Opinions of Lecturers

Ganna Vasyk

I believe that the topic of this year Contest – ‘Art after Socio-Economic Perturbations’ – inspired to participate even those who would not have done it in other circumstances. On the one hand, such situation transforms Art History from something considered as a marginal subject by our society into a topical discipline, the one it should be. But, on the other hand, it made the texts excessively political, naïve and emotional, thus, reducing their critical aspect. And the latter is what a young generation traditionally lacks.

As an acting editor of ART UKRAINE, I would like to add that it is the most important that the Contest helps find young people who want and can write. When such people are provided with a possibility to demonstrate their writing, master their skills with advice and support their self-esteem with compliments, as a result one can receive a number of really gifted critics. Because the best stimulus in every activity is always the same – to understand that what you do is necessary and important. Especially in case of those who, to a question ‘Why do you write?’, answer ‘Because I want to be heard’.


Vira Baldyniuk 

The Art History Contest of the Stedley Art Foundation is a truly unique phenomenon not just for the field of arts. I am happy that it is there first and foremost as an editor of a site on contemporary culture. The work of the lecturers with the participants and valuable prizes for the winners are although a single, however effective means to change the situation in cultural journalism. The latter acutely lacks attention and stimuli nowadays. I follow the development of previous finalists and winners of the Contest: they have started working at cultural institutions and write on art professionally. Such situation demonstrates that the results of the Contest are not random, but of a lasting effect.

Two days of trainings are probably not enough to ensure a qualitative work with a text and see it anew. However, it is enough to receive a creative stimulus at least. And such stimulus will help move forward. The finalists of this year Contest appear to be thoughtful, they know both Ukrainian and world contexts. The opinions of some participants need to be more balanced, the others, on the contrary, need to be more straightforward and structured. But there are a number of texts that have struck me with the level of analysis and conclusions. I wish there had been such contests when I was in my twenties.


Diana Klochko

I like ‘quiet contests’, the ones based on silence, calmness, thoughtfulness, exchange of opinions and emotional ‘splashes’ that are hardly there. The Art History Contest corresponds to the above description. I have been involved in it as a lecturer for two years in a row. Young participants write their essays on a ‘proposed topic’, the texts are read by experts and ‘corrected’ with lectures a little bit (because one has to acquire some level of importance to be eligible for serious criticism), and then a jury determines the winners from among those who respectively edited their texts. Everything seems simple and logical, however, it is this invisible ‘work on thinking’ that draws attention – the energy of change should come out in the live communication. And it does.

I am glad to attend the lectures-meetings at the Stedley clinic. The latter is the epitome of the contemporary and stylish design. It makes me feel as if I am involved in an almost medical process that, step by step, delicately and prophylactically changes the state of art criticism.

It is a pleasure to me to flatter myself that, thanks to this Contest, my efforts contribute to what the Ukrainian art criticism is going to look like.