Born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 1979
Image composition, image dynamics, strategies for change, model validation, communication and model development, building of networks and partnerships, reaching new grounds, expanding territories, building territories, reaching out to audiences, communication in close dialogue, initiation, training.
Bulgarian contemporary art, international contemporary art, development of cultural organisations, urban development, strategic planning, text.
Post-1980s contemporary art in Bulgaria, international contemporary art, starting and expanding art collections, contemporary art market, context analysis, urban development, construction of cultural models, building of networks, strategic planning, PR communication, marketing and brand management in the field of culture and its areas of intersection with other fields, event-making, festival management, work with club audiences, work with large audiences.
Organisations founded and headed
by Vesselina Sarieva
Sariev Centre for Contemporary Ceramics, Plovdiv /from 2004 to 2011/, initiated
by Katrin Sarieva;
Sariev Contemporary Gallery, Plovdiv /from 2012 to 2021/, together with Katrin Sarieva;
Open Arts Foundation, Plovdiv, Sofia / from 2007 to date;
artnewscafe, Plovdiv / from 2008 to date;
FLUCA: Austrian Cultural Pavilion, Plovdiv / from 2016 to date; Sarieva, Plovdiv (base) / from September 2021 until today.
Master’s degree in Slavic Philology from Plovdiv University, specialisation in Croatian Language and Literature at the University of Zagreb.
A graduate of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) - U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange programme, Changemakers group, 2015.
Vesselina Sarieva’s work has been a key factor in the development of Bulgarian contemporary art on a national level, and in its presence abroad after 2010. Her work has been a major factor in the activation of the cultural scene in Plovdiv after 2004 and in the awarding of the Plovdiv-European Capital of Culture designation in 2015.
Awards, honours /
contemporary art and culture
Ventsislav Zankov Iron Cross Award for Contemporary Art, first edition,
Capital Newspaper 2012 rankings – 100 Most Influential Women in Bulgaria, ranked 35th;
part of the first edition of Darik Radio’s 40 Under 40 project featuring successful young people;
Grazia Magazine’s Woman of the Year Award, 2011, for Night of Museums and Galleries, Plovdiv.
Awards, honours /
Vesselin Hanchev Award for poetry, His Excellency Jeremy Hill’s Award at the 35th edition of Southern Spring, 2007, for her osht book of poetry.
Vesselina Sarieva’s work and many of her projects have been featured by international media such as New York Times International, TAZ, Die Welt, Art Review, Art Guide East, ARTE, Deutsche Welle, Calvert Journal, and Artnet News. They also receive regular coverage by all Bulgarian national press and television media.
Vesselina has been a lecturer at conferences and forums on art collecting, contemporary Bulgarian art, cultural management, and cultural policies. Selected events have been organised by HFBK University of Fine Arts Hamburg; the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria, Sofia; the Bulgarian Festival Association, Sofia; the British Council, Sofia; Goethe Institut, Sofia; The Red House Centre for Culture and Debate "Andrey Nikolov", Sofia; Goethe Institut, Berlin; Istanbul Contemporary, Istanbul; the Art Today Association – Centre for Contemporary Art, Plovdiv; New Bulgarian University, Sofia; Institut Artmark, Bucharest; Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research, VUB, Brussels.
Partners of Open Arts Foundation – please follow the link / Sariev Gallery’s partners include some of the partners of Open Arts, as well as world-famous museums, public collections and cultural organisations.
Plovdiv – in institutions and in public space / Sofia – in institutions and in public space / within initiatives in Vienna, Shanghai, Rome, Turin, Cologne, Berlin, Basel, Brussels, Los Angeles, Essen, Istanbul, Hamburg, Paris, Marseille, Romania, Rotterdam, Venice, etc.
Key projects /
not including sub-projects
Night of Museums and
Galleries, Plovdiv – known today as NIGHT/Plovdiv / A festival and
platform in support of culture and urban development / held annually from 2005
to 2018, a special edition in 2019 / Active to date
Introduction to Contemporary Art / an educational platform of lectures / held annually since 2011 / Sofia, Plovdiv and online / Active to date.
Artnewscafe bulletin / a monthly publication in Bulgarian, offering up-to-date news on events in the arts, both in the country and around the world / launched as a monthly printed periodical in 2008 and an online publication since 2015 / Active to date.
Collectors’ Forum / lectures and collections / launched in 2011 / Plovdiv and Sofia / Active to date.
Focus: Bulgaria / an overview of Bulgarian contemporary art, including a curatorial exhibition, a publication, a programme of discussions, performances, and a video programme / 2015 / Venue: viennacontemporary, Vienna, Austria.
The book An Introduction to Bulgarian Contemporary Art, authored by Vessela Nozharova / a research process started in 2012, published in Bulgarian and English in 2018.
An Alternative Map of Plovdiv / together with Katrin Sarieva / a printed edition in 2013 and online since 2013, updated in 2017 / Active to date.
BACKGROUND: Young Artists / An exhibition project and a platform to support young artists and curators / launched in 2010 / Plovdiv and Sofia / Active to date.
Otets Paisiy Street Festival, Plovdiv / held annually from 2010 to 2013.
A City Arbour / with Katrin Sarieva / thematic lectures and discussions about the city / editions in 2012 and 2015 / Plovdiv.
FLUCA: Austrian Cultural Pavilion / an open stage for art and culture / launched as an annual spring and summer project in 2016 in Plovdiv / a season in Sofia in 2018 / Active to date.
Lotus Debates / A series of debates on the following topics: cooperation between municipality and cultural operators, cooperation between educational institutions and cultural operators, neighbourhood management, the multi-ethnic scope of cultural events / Plovdiv / 2013.
Working visits of international curators and art critics / held annually since 2015 / Active to date.
Open Art Files: Topics, People, Spaces, Files in Bulgarian Contemporary Art website / launched in 2018 / Active to date.
Sariev + Markov sculpture projects / a joint initiative with Markovstudio, Trebich district / projects in public space – artists’ residencies, project implementation in urban environment, lectures, exhibitions / since 2019 / Active to date.
Circle of Friends for Bulgarian Art / a joint initiative with Office for Art, Berlin / common platform for experts and art lovers, created to focus on certain topics, issues and areas in art, to provide knowledge and educational mediation, to give support for art, artists, initiatives, institutions and to network internationally / since 2020 / Active to date
Numerous exhibition and individual events in the programmes of Sariev Gallery,
Open Arts Foundation, artnewscafe, etc.
FUTURE UNFORGETTABLE / multi-genre situation in six time and thematic phases / September - December 2021 / various places in Bulgaria and online/ concept by Vesslina Sarieva;
Brittle Power group exhibition and educational programme / Rada Boukova, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Pravdoliub Ivanov, Vikenti Komitski, Rudi Ninov, Nedko Solakov, Mariana Vassileva, Sibin Vassilev / Curated by René Block and Vesselina Sarieva / 5 June 2021 - 5 September 2021 / Kunsthal 44Møen, Møen, Denmark;
POOR, BUT SEXY / Anton Stoyanov (Berlin), Vikenti Komitski (Sofia), Voin de Voin (Berlin), Lazar Lyutakov (Vienna), Lubri (Sofia), Rada Boukova (Paris) / 17 September 2011 - 30 October 2011 / Sariev Gallery, Plovdiv
BACKGROUND: Young Artists from Plovdiv/ Mitch Brezounek, Martina Vacheva, Dimitar Genchev, Velizar Dimchev, Yavor Kostadinov, Lyubomir Krastev, Trifon Tashev, Valko Chobanov, Dimitar Shopov / 5 July – 30 August 2019 / Sariev Contemporary, Danchova House in the Old Town, Cu29 gallery;
THE GALAXIES OF TEKLA – Drawings for book covers 1979-1989 / Tekla Aleksieva / 2 November - 27 December 2019 / Sariev Gallery, Plovdiv;
MAGIA NATURALIS / based on the ideas of Boyan Manchev and Vesselina Sarieva / Phase I/ Bignia Wehrli, Marta Djourina, L / Texts: Boyan Manchev, Vesselina Sarieva / 26 June - 28 August 2020 / Sariev Gallery, Plovdiv.
LET THEM DRAW III / curated by Pravdoliub Ivanov and Vesselina Sarieva / Alec Finlay, Galina Dimitrova, Hortensia Mi Kafchin, Mariana Vassileva, Sevda Semer, Vlad Nancă 12 February 2021 – 31 March 2021 / Sariev Gallery, Plovdiv.
Brittle Power / curated by René Block and Vesselina Sarieva / group exhibition and educational programme / Rada Boukova, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Pravdoliub Ivanov, Vikenti Komitski, Rudi Ninov, Nedko Solakov, Mariana Vassileva, Sibin Vassilev / 5 June 2021 - 5 September 2021 / Kunsthal 44Møen, Møen, Denmark.
OSHT book of
poetry, Janet-45 Publishing, editor Georgi Gospodinov, 2006.
Poetic installation the poetic cycle "osht" reading room, a literary series that took place at the Ancient Bath, Centre for Contemporary Art, Plovdiv, 2005 and the "Red House", Sofia.
by Vesselina Sarieva
Literaturen vestnik (Literary Newspaper), Capital Light, Edno Magazine, Literaturen vestnik (Literary Newspaper), Stranitsa (Page), Democraticheski Pregled (Democratic Review), Capital Light, and the Lirika (Lyrics) annual anthologies of the National Palace of Culture.