The Arsenal Gallery
The Arsenal Gallery in Białystok was established in 1965 as one of the Artistic Exhibitions Bureaux. It has been under Monika Szewczyk’s management since 1990. Today, it is a municipal institution of culture financed from the budget of the City of Białystok.
The Gallery has been following a comprehensive and consistent exhibition programme for years, presenting and fostering contemporary art in a variety of media and offering an excellent perspective of all the most important and interesting phenomena in current Polish art, while not sidestepping challenges and experiments. The Arsenal Gallery holds approximately 20 exhibitions per annum – not only at its two permanent venues in Białystok, but also at other domestic locations and abroad. Projects tying in with Eastern Partnership and Central European countries have a special place in the Gallery’s programme – they show all tendencies and changes in the contemporary art of these regions.
Exhibition activities are accompanied by an intensely developing educational programme – the Arsenal Playground – teaching about contemporary art at different levels and with the use of varying language. Projects implemented as part of the programme teach dialogue with art, presenting it as a platform for negotiating issues of social importance. Artists are frequently part of the educational process, new works created as part of workshops they deliver. Making all the most important phenomena in current art available to persons with sight and hearing impairments is a vital part of the Gallery’s educational activities.
Publishing is another of activity important to the Gallery. The institution produces catalogues and other publications accompanying most of its exhibitions.
The Arsenal Gallery has been engaging in diverse activities fostering contemporary culture, such as panel discussions, lectures, seminars, conferences, concerts, book promotions, and film screenings. For a number of years, it has been organising the Children’s Art Book Fair with an extensive workshop offer for the youngest audience.
Collection II is the Gallery’s trademark. Initiated and under expansion since 1992, the collection presents leading phenomena in Polish art as a reflection on post-system transformation change in culture. Concurrently, for reasons rooted within the Gallery’s programme as such, it depicts fundamental tendencies in the contemporary art of Belarus, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, and Armenia. Today, Collection II includes approximately 250 items: paintings, objects, installations, videos, photographs, drawings, and ephemeral works – ideas. The collection remains under the permanent supervision of conservation experts; it has been fully described and digitised. A number of critical texts has been published on Collection II – the Arsenal Gallery itself has published two related books.
ul. A. Mickiewicza 2
tel. (85) 742-03-53