Young designers, local mentors and EU mentors start their joint work at a conference in Novi Sad last October, when they get to know each other personally for the first time through a series of workshops and informal gatherings. Through a multi-day exchange of experiences and expectations, the mentors successfully teamed up eight young designers in four teams that will collaborate closely for the next two and a half years on the rebranding of four Western Balkans’ cultural institutions.
The story continues five months later when each team, accompanied by its local mentor, went on an organized visit to the assigned institution. The goal of the visits was a high-quality and detailed preparation for the first phase of teamwork on rebranding – the development of a new visual identity. This visit was realized through five days of lectures, presentations, discussions with employees and guided tours through the facility itself in order to bring the design team as close as possible to the institution and its needs.
Cultural Centre Trebinje
In the Cultural Center of Trebinje, the team learned about the great role of the institution of this charming small town and how the cultural centre from the 60s has become a recognizable generator of cultural events in this part of Bosnia and Herzegovina in recent years. The program of the visit was completed by additional lectures by Saša Pešikan, graphic designer, and Jovan Vidaković, photographer, employees of the Cultural Center; Mrs Slađana Skočajić, head of the Department for Culture, Family, Sports and Education of the city of Trebinje who presented the framework, efforts and needs for the preservation and improvement of the cultural life of the city, through the presentation of events and festivities organized in co-production with the Cultural Centre of Trebinje.
The informal part of the visit was devoted to a tour of the Academy of Fine Arts in Trebinje, the Museum of Herzegovina, the Tourist Organization of Trebinje, a partner of the Cultural Centre, and on this occasion, the designers visited and got to know the core of the city.
Artistic Colony Danilovgrad
A significant segment of the Danilovgrad Art Colony team’s visit was a tour to the impressive sculpture park that is an integral part of the colony, and expert guidance was provided by sculptor Joveta Ljumović. Additional expert lectures were held by Milica Bezarević, art historian and curator of the Contemporary Art Center of Montenegro, who shared her experience as a curator in cooperation with the colony; Mrs Suzana Pajović, full professor of the Faculty of Fine Arts from Cetinje, sculptor and graphic designer, who shared her experience of participating in the colony’s annual exhibitions.
In addition to the regularly planned program, a visit to the Faculty of Fine Arts in Cetinje of the study program for graphic design was also organized.
The Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection
The design team assigned to the Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection was fascinated by the artistic wealth of the collection, the way it was created, but also the spectrum of exhibited works. Senior curator Mrs Jasmina Jakšić Subić, through a detailed and slightly poetic talk revived the spirit and work of Pavle Beljanski, his connection with each art piece, but also with the building itself; art historian Julijana Stojisavljević presented to the team the plan and system of how social networks and PR segments of the museum function; senior curator Mrs Milica Orlović Čobanov presented programs, emphasizing the program for children, young people and people with disabilities (people with impaired hearing and sight); senior curator Mrs Marta Đarmati introduced the team to the capacities of the depot, the restoration of the collection, as well as the loans and the ways in which they get new items important for the collection and the life of Pavle Beljanski; Dr. Valentina Vuković, as an art historian, gave a lecture on the origin and competition for the selection of the winning design of the building, while the team had the opportunity to talk to Aksinja Kostić, who edits the gift shop collection and is the first point of contact for all visitors.
Museum of Contemporary Art of Republic of Srpska
The regular visit program at the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Republika Srpska was realized with the expertise of MoCARS senior curator and project coordinator Mladen Banjac, MoCARS graphic designer Nemanja Mićević, Lana Pavlović, senior curator in charge of MoCARS documentation, Žana Vukičević, senior curator in charge of MoCARS collection, Branko Šestić and Ena Mitrovski in charge of PR MoCARS.
The program of the visit is richly complemented by a visit to the printing house Atlantik bb, with which MoCARS cooperates in the printing of publications and other products of larger circulation, and to the printing house Studio M, with which the Museum works mainly on branding and design for exhibitions. Studio M also has a considerable offer for making souvenirs, which was useful for planning products for the gift shop. After the printing house, there was a visit to the PLUS Gallery, MSURS annex. The PLUS Gallery is the exhibition and sales space of the Museum, which is an adequate place for the promotion of the local art scene and the sale of works of art. The work of the multidisciplinary study for product and graphic design “Tisa” was also presented to the designers. These contacts can serve in the exchange of ideas for the needs of making souvenirs for the MoCARS gift shop.
With these visits, the young designers got a rare opportunity to experience the multitude of influences that make and affect the work of a cultural institution in the Western Balkans. Together with local mentors, they got to know the institutions inside and out and got ready for the challenge to bring these institutions closer to wider audience through bright new or refreshed visual identities.