The Foundation for Visual Arts is an independent, non-profit arts organization dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of the visual arts in Poland, with an emphasis on photography.
Established in Krakow in 2001, the Foundation has, in its first decade, continually sought out new and evolving definitions of what photography is and can be within the context of contemporary society; and the ways in which photographers and other visual artists can both document and subvert, chronicle and challenge aspects of a complex society, one frame, exhibition, and photo-book at a time.
The Foundation’s keystone curatorial endeavor is the annual Krakow Photomonth Festival, now in its eleventh year. The Festival combines a citywide slate of photography exhibitions with artist and author meetings, panel discussions, film screenings, concerts, and parties at which artists, curators, and the festival-going public overlap and interact over the course of a month.
The Foundation also believes strongly in the importance and vitality of books, on shelves and in hands, long after an exhibition has been packed up, or a conference has come and gone; and so the Foundation, as publisher, has brought into print publications ranging from monographs exploring the history and theory of photography to limited-edition photo and artists’ books.
In cooperation with the Krakow branch of the Union of Polish Art Photographers (ZPAF), the Foundation co-founded and operated, from 2007-2011, the ZPAF i S-ka Gallery, a commercial photography gallery responsible for exhibiting the work of Polish photographers at home, while also promoting their work outside of Poland.
Additionally, the Foundation collaborates with cultural institutions in Poland and abroad; is a member of international curatorial networks; and participates in many photography-related events around the world.
The canonical archives of legendary Polish photographer Zofia Rydet are now available in digitized, searchable, bilingual format. A remarkable achievement and an invaluable resource.