Over 2000 People Interacted during 3 Months with Back to Where It All Began Exhibition Open at Gaep – part of Accelerator. Mentoring and Production for Emerging Artists Programme

May 18, 2023

 Artists and experts working in galleries could dare more, getting out, opening conversations with art aficionados, and most of all, creating new audiences.” – Andrei Breahnă, Accelerator Project Manager and co-founder of Gaep


Accelerator, the most complex mentoring programme in the country, is the engine that boosts the careers of Romanian emerging artists providing know-how from international mentors, resources for the production of new artworks and presentation opportunities in Bucharest and several Romanian cities.

The international conference with contemporary art superstar Ragnar Kjartansson – Icelandic artist, the guided tours, screenings and artist talks are elements which imprinted a fresh approach, anchored in present days, on the relationship between artists and the wider public. Thus, this integrated concept fostered a dialogue which is relevant for the public, as audiences seek qualitative experiences, aspirational and inspiring.

The second stage of the AcceleratorBack To Where It All Began exhibition ended on May 13, 2023. Since its opening, in February, the public has been interacting with the artworks of the 10 emerging artists selected last year in the programme: Andrei Arion, Flaviu Cacoveanu, Roberta Curcă, Lucia Ghegu, Mihaela Hudrea, Alina Ion, Maria Mandea, Delia A. Prodan, Stanca Soare, Ana Maria Szöllösi.

1500 guests visited the exhibition, while 350 people attended the related events organised by Gaep under the umbrella of the exhibition: the conference that benefitted from the presence of contemporary art superstar Ragnar Kjartansson, screening of Ocean Glory, by the Icelandic artist Hulda Rós Gudnadóttir and the screening of Facade No.3 (2023), by Bjarni Þór Pétursson. The cultural mediation activities were enhanced by guided tours, which aimed to connect the public with the artworks and to detail the value brought by Accelerator in the contemporary art arena.

“We find ourselves in the middle of Accelerator’s roll-out, at the end of the second stage – the group exhibition – which hosted newly produced artworks by the 10 emerging artists, after they had attended a mentoring stage consisting in specific workshops and one-on-one sessions with key international experts. At this stage, I would like to make two points which are linked with how Accelerator had seen light.  We are happy to have been able to provide the artists with a different educational opportunity which filled in the gapes of the regular academic curricula. I am referring to having tackled areas such as the art market, curating, the contemporary art system, communication – topics that aren’t covered by Romanian schools of art.

Secondly, I believe in connecting with people, with communities. Art is part of our lives, so artists and experts working in galleries could dare more, getting out, opening conversations with art aficionados, and most of all, creating new audiences.” – Andrei Breahnă, Accelerator project manager, co-founder of Gaep and president of Asociația Culturală Eastwards Prospectus (Accelerator implementation entity)

In this context, the 3rd stage of Accelerator, Public art, which is also the last one – will start in June in Bucharest and several Romanian cities.


Accelerator began on October 1, 2021, and will be rolled-out for 24 months, until September 30, 2023. The programme budget is 1,069,301.00 LEI (216,707.74 EUR) for its entire duration. The non-refundable value of the financing (85% EEA Grants and 15% national budget) is 962,370.90 de lei (195,036.97 euro).

Accelerator is financed with the support of EEA Grants 2014-2021 within the RO CULTURA Programme and is implemented by Asociația Culturală Eastwards Prospectus in partnership with i8 gallery from Reykjavik, Iceland.


The EEA Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway towards the reduction of economic and social disparities in Europe and towards strengthening the bilateral relations between the donor countries and the 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics. The three donor countries cooperate closely with the EU through the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA). The donors have provided €3.3 billion through consecutive grant schemes between 1994 and 2014. For the period 2014-2021, the EEA Grants amount to €1.55 billion. More information is available on www.eeagrants.org and www.eeagrants.ro.

RO-CULTURE Programme is implemented in Romania by the Ministry of Culture through the Project Management Unit. The Programme aims at strengthening social and economic development through cultural cooperation, cultural entrepreneurship and cultural heritage management. The total budget amounts to almost 34 million EUR. For more details access: www.ro-cultura.ro.

About Gaep

Gaep is a contemporary art gallery presenting the art works of established or emerging artists. Founded in 2014 by Andrei Breahnă (cultural manager) și Raluca Șoaita (architect), its initial programme approached Eastern Europe practices. The current program presents practices that highlight various socio-political contexts and general views, aiming to surpass boundaries and to enable sharing works of art and ideas in new and innovative ways.

Gaep represents or has long term collaboration with 14 artists: Răzvan Anton, Pavel Brăila, Radu Cioca, Felipe Cohen, Vlatka Horvat, Ištvan Išt Huzjan, Sebastian Moldovan, Tania Mouraud, Damir Očko, Mihai Plătică, Raluca Popa, Marilena Preda Sânc, Mircea Stănescu și Ignacio Uriarte. During 8 years since its establishment, Gaep presented 45 exhibitions and participated in over 30 international contemporary art fairs.

Recognition: Mircea Stănescu – nominated for Radio România Cultural Award 2022, Visual Arts section, for the solo show Meditation upon Measure; Marilena Preda Sânc – Radio România Cultural Award 2020, Visual Arts section, for the solo show Subjective (De)Constructions; Opening Prize at ARCOmadrid 2019, with a presentation of Ištvan Išt Huzjan; Sardi per l’arte Back to the Future Special Mention la Artissima 2017, with a presentation of Marilena Preda Sânc.