Do You Have a Knack for Art? (MUS) is an international platform for contemporary fine art and art education at primary and secondary schools.
The platform is used to communicate with students, lecturers, artists and representatives of gallery institutions in the Central European region. In 2009, MUS founded a presentation of student projects based on topics of contemporary fine art and society in general.
The project was established in the Czech Republic and continuously expanded to other countries. The idea to connect gallery and educational institutions is represented in a long-term cooperation with the most important institutions in the region of Central Europe such as the National Gallery in Prague, Moravian Gallery in Brno, Centre for Contemporary Art DOX, Galerie Rudolfinum, Slovakian National Gallery in Bratislava, Ludwig Museum in Budapest and the State Art Collections in Dresden.
Do You Have a Knack for Art? Student Presentation
Secondary school students from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Germany work throughout the academic year on a common topic that is presented in one of the chosen institutions. Students work in teams and their projects are evaluated by a jury of artists, art theoreticians and lecturers. Authors of the most interesting works meet at an international meeting, always in a different cooperating institution.
The competition is aimed at students of high and grammar schools. The goal is to engage students in active research of artistic approaches and their significance in everyday life. Students are asked to create a group (min. 2, max. 6 people) and work on their project according to the brief. It is possible to use different areas of student’s interest, engage their surroundings and also invite lecturers and work with other institutions.
The project’s objective is to offer students the possibility to apply their creative abilities and interest in the context of environment they live in. Moreover it provides the opportunity to share their ideas, discuss them and work on a longer project, which in one way or another relates to their everyday functioning and opens new horizons. We propose to introduce contemporary art as a partner for exploring new contexts of thinking about man and the world.
September—October: Beginning of the competition, sending the information and application forms to schools
November: Application deadline
December—February: Workshops for students in organising institutions (galleries, museums), tutorials for student groups about their projects (on demand)
February: Sending out information on the semifinals
March: Semifinals, choosing the 25 best projects for the competition’s finale
May: Finals, exhibition of the most interesting projects in the hosting gallery
June: Meeting of the best student groups from the Czech Republic and abroad; exhibition of their work in one of the organising institutions
Each year the organisers choose a topic, which offers both the possibility of different kinds of artistic endeavours as well as many different combinations with areas beyond fine art: beginning from science, entertainment to religion. Our aim is to point out the position of art as a significant phenomenon tightly connected with the contemporary world as well as the past. The final works of students have to come out of the chosen topic. The format, choice of artistic approach and medium is entirely up to the students. They are free to choose from traditional media (such as painting, sculpture, graphics) or new media (video, photography, computer animation, use of social media etc.). The jury evaluates only the quality of the artwork and the compliance with the brief.
The competition was established in 2009 as an educational project of the Learning Department in GASK, Kutná Hora. Since then, other institutions also participated in the project: National Gallery in Prague, Centre for Contemporary Art DOX, Meet Factory, VCG Pardubice, Lidická Gallery, tranzitdisplay, Moravian Gallery in Brno and Galerie Rudolfinum. Since 2016, the competition takes place in Slovakia (Slovakian National Gallery), in Hungary (Ludwig Muzéum) and since 2018 also in Germany (State Art Collections Dresden).
Between 2012 and 2017, the competition was part of the special events programme of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award. MUS also cooperates with other institutions (Post Bellum/Memory of Nation) and media (Art+Antiques, Revolver Revue, Artalk.cz, Stream.cz). MUS also organises workshops (Wacom workshop), professional colloquia and meetings (Who Do You Do It For?). The main activity is organising learning programmes for festivals (4+4 Days in Motion, Fotograf Festival), organisations (Plechárna Černý Most, MeetFactory) and performances (Prague Quadrennial). As part of the Apendix project, MUS places artworks in non-gallery spaces (K. Kintera, J. Franta a D. Böhm (Krásný Dvůr), M. Smetana, A. Yordan (PKC).
The jury of art professionals includes artists, art theoreticians and lecturers. In previous years the jury consisted of theoreticians Marie Bergmanová, Radomíra Sedláková, Ondřej Chrobák, Karin Kottová, Vanda Skálová, Luba Hédlová, Silvie Šeborová and Jan Skřivánek, the journalist Jan H. Vitvar, artists such as Michal Pěchouček, Pavel Sterec, Markéta Kinterová, Jan Fabián, Milena Dopitová, Marek Meduna, Ondřej Brody and Filip Cenek. The competition proves an increasing interest each year not only from schools and students but also from galleries and museum institutions. A great number of schools across the Czech Republic took part in the competition – among the participants were schools from Bohemia and Moravia, the award winners are for instance schools from Mnichovo Hradiště, Jihlava and Prague. The touring prize was created by the sculptor Pavla Sceranková. Each year, selected lecturer is awarded for the most significant lecturer’s contribution.