Art Camp Croatia 2018

Video by Kristian Irgl, Reflection by Clarissa Schmitt

A week, a family of 22 people coming from 10 different countries, all eager to create, and a beautiful Croatian island in the early autumn times. What else could one wish for to learn about art and morals?

It is Ji Suk Baek, a Korean painter and 1st generation living in Croatia, who gave us the opportunity to focus and deepen our understanding on this topic by organizing the Art Camp Croatia 2018. Reflecting about today’s art and culture we are confronted with a lot of different opinions. It can be hard to see clearly what God’s vision is and what a heavenly culture of heart could be. To create space for 1st and 2nd gen artists to learn about it, share and support each other, Ji Suk brought this art camp to life.

This year it was held from the 22nd of September until the 1st of October. We started the camp in Zagreb with opening speeches held by Armando Lozano Hernandez, Ji Suk Baek, and Kazuha Canak. From there we set off to the island Rab, where the magic was about to unfold.

Art doesn’t belong to the artist anymore. Art belongs to everyone. Everybody is an artist.
— Armando Lozano Hernandez

The program was a good mixture of lectures, creative time, presentations from participants and outdoor activities around the island and the beach. We were very happy to have Armando Lozano Hernandez (Director of Espacio Ronda Cultural Center in Madrid and Barcelona in Spain) as our main lecturer, for his experiences and insights about art and artists were very inspiring to hear. As he said, passion is an absolute necessity to be an artist and passionate he was in teaching us. Next to him Ji Suk Beak and Goran Petrinić (a Croatian artist and 1st gen) also talked about spiritual aspects of art in the context of the divine principle.

Supported by the town’s cultural center, we could spend time working with ceramics and forming our own cups, plates and imaginative figures out of clay. Ji Suk taught us how to perceive objects and paint with watercolor, while others could also learn how to bind their own sketchbook.

One of the highlights was our afternoon of ‘Land Art’ at the beach: We split into teams and created an artwork together, using only things we could find in our immediate surroundings, e.g. sand, stones, branches and leaves. The artworks turned out to be quite creative, from mandalas to giant squids, to a face out of rocks and branches in the landscape.

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Next to this creative program participants were invited to share their own artwork, present their thoughts on art and encourage discussions. Many of us shared, which was a very beautiful experience, as we could get to know each person a little bit deeper through their art. One morning we went on an adventure to discover the beautiful island with its sandy beaches, turquoise waters and cool pine tree forests. Whenever the weather allowed it we would go swimming, play water sports, frisbee or simply lay in the sun relaxing.

To complete the day we had gatherings in the evening, where we would play games, sing songs and share a bit deeper about ourselves. All of this helped to create an atmosphere, where at the end, nobody wanted to leave and wake up from this dream called Art Camp. Still the day of departure came, but we were happy to spend the last hours on the island with a visit of the big city of Rab.

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One can hardly describe this Art Camp simply with words, an artwork would be needed to do it. And even that would be limited. Each one who participated surely agrees that it was more than just a camp about art, but also a place to gain inspiration and new hope for anything creative. For the vision is to make it a place where 2nd Gen can invite their friends and where everyone can enjoy and learn about art in all its facets—painting, music, dance, poetry, theater and more.

To be and have been part of this, I feel very blessed. Thanks to everyone who made this experience possible and supported in so many ways! I hope to see many old faces and even more new faces again next year.

Until then, keep growing and creating. Thank you!

I feel art is a source of joy, a great joy, deep joy, and if we use it wisely we can reach out to many people and at the same time live very happy and meaningful lives.

To have our own identity, so this means to have a positive contribution, so that when people see our works of art they can actually gain something. They can get healing, joy, they can have peace, harmony. So that we can reach out to the hearts of the people. Not just to the minds of the people, but be able to make somebody cry to make somebody hopeful, to make somebody be transformed.
— Armando Lozano Hernandez