The tradition of the Mikulov Fine Art Symposium was established in 1994. The beginning was quite modest. The idea was born in a “warm evening in the head of the sculptor Nikos Artmutidis over a glass of wine“ (as the legend on the origin of the symposium has it).
The original intention to hold sculpture symposia in Mikulov was warmly welcomed, especially by the sculptors of the Stubborn group – a group already once significantly affecting the history of Czech art (still under the totalitarian regime). Soon the group of participants began to expand beyond the Stubborn group and beyond the frontiers of the Czech Republic. The original friends´ initiative developed into a firm organisational structure cooperating with the Regional Museum and headed by annually appointed trustee, professional organiser, and supported by enthusiastic citizens.
Selected artists attend the symposium at the cost of the organisers, are not limited by theme and material for their artistic creations. The major precondition is donation of the work to the town of Mikulov, with the author retaining his or her copyright, as part of the developed collection of contemporary art. The system of election of the trustees for the individual symposium years (usually from among the participants to the previous year) guarantees certain ideological continuity slowly transformed by the small nuances between the individual years. The trustee of the symposium is an artist or art theorist (such as art historian, gallery head etc), appointed on the basis of his or her interest from among participants to the previous symposium. The appointed trustee forms a group of 4 artists at his or her sole discretion, joined later by 2 artists nominated by members of the Professional Council. The group is also traditionally joined by a technical assistant – student of one of the fine art schools of the Czech Republic.
The organisers of the Mikulov Art Symposium try to make use of the huge potential of the event exceeding the framework of the standard summer symposia and work intensely on other related projects in the course of the year. They are continuously involved in lending of the works of art, organisation of exhibitions and other forms of cooperation with various cultural institutions In the previous years the Symposium organisers for example cooperated with the Czech Centres in Vienna, Bratislava and New York, with the Zichy Palace Gallery in Bratislava, with the Moravian Gallery in Brno, with the National Gallery in Prague, with the Hall below Plecznik Staircase in the Rose Garden of the Prague Castle, with the Mánes Gallery, the Wanieck Gallery in Brno and many others.
The Workshop Symposium has been recently attended by several dozen outstanding artists of the Czech Republic and form abroad. The collection of contemporary art of Mikulov currently includes hundreds of works of art of many genres (photography, graphic art, painting, sculpture, installation, video art etc.). In the opinion of fine art experts the collection is one of the largest collections of contemporary fine arts in the country.
In 1994, when the first year of the Mikulov meeting was held, nobody even thought of how long the symposium would last and how to do it. And yet the symposium not only survived, but also became part of the town tradition. In this respect the "workshops" are still in their infant age and their future seems to be rich and varied.
Detailed information about the individual years, the participating authors and the produced works of art can be found at www.artmikulov.cz.