Sofia Paper Art Fest 2017

Seventh Edition

We, the Amateras Foundation, founders of the Foundation, herewith present the conception of the seventh edition of Sofia Paper Art Fest 2017 for the period May 10 – June 6, 2017. The project is dedicated to Sofia and its transformation into the capital city of artistic creativity. Sofia Paper Art Fest (SPAF) is a multi-disciplinary forum of innovation not only in Bulgaria. Every edition of the Fest is focused on the entire strategy of development of this long-term project which inspires artists in various artistic fields. Annually, the Fest presents new ideas corresponding to the European criteria of art and culture. It focuses on the priorities of the Strategy of the Sofia 2013-2023 program -- SOFIA – THE CAPITAL CITY OF CREATIVITY. SPAF has no analogue in the world and instigates interest in professional art circles throughout the world. During the six years of its existence SPAF has proved to be an innovation and a forum for high achievements. It has also won public recognition and the respect of a number of professional international organizations. In 2015 SPAF received the EUROPEAN LABEL of EFFE – the World Festival Association - and is now recognized by the international festivals as a noteworthy representative of Bulgaria.

In 2017 the focus will be on cultural dialogue and the presentation of professional networks and societies in Sofia, as well as on the presentation of SPAF collections abroad on the occasion of the EU Presidency of Bulgaria in 2018,as well as on joint expositions in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Paper art is a new artistic sphere which brings together traditions and modern trends, innovations and high achievements. SPAF has inspired many international artists to make a new artistic approach. Many world-famous museums and galleries have displayed the artworks of these artists. This has drawn the attention of art critics world-wide. Thus, it is no coincidence that SPAF was awarded the EFFE European Label which created a place for the Fest in the European festival group.

Priorities of Sofia Paper Art Fest 2017:

1.SOFIA – HOST OF THE EU PRESIDENCY 2018 – this has been laid down as the main priority in the seventh edition of the SPAF program. There will be a special presentation of the 2018 SPAF strategy and program for the foreign partners, the embassies and culture centers, the tourist agencies, municipalities, professional societies, NGOs and the media at the Foreign Ministry State Culture Institute. Another presentation will be held to introduce the targets of IAPMA (International Association of Paper –Making Artists) with headquarters in Germany. This presentation will be in May 2018 and will be hosted by SPAF. Over 250 members of IAPMA, mostly from Europe, are expected to participate in the event. The number of participants in the various events and exhibitions is estimated at around 500 artists from around the world.

2.EDUCATION AND ECOLOGY – a new understanding of the world we live in, of the new technologies and experiments. Hand-made paper from plants and recycled paper. The annual Amateras paper art exhibition focused on European artists and debuting young artists. Gallery Fineness (Finnese) will present the Amateras exhibition – 67 artists from 22 countries. The Sofia Press Gallery, the Arthur Gallery and the Arte Gallery will present solo exhibitions of Bulgarian and foreign artists, the Foreign Ministry Mission Gallery will present an exhibition on the occasion of Bulgaria’s EU Presidency in 2018, and the Mazda Gallery – the Eastern Art exhibition.

3.HUMANISM – joint efforts with organizations with social priorities – a workshop for blind people and a workshop for migrants – together with the Union of the Blind – an exhibition of artworks with the Braille alphabet and interactive installations. Guest speaker from Brazil.

4.SOFIA ABROAD – TRAVELING EXHIBITIONS PROGRAM – films, exhibitions and presentations abroad throughout the year. In May, 2017 in Bulgaria and in the second half of the year - exhibitions with lectures and presentations for the 2018 edition of SPAF to take place during the period of Bulgaria’s EU Presidency.

5.VISITING PROJECTS ABROAD – in Paris and Strasbourg, France, in Sao Paulo and Bello Orisonte, Brazil, in Helsinki, Finland.

6.CINEMA – Films on the preservation of forests and nature, launching new international principles for culture and living world heritage.

7.PERFORMANCES of Angela Barbu related to migrating people, a growing world problem in the past few years.

8.PAPER TECHNIQUES – lecture and workshop with demonstrations of Far Eastern art.

9.YOUNG TALENTS FORUM – debut exhibition of a young artist winner of the 2016 Amateras Annual Paper Art Exhibition Prize. Workshops, lectures and various other events for children and students from the art schools.

The Foundation annually expands its collection of over 1200 artworks, video material and performance recordings, films, etc. with which it started the program of traveling formats of the collection. At present, SPAF participation in different parts of the world, where Bulgaria, its cultural heritage and contemporary art are not familiar, is under discussion.

This international exchange of exhibitions, lectures, film-showings and discussions, will present Bulgaria and its EU Presidency in 2018, as well as the hosting of the IAPMA Congress. The program is aimed at the presentation of Bulgaria as a popular destination on the map of Europe with cultural events world-wide.

The idea for these presentations abroad came as a matter of course due to the positive status of Sofia Paper Art Fest in the professional and media circles abroad. The six SPAF editions hitherto presented a huge number of artists and artworks. This year the focus is targeted on the international networks and also includes the incorporation of the Fest in a broad partnership with international organizations for the period 2018-2023.

The invitations for the Fest from abroad are mostly for the 2017-2018 period. These invitations come from Germany, Brazil and France for 2017, and from Germany, Norway, Israel, Iceland, Cyprus, Finland, Sweden and Denmark for 2018. These events will be realized in cooperation with different international cultural exchange organizations, as well as with Amateras Foundation partners from previous editions of the Fest in Sofia.

PRIORITIES OF THE FEST – New audiences – Access to culture

The Festival will present a program of events targeting specific audiences – children and art and culture, the handicapped, migrants, young talents - to make a debut to new audiences. This priority is aimed at attracting new audiences interested in stimulating the artistic capabilities of the above target groups.

PRIORITY OF THE FEST – LOCATIONS – New and renovated art space – Cultural heritage of the ever-changing city

It is for the first time that this year Sofia Paper Art Fest will be presented at the Largo, the Finnese Gallery, the Arthur Gallery, the Sofia Press Gallery, the Arte Gallery and the Mazda Gallery. The expositions present a great variety of art forms and are in harmony with the locations. Some of the art space will be transformed into galleries, other parts will have new functionality with expositions which are innovative in relation to their policies of the art space, and will thus attract new audiences for the cultural events of the program.

Some of the exhibitions are planned to be shown in the towns of Stara Zagora and Varna as important venues of an intensive cultural life and an active festival program.

SPAF is expected to visit France, Germany and Brazil. The events in these countries are hosted by museums and galleries promoting Bulgaria and its policy and strategy in 2018, and in relation to Bulgaria’s EU Presidency.


The previous editions of the Fest contributed to its promulgation by international cultural observers as one of the most perspective art forums in Bulgaria, and as an outstanding event in the culture calendar of Europe. It is no coincidence that the Festival was awarded the European Label – 2015-2016 – by the European Commission.

The festival’s innovative image provoked great interest among international organizations which offered partnership exchange for the following year of the Festival. By focusing on contemporary art, Sofia Paper Art Fest has achieved distinction with its aspiration for refinement and beauty, thus responding to the new necessities of the present-day strenuous consumer society, which needs optimism, faith and a new attitude to life-style.

Sofia paper Art Fest has created a new concept of paper art by including sections of other art forms which through the medium of paper have now become affiliated to the paper art movement. This includes music with paper, the shadows theater, paper fashion, paper theater, etc.

Six Sections as follows:

Amateras Annual Paper Art Exhibition Mini Format – eighth edition
Visiting exhibitions and debuts
Paper Art Academy
Paper Theater
Accompanying Events – an important emblematic event is the Paper Street during the Night of the Museums. The program includes workshops, lectures, presentations, demonstrations, etc.

Art Director of Sofia Paper Art Fest
Founder of Amateras Foundation

Art Director of Amateras Foundation

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