Painting Practice - A Talk with Mark van Yetter
 20  Gesture as the fluid of life - a talk with Melissa Gordon
 21  The ABCs of Printing with Lukas Pusch
 21  The First Week of First Times
 24  Showing the Reality We Believe Inside - A Talk with Valerie Jouve
 25  Telling Stories Together with Tex Rubinowitz
 26  Thinking with Ruth Noack - A Few Words About the Curatorial Course
 27  Wednesday is the Day for Officials - The Landesrat Came By!
 28  Settling in. Am I Making Friends yet?
 31  The Story of Kokoschka
 1  The Magic of Untersberg
 2  Tony Chakar and the Class of Contemporary Flanerie
 3  Curating is working with people. People like Grace Samboh
 4  What Does it Mean to Be a Blogger?
 7  Step Out of Your Comfort Zone. Let Bernhard Martin Guide You! 
 8  Exploring Contemporary Drawing in Real Life with Till Megerle
 9  Jazzy Time: Art and the City
 10  Cake, Beer and Bosna - Getting the Actual Taste of Salzburg
 11  The Art of Tiny Objects. I talked to Marc Monzo about the Jewelry Class
 14  Building an Art Institution? Here's What to Keep in Mind.
 15  In love with the Stone - I spoke with Andreas Lolis
 16  Practicing the Ways of Seeing
 17  Transitioning Through the Periscope
 18   On Energy and Excitement from a Blogger's Perspective
 21  Working in Different Ways - I Talked to Michael Beutler About His Class
 22  Filmmaking is a Complex Thing. I Watched Distruktur and Their Students
 23  The Value of Gesture in a Magazine
 24  Miniature is More Than a Technique - I Talked with Aisha Khalid
 25  The Class of Paulina Olowska Exploded with Color
 26  So long, Princess! Chaos Calls!


I am grateful to all the Summer Academy staff - Hildegund, Simone, Gabi, Amy <3, and Laura.


Special thanks, I owe to the kings of my favorite room, technicians Thomas, Sebastian, Stephen, and Johannes who were kind enough to stoically bear with my moodiness, especially when good coffee was lacking.


I appreciate the openness of all the teachers and students. Belgrade is not across the world, so ring me up when you're in the Balkans.



Do skorog viđenja!




28/08/17 10:02 Summer Academy 2017

So Long, Princess! Chaos Calls!

Quiet Saturday morning. The time has come to tie the last knot in this online quipu, a reminder of the 2017 Summer Academy in Salzburg. After six intense weeks, I have met a lot of new people and many of the conversations I’ve had are still trapped in my RAM. I guess they will need a bit of time to settle in my permanent memory, so at this time, I am only capable of speaking about impressions.

Daily view from the Fortress


Salzburg, as many people know by now, has left an odd impression on me. It’s hard to find a fault in something so perfect and I would be wrong in saying that I don’t like it at all. In fact, I am smitten with landscapes and views around it, it’s wonderful how the city is completely adapted to bicycle riders, coffee is good, and pastry shops are impossible to resist. However, constant tourist throngs, stage-set-like perfection of the center and persistent lack of spices in local food have killed the mood more than once. Still, I cannot say that this is where I’ve spent my month and a half.

Elevated from the city’s beaten track, the Summer Academy is a village in itself. A never ending swarm of people from the arts, it provides a completely different environment filled with life and creativity. Clean medieval walls accept whatever is thrown on them with grace, as the atmosphere changes along with the courses. Finally, my absolute favorite thing about Salzburg are the people I have met at the Fortress - the entire staff plus many of the partakers have been open and kind, contagiously relaxed, curious and respectful. And most of all - interesting, making a welcome contrast to the somewhat stale flawlessness of the city below.

Now, I am looking forward to going back to Belgrade. Despite the continuous political turmoil, completely chaotic urban planning (or the lack thereof), dreadful traffic and lots of temper, my hometown has a set of its own perfect spots, nooks to discover, modeled after the deeply embedded need of the Balkan people for socialization and enjoyment. We love us a bit of chaos, mixed with passion and slight recklessness. We love to spend long hours drinking coffee with friends, we love to cook and eat together and we have a specific sense of humor. It’s a matter of mentality, I guess. And nothing will ever be perfect in my city, even if things do get in sensical order, but that’s alright. Because for me, that is home.

A Salzburger institution, the Summer Academy has provided me with a bit of turbulence hidden in trials and errors, messy studios, junk-filled spaces and creative disorder. It’s doubtful that I could have lived through 6 smooth weeks in this lovely town, had it not been that artistic chaos I crave so much.

Now, I must say farewell to Salzburg, the princess of Austria, and to the Summer Academy, its most interesting place.

Thank you for having me and may we meet again!


Belgrade sunset
26/08/17 11:45 Summer Academy 2017

The Class of Paulina Olowska Exploded with Color

How did it go?”, was the first question I asked Paulina catching her briefly between cleaning up the class and prepping for a sudden departure. “Great!”, she responded sincerely, adding that the structure of her course was more instinctive than strict. At first, the very painterly group discussed their favorite artists and explained why they loved them, while continuously reading about new and different artists from a heap of monographs laid on the common table. Next to a set of painting exercises, the group engaged in contemplation on relationships between image and painting, approaching their art through both concept and technique.

Paulina Olowska's Class


My interactions with the group were glimpses and a help in translation at one point, but whenever I would drop by, there were new areas with new colors that struck me. Figurative or abstract, work of the students was always chromatically rich and fresh. Amidst paint bottles, watered down pigments, brushes, and piles of paper and canvas, students swam like happy fish in an ocean, each working on their own expression.

Although no restraints in personal development were imposed at all, the crown of the class effort came in a form of a large-scale collaborative painting inspired by the Academy and the great team of technicians. “This is a gift for technicians,” said Martyna, Paulina’s co-teacher. And what a gift it is! I am only wondering where will they place this piece since their treasure-cave office is already covered with various objects and pieces top to bottom.

Looking forward to Olowska’s class final presentation, I give you some glimpses from their studio ahead of the last day of the Academy.


Explosion of color


Paulina with a student
This will be on the wall 
Painting shoes
A Wrapped Image
Still painting
Drawings and works
Another mini-show
Almost ready for presentation
The Collective piece "To Lovely Technicians" 
"To Lovely Technicians", detail
"To Lovely Technicians", detail
You can never have too many Slavic Goddesses. 
And - it's a wrap!

Next, it is my turn to say goodbye to my 6-week Salzburger experience. Look at my blog tomorrow morning.

25/08/17 09:48 Summer Academy 2017

Miniature is More Than a Technique - I Talked with Aisha Khalid

Topping off the Fortress structure during the final days of the Summer Academy, there is a quiet classroom of mostly women sitting on floor cushions, painting on their knees. This is the miniature painting class of Aisha Khalid, a renowned artist from Pakistan. Squatted, concentrated paintresses, dotted along the walls of the long room all seemed much too involved with their work, which reminded me of old times, 1001 night, or Indian traditional imagery. Their equipment small and their hands steady, they kept weaving marks of the present into those ancient pictures.


Aisha Khalid explains the technique of gilding "It's very special."

Greeted by Aisha’s co-teacher, Heraa Khan, I inquired about the differences between miniature and regular painting technique.

We use opaque colors,” Heraa said, continuing, “Students prepare their own surface. It’s called a wasli, meaning - to join. They take some sheets of watercolor paper and create their own glue with flour, and then join the surfaces together. It gives us this hard cardboard kind of a surface. It’s a very strong and resilient surface, you can do anything to it, you can wash the painting under water and the surface will remain intact. That’s the basic difference with painting, you make your own material,” concluded Heraa.

Aisha came into the room, so I approached her with a few questions about the class. After learning that this is her first time in Salzburg, but not the first time teaching, I wondered how does she compare teaching her experiences.

This is amazing because the course I’m teaching here has what we learn in almost three years! I’m happy because the students have a background in art, they know how to draw and they have a sensibility of art. They are very much into this learning, so I’m amazed that they have covered almost everything.

Still, no student has a background in traditional miniature, so I wondered how she structured such a demanding course.

When [the students] came, they were quite updated about the miniature painting. They have seen it on the internet and were familiar with miniature painting. I made the structure then since there is a [certain] process of learning. I cannot miss any assignment out of that. I have shortened the time of the assignments, but they are going through the same process students go through in two or three years in National College of Arts [in Lahore].

After asking if the students will be able to do a miniature after, independently, I got the answer that miniature is more than a technique.

There’s a whole tradition - how to sit down, how to behave with the paint, understanding of color senses, and the whole environment is not a usual studio environment. In Pakistan, miniature painting is not only a traditional technique, it’s contemporary, it’s on the mainstream art field, artists who do it are shown internationally in the mainstream art, they are accepted. Because it is revived, it’s now evolved with the vocabulary of the new time. So, I think in the same way the students are taking it. They have the previous experience of art and they can collaborate with miniature and can create something very interesting in the future.

Approaching the end of the course, Aisha is “more than satisfied” since her dedicated class has done “more than [her] expectations.” At the time of our conversation, they were starting their fourth assignment, an experimental collage, which will be on show at the final Open Day.


Tomorrow’s the last day. I am wondering what Paulina Olowska’s students have made, having seen a lot of color in their classroom in the previous weeks.

Before we part, stay with me.


Miniature painting working area
Painting barefoot
Seashells are a traditional palette in miniature painting
Color, seashells, drawings and floor
Gilded waist. When it dries, the artist will brush the excess gold off
Minute work in miniature
24/08/17 12:38 Summer Academy 2017

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