Vajkard, International Workshop of Art and Design
Vajkard is an international workshop of art and design held en plein air in Rakov Škocjan. It was established in 2008 by Martin Petrič and his mentor Zdravko Papič. The event is considered to be one of the biggest inter-cultural projects in the Notranjska region. The results of the process are exhibited in Snežnik Castle Museum. The Future of Coexistence was the theme of the workshop in 2012.
The mission of the workshop is to make a traditional meeting of people of various ages and from all over the world. The workshop has already been visited by artists from Slovenia, Italy, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Belgium, Finland, France. The main goal is to bring together professionals and students from different fields of arts, science and crafts to collaborate in various creative projects where they can share their knowledge and experience.
The workshop is ecologically oriented and tries to connect art and nature by encouraging people to include natural materials in their art experiments, make land art and study natural influences. There are also discussions about the specifics of the environment in the Notranjska region led by Matej Kržič and Jošt Stergaršek.
The name of the workshop Vajkard was chosen in honour of Janez Vajkard Valvasor, the Slovene polymath of the 17th century. His dedication to nature and precise methods of exploration are to be followed by the participants of the workshop.
An important part of the programme is the acclimatisation which refers to the first few days of the workshop which are dedicated to setting the camp, exploring the surroundings and getting to know everyone. Following, the workshop offers opportunities to learn different techniques of artistic expression such as painting, illustration, drawing, sculpture, or pottery. Along with a kiln, the workshop is equipped with lithography, woodcut and linocut tools as well as a darkroom.
Self-initiative is very much encouraged and the participants are free to explore other techniques and ask for advice when needed. Everyone can create freely or listen to the introduction about a certain technique, such as the one for botanical illustration presented by Marija Nabernik. Every day ends with time for socialising, jam sessions, and singing by the fire or an evening concert.
In the evening lectures covering the workshop's annual theme take place. In 2011 the theme was "The Integration of Chaos into Society through the Creative Eye". Most of the lectures are made by invited artists who present their point of view on the chosen topic or artistic approaches in general. In 2010 Oliver Vodeb presented relational art and in 2011 Alen Ožbolt had a lecture How Today's Artists Think and Work. Peter Koštrun, Marija Nabernik and Antonio Rollo are regular lecturers and participants of the workshop; in addition to preparing lectures and discussions they are also happy to give individual comments and help participants to conceptually and practically develop their work.