In May we breathe silver

Last weekend in Legnica was marked by the Legnica Jewellery Festival SILVER – one of the biggest and most important events of that calibre in Europe and which is held under the patronage of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage as well as of the Marshal of the Lower Silesia Province. The culmination of the Festival, which took place between 11th and 12th May, showcased 17 exhibitions of outstanding and acknowledged artists from Poland and abroad together with a fashion show, scientific session, concert, workshops and happenings.


Like every year, the most important event of the Festival was the vernissage of the 21 Legnica International Jewellery Competition RITUAL, during which the winners were named and presented with prizes in money and kind worth all in all 50.000 zlotys. The winner of the first prize of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage was Nils Schmalenbach from Germany who was officially presented with it by: the Deputy President of Legnica - Dorota Prugal, the Chief Executive Officer for Management and Sustainability in KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. -   Bogusław Graboń and the acting Director of the CSR and Sustainability Department - Krzysztof Kułacz. The II Prize of  the Minister of Culture and National Heritage went to  Ludmila Šikolová from the Czech Republic and this award was presented by  Elżbieta Łaganowska – the Deputy Director of the Culture Department of the Marshal's Office of the Lover Silesia Province. The III Prize of the President of Legnica was awarded to  Rii Lins from Belgium who was presented with it by the Deputy President of Legnica - Dorota Prugal. The Award of the Gallery of Art in Legnica went to the Bastard COLLECTION duet from Germany and Mieczysław Gryza. These awards were presented by an MP - Robert Kropiwnicki. Honorable Mentions and a half kilograms of silver obtained: Laura Alvarado & Vivian Meller and Marek Mrowiński. Honorable Mention of the International Amber Association obtained: Claudia Betancourt & Ricardo Pulgar. There were also awards from the sponsors: Joasia Biernacka-Goworek – an official representative of  Inhorgenta Fairs in Poland, Zbigniew Rybka – the President of Board in WFP Hefra S.A., Agnieszka Piwko-Czajkowska – Polish Jewellery, Wojciech Rygało -  the Goldsmithing Artists' Association (STFZ), the Polish Modern Art Foundation and Zbigniew Kraska – the Director of the Gallery of Art in Legnica; these awards went to: Frédérick Braham, Jarosław Westermark, Andrzej Pacak, Jordi Aparicio, Marek Mrowiński, Alina Filimoniuk-Pilecka, Karol Weisslechner and Vratislav Karel Novák.




Apart from the “Ritual” Exhibition there were also other 4 in the “About the Artists” cycle: works by Mari Ishikawa (“Parallel worlds”) inspired by the tradition and nature of Japan, sophisticated metal jewellery forms by Silke Trekel (“Spatial figures”), a big retrospective show of a Dutch artist – Herman Hermsen (“Meander”) and white and black themed jewellery by Małgorzata Kalińska in which the artist boldly uses plastic. The “Time” exhibition is the latest works from the AU+ Group: Marcin Bogusław, Bartosz Chmielewski, Filip Jackowski and Michał Wysocki.

The “Silver Schools” series presents schools from Germany and Scotland: Jewellery Department, Hochschule für Kunst und Design Burg Giebichenstein from Halle and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design University of Dundee. The “Debuts” series shows those of two newly-graduated students of the Academy of Art in Łódź – Anna Kanicka and Dorota Sokołowska.



There were also three big collective exhibitions opened: from the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic and Poland. The first one is the “Renaissance” project by Dialogue Collective which is connected with London Metropolitan University, the second one presents jewellery, designs and glass works of both lecturers and students of the Department of Design at  the Technical University of Liberec, the third one showcases striped flint – a natural resource of Sandomierz, its history and jewellery made with it.

Traditionally there were three after-competition exhibitions in Legnica: “Preziosa Young” (organised by the Florence jewellery school  Le Arti Orafe), “Amberif Design Award” (organised by the International Fair of Amber, Jewellery and Gemstones AMBERIF) and “Presentations 2011” prepared by the International Fair Centre (MCT), the Visual Arts Studio (PSP) and the Goldsmithing Artists' Association (STFZ).


The Festival was accompanied by an array of additional events such as jewellery and fashion shows by a designer from Sopot - Mariusz Gliwiński, a concert by a British group -  Scrotum Clamp, a scientific session, workshops, a photography show on rituals and numerous happenings.

Legnica was under siege by goldsmiths from Poland and abroad. They were both numerous newcomers to the Festival and its regular guests with  Andrzej Bandkowski, Mariusz Pajączkowski, Mariusz Gliwiński, Andrzej Pacak, Paweł Kaczyński, Wojtek Rygało, Cezary Łutowicz, Mieczysław Gryza, Marcin Bogusław and Bartek Chmielewski among others. There were many professionals (e.g. Ewa Rachoń, Michał Kosior, Joanna Biernacka-Goworek, Anna Sado), representatives of associations  and formal and non-formal artistic groups.

There was a very international feeling to the Festival which was visible in its program and on the streets of Legnica which was visited by a record number of artists and students from abroad (more than 60) mostly from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, the United Kingdom, the USA and Japan. We happily played host to artists such as: Herman Hermsen, Mari Ishikawa, Silke Trekel, Tim Carson with the Dialogue Collective group from London, Daniel Kruger and his students form Burg Giebischenstein in Germany, representatives of Duncan of Jordanstone College in Scotland - Kirsty Nicholson and Kathy Vones; what is more Harold O`Connor, Mah Rana, Wim Vandekerckhove, Purvi Sanghvi and a vast number of students from the Czech Republic also came to visit.

The evening finished with a meeting full of friendly conversations and a party which rounded off the 33rd  Legnica SILVER Festival.

List of Participants of 21. Legnica International Jewellery Competitions


Program 2012 (*pdf):





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Legnica Jewellery Festival SILVER 2020