The Engine Supercharging the Careers of Emerging Artists, „Accelerator” Programme Fills in the Gaps of Traditional Education

August 03, 2022

Accelerator. Mentoring and Production for Emerging Artists programme is the first and the most complex mentoring programme currently being rolled-out in Romania. It is designed to boost the careers of those 10 emerging artists selected to take part in the programme.

The mentorship stage of Accelerator ended in July, within 10 months since its launch. The 10 emerging artists, selected by an international jury out of 62 eligible applications, are: Andrei Arion, Flaviu Cacoveanu, Roberta Curcă, Lucia Ghegu, Mihaela Hudrea, Alina Ion, Maria Mandea, Delia Prodan, Stanca Soare and Ana Maria Szöllösi.

The programme is financed with the support of EEA Grants 2014-2021 within the RO CULTURA Programme and is implemented by Asociația Culturală Eastwards Prospectus. Its partners are i8 gallery in Iceland and Gaep gallery in Bucharest.

Accelerator is shaped as an incubator that facilitates and promotes a strategic approach by the artists on their careers. The programme provides know-how brought by Romanian and international renowned mentors, resources for the production of new art works and presentation in a group exhibition and in public spaces in Bucharest and in 3 other cities.

“Emerging artists need much more. Accelerator provides them with access to alternative education that complements their academic studies focused almost 100% on making art. It is very important for them to get ready, to understand the market and the contemporary art system they will enter once the doors of the art school close, to learn how to work with a curator and a gallery. Accelerator creates this pragmatic ecosystem enabling the development their careers. This incubator fills in the gaps of the traditional educational system.” – states Andrei Breahnă, project manager and president of Asociația Culturală Eastwards Prospectus

The mentorship stage took place during May – July, 2022 and consisted in laboratories, group meetings, individual work and one-to-one feedback sessions. The 6 laboratories were: The Art Market and Financing Options, held by Andrei Breahnă, cultural manager; The System of Contemporary Art, conducted by Þorlákur Einarsson, director i8 gallery, Reykjavik, Iceland; Curating. The Relation Between Artist and Curator, taught by Tevž Logar, curator; PR, Communication in Art and Writing in the Context of Artistic Practice, held by Ioana Chira, communicator; Artist Publications, conducted by artist Sigurður Atli Sigurðsson and the laboratory Art in the public space, heald by artist Ólöf Nordal.

At the workshop “The Art Market and Financing Options”, Andrei Breahnă made a deep dive on the art market focused on volumes, communication channels with the collectors and their benefits, the content of an art collection or the profile of a collector. Data highlights that in 2021, the sales of the “art and antiquities made by dealers and auction houses” rose by 29% year on year, surpassing the values before the pandemic (2019). The United States of America lead the global art market share by value, with a stake of 42%.  

20 is the constant number of emerging artists represented by the active primary market galleries in 2020. In 2021, 39% of the artists represented by galleries are emerging, 50% are amidst their careers and only 12% are tier one established artists, who grew a solid secondary market in the sector of galleries and auction houses. Their art works have sales costs of over 100,000 EUR / art work.

In 2021, art dealers remain the most frequent channel for purchasing art. 76% of HNW collectors (High Net Worth) purchased art works via a gallery or dealer. (Gaep gallery analysis based on international research)

Within the above-mentioned context and based on Gaep galley case studies, Andrei Breahnă explained how the collaboration relationship between artist and a gallery develops, from its starting point, the exhibition production until pricing strategy and actual sale.

“You can’t expect the world to be interested in you if you are not interested in the world.”Þorlákur Einarsson, director i8 gallery, Reykjavik, Iceland, told the artists at the beginning of its laboratory, The System of Contemporary Art. As manager of a manager of a gallery with a strong activity, promoting well-known artists, Einarsson shared solutions and mechanisms which Romanian artists could apply to make their voice heard, while insularity is a joint issue both for Iceland and Romania.

„Art in the public space is one of the most open art realms today. The more you stretch the idea of what public art is, the more curious and fun our seminar will be. It is very important to keep an open eye, to challenge your creative thinking and not to limit yourself.” – states artist Ólöf Nordal at the beginning of the Art in the public space workshop. In an interactive format, the artists presented their public art project proposals inspired by communities, with potential to be commissioned or submitted to a public art contest.

Ioana Chira, communicator, trained Accelerator’s emerging artists on how to build a strategic image in relation with the wider public and with mass media. She also offered them advice on how to use communication channels for their benefit. In times of an information overflood, the artists explored ways to decode and position their artistic vision by the means of relevant messages, using the right channels, all that while being authentic.

In the laboratory “Artist publications”, the participants received, from artist Sigurður Atli Sigurðsson, information about artist books – concepts and methodologies applied by international artists; information regarding risograph & printing, or the catalogue approached as an artist publication. He shared his view on the benefits of digital platforms. Extensive time was dedicated to analysing various types of artist books, those of the 10 artists included.

„Nowadays, the independent curators seek to develop research-based projects or exhibition proposals as a way to experiment the visual integration of various audiences and disciplines.”Tevž Logar, curator, mentions. Following the evolution of the curator’s role during the centuries, he went through the artistic ecosystem, which had been influenced plenty by rules of the society.

The conceptual art and minimalism influenced and played a key part, in the 70’s, in establishing the role of the curator, whose important increases once the artist focuses more on the idea instead of an object.  During the 90’s, due to an increase of international biennials and other art manifestations, curators become more visible as they were omnipresent in various institutions and assumed a managerial role in global art.

What’s next?

From August on, the artists will start to create and produce art workd for the group exhibition which is schedules to take place in January 2023. Next year, Accelerator will bring other events for the wider public: artist talks, screenings and a conference which will benefit from a foreign guest. In addition, the public arts projects which will be produced by the 10 emerging artists will start to take shape.

Details about Accelerator programme are available here: Accelerator website, Facebook and Instagram.


Contact person:

Ana-Ilinca Macri

Cultural mediator

0723 408 816

Asociația Culturală Eastwards Prospectus