On Thursday, 12 September at 7 p.m., the ceremonial opening of the 2nd ART Expo Ljubljana took place in the hall Steklena dvorana of Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre. This is the largest cultural and art event in Ljubljana, with as many as 350 artists from all over the world exhibiting their works.
The 2nd ART Expo Ljubljana hosted over 60 different events, e.g., concerts, workshops, lectures and other performances. Most exhibitors presented themselves in their “corners” at Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre, where also the majority of ART Expo events took place. The parallel location of ART Expo in BTC City Ljubljana was the venue for individual and group exhibitions, while at the same time in the scope of 2nd ART Expo the theatre SiTi Teater hosted plays and concerts which will continue throughout October.
Miha Murn, Chairman of AAMI Corporation and Chief Executive Officer of ART Expo Ljubljana, said in his opening speech that the project would not be possible without the support of BTC, the general partner. The company has been supporting the AAMI story from the very beginning, since the 1st ART Expo Ljubljana took place in the BTC City area. Miha Murn also emphasised the future vision of the project: “With the implementation of this year’s Expo, we have reached a practically unreachable number of exhibitors for a cultural event in Ljubljana. I am pleased to announce that the goal and the vision of the next, 3rd ART Expo Ljubljana, is to bring together as many as 500 exhibitors in an even larger area with an even better layout.”
Among the 350 exhibitors at the 2nd ART Expo Ljubljana, the following artists and fine arts institutes should be mentioned: Jože Murkovič interierji, Ratko Pušelja, Rok Blenkuš, Art Gallery 5’14, Siniša Kulaševič, Rajko Požar, Žaklina Gligoriveska, Stane Jagodič, Iztok Šmajs Muni, Tadej Žugman, Lojze Spacal, Boleslav Čeru, Galerija Runa, Urška Košir, Sonja Trošt, etc.
Helena Petrin, Deputy Chair of the Boards of Directors and Non-Executive Board Member at BTC, the general sponsor of 2nd Art Expo, emphasised that the company has for 30 years been cultivating a friendly attitude towards culture, not only through its artworks but also by connecting and supporting young artists, who wish to break through and find BTC’s help in doing so. The entire BTC City area is interspersed with sculptures that are accessible to all visitors, anyone can go on a “BTC Art Tour”, i.e. take a walk around the city of culture and art.
In its “corner”, BTC introduced the BTC Art Tour – an art tour of BTC City and a new, innovative display of art, using augmented reality technology (AR technology), which they call BTC AR Art and which was created at the BTC Innovation Centre. The aim of displaying art (paintings and sculptures) through augmented reality technology is to bring art closer to people and allow them to look at artworks in the comfort of their homes. At the exhibition, art enthusiasts scanned the QR code, which allowed them to browse through artworks in the BTC City Market digital catalogue, which they could also project into a room using the AR technology, being able to see artworks in a real-world environment. In this way, art enthusiasts can imagine artworks in their homes more easily and perhaps decide to buy the one that catches their eye.
The guests were also greeted by the Ambassador of the Federative Republic of Brazil, His Excellency Mr Renato Mosca de Souza, Honorary Patron of the Brazilian Pavilion at the 2nd ART Expo Ljubljana, featuring over 50 Brazilian artists. In his speech, he emphasised the importance of establishing an even better connection between the Brazilian and Slovenian culture, and expressed his enthusiasm for holding an international cultural and art festival at such a level as the 2nd ART Expo Ljubljana.
Nuša Smolič, COO and Chair of ART Expo Committee, emphasised: “Co-operation at all levels is of utmost importance and the story of the 2nd ART Expo Ljubljana would not have been possible without the artists and our business partners. Regardless of the titles, ART Expo should get the foundation it deserves in Slovenia, and at the same time creativity, enthusiasm and connecting should be the aspects that count.”
At the ceremonial opening, Ben Watkins, Head of Juno Reactor, a world-renowned music group, was presented with the AAMI Award for extraordinary achievements in music in 2019. As a special guest, the world-renowned pianist Joe Meixner with his performance added the final touch to the international note of the cultural and art spectacle – the 2nd ART Expo Ljubljana.
Maja Oven, Director of Market Communication and Public Relations Sector
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2nd ART Expo Ljubljaan