School of Arts in Zlín
Alex Beran, Václav Chad, František Chmelař, Jiřina Doubnerová, Otakar Hudeček, Čestmír Kafka, Slavoj Kovařík, Jan Rajlich, Milada Schmidtová Čermáková, Miroslav Šimorda
The Václav Chad Gallery has been enriching the Zlín cultural scene and art lovers since 2014. During that time, we have held over fifty exhibitions, organized a number of various supporting events, and released numerous publications. We are trying to strengthen and shape the public awareness of Zlín and of the city‘s specific genius loci by presenting the work of leading Czech artistic personalities.
In addition to presenting contemporary Czech fine art – as its name suggests – the Václav Chad Gallery has for a long time been dealing with the phenomenon of the School of Arts in Zlín. The key contribution of the gallery is the presentation of graduates of the Zlín phenomenon - the School of Arts, which was established as part of the Baťa works as the final stage of development of their famous educational system. Later, its graduates were among the most important personalities of the Czechoslovak art scene, often with an international outreach. This unique project is the focal point of the gallery, no other institution deals with this topic in such a systematic and detailed way.
In the eight years of our exhibition activities, we have had the opportunity to present the work of several exceptional personalities connected with the School of Arts in Zlín, succeeding in adhering to the concept. In addition to exhibitions, also publish catalogues and critically edited publications presenting the work of various artists. During the years 2014–2021, we prepared the following exhibitions and published the following catalogues: Václav Chad – Homage to Václav Chad, Václav Chad - The Legend of Czech Modern Art, Václav Chad – "We Did Not Know When the War Would End", Alex Beran – An Afternoon in Zlín, Jan Rajlich st. – The Depth of a Surface, Miroslav Šimorda – Impressions, František Chmelař – The Painter Who Wrote Poems, Slavoj Kovařík – “I Always Loved Nights“, Love in the Convulsions of Explosion – School of Arts in Zlín, Otakar Hudeček – Revolution in Soul (1924–2007).
We also contributed to the publication An Island of Art in a Sea of Industry: School of Arts in Zlín (1939-1949) (the main project partner was the Regional Gallery of Fine Arts in Zlín).
In 2019, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the founding of the School of Arts in Zlín, the Václav Chad Gallery took a significant part in organizing a series of commemorative events. It also included the unveiling of a memorial plaque in front of the building of the School of Arts, the organization of an exhibition in the gallery's exhibition space and of a memorial evening at the Tomas Bata Memorial.
In 2022, with the help of our supporters, we managed to continue this cycle and present two more projects. The first of them is a presentation of the "rediscovered" graduate of the School of Arts in Zlín – Jiřina Doubnerová (née Tlustá), by means of an exhibition and a publication entitled Journeys Home. The second unique project was an exhibition and a publication that introduced the War Cycle by Milada Schmidtová Čermáková.
This year represents an important one on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the first written mention of the city of Zlín. The objective of the exhibition School of Arts in Zlín is to commemorate exceptional authors and the absolutely unique works that were created or had their roots in Zlín and in this way to honour the memory of notable personalities. To recall their student life, captured in photographs. In this way, we would like to remember unique artists and their works, which we have had the opportunity to present to the public during the last eight years – Alex Beran, Václav Chad, František Chmelař, Jiřina Doubnerová, Otakar Hudeček, Slavoj Kovařík, Jan Rajlich, Milada Schmidtová Čermáková and Miroslav Šimorda. At the same time, we also offer a glimpse at the work of other authors.
Finally, allow us to thank the many friends and supporters who have made a significant contribution to the realization of our intentions and exhibition plans. The founders of the Zlínský zámek non-profit company and its regular employees, POZIMOS, a.s., the Kovárna VIVA Endowment Fund, NAVI CZ, s.r.o., STUDIO 6.15 s.r.o., the Cultural Fund of the Statutory City of Zlín, the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the State Culture Fund of the Czech Republic, the architect Pavel Míček and other personalities not only from the Zlín cultural scene. We would also like to thank the families of teachers, students and graduates of the School of Arts in Zlín for their support and helpfulness in our work.
Miroslava Ptáčková, Čestmír Vančura