The Centre for Contemporary Arts initiates, develops, and promotes contemporary visual arts in the local, regional, and international context, as well as re-articulates and re-contextualises the heritage of local conceptual and post-conceptual practices that make the foundations of the centre's activity.
Situated only one hour from the capital city of Ljubljana, and one of the most representative institutions for the production and display of contemporary visual arts in the Štajerska region, the Centre for Contemporary Arts represents a creative hub devoted to arts, culture and theory. Under the auspices of the Municipality of Celje and its Cultural Department, the Centre for Contemporary Arts has been actively engaged in project-based cultural programming in cooperation with partners across the region and beyond.
One of the strengths of the Centre for Contemporary Arts is a continuous collaborative approach that strives to connect other cultural institutions and venues in the city thus introducing contemporary arts to larger audiences. It often works with site-specific spaces such as the Roman Lapidary of the Celje Regional Museum, the Celje Ducal Court, or St Elisabeth's Chapel. The centre regularly cooperates with the Celje Visual Artists Association and facilitates their annual Free Entrance [Vstop prost] site-specific arts festival.
Although each of its venues has a focused curated programme, the Centre for Contemporary Arts occasionally orchestrates a larger contemporary arts event in Celje. One of the first international curated exhibitions on a larger scale was The Male [Moški] curated by Irena Čerčnik and Nevenka Šivavec in 2001 (still prior to the reorganisation of the public institute). The provocative concept derived from the gap between the internationally acclaimed post-feminist theories and the lack of gender-related or feminist art in the local context. This type of exhibition continued with 2 international exhibitions, curated by Irena Čerčnik – Forbidden Death (2009) and Continuity (2011).
In summer 2008 the Image of the Space [Podoba prostora] exhibition was presented in the Celje Gallery of Contemporary Art and in Likovni salon Celje. The complex project in two parts exhibited more than 50 artists from the Celje region and exposed the importance of their geographical and cultural context. It was developed by the house curator Alenka Domjan in cooperation with guest curators Petra Kapš, Mojca Puncer, and Milena Koren Božiček.
In 2010 the first part of another complex survey exhibition took place in several venues of the Centre for Contemporary Arts as well as in the Ducal Court, the Roman Lapidary of the Celje Regional Museum and the Celje Central Library. Sculpture Today [Kiparstvo danes] was dedicated to contemporary Slovene sculpture and curated by the art historians Alenka Domjan and Tomaž Brejc, as well as the artists Polona Tratnik and Jiři Kočica, thus ensuring diverse approaches and a broadening of the notion of sculpture as a medium in the 21st century. Two more editions of this survey are planned in the following years.