[artinfo] palya+ kiegeszites

Kiss-Pál Szabolcs kspal at aramszu.net
Wed Sep 10 09:14:56 CEST 2003

/T lista, a legutobbi Palya-ban megjelent balatonfuredi taborral kapcsolatos kritikara reakciokent itt
a szervezo valasza, udv, sz/

	/Beata Szechy  <bszechy at yahoo.com> 2003.09.09. 12:01:23 -7h-kor írta:
	kedves szabolcs, koszonom az infot.  kerem tovabbitsd a valasz levelemet, koszonettel,

Dear Mr. Mandiberg:

This letter responds to the inaccurate statements made by Anna-Maria Vag concerning the
yearly Artists’ Residency program sponsored by the Hungarian Multicultural Center.  I am
the president of this nonprofit organization.  The residency  is sponsored by the
Hungarian Culture Ministry, the American Embassy-Culture Department and the City of

We have successfully completed yearly artist in residency programs in each of the last
nine years.  Over 80 artists from around the world have attended the residencies.  All
but 3 have given us highly complimentary reviews. 

Ms. Vag’s letter suggests that the financial dealings of the residency were “suspicious”
and that the costs were excessive.   Nothing could be further from the truth.  The costs,
accommodations and services provided were clearly set forth in the materials provided to
her before she registered.  No profits were generated by the residency: instead, 100% of
the funds charged were spent on the program.  The center maintains receipts and records
which evidence all funds received and expenses incurred.

The costs of the program included 
--providing lodging in the historic Paloczi Castle, 
--two meals a day, 
--transportation to and from Budapest to Balatonfured (150 kilometers each way), 
--an opening reception, 
--a closing reception, 
--an exhibition of the residents’ works (including advertising and other costs) at the
Art East Gallery in Balatonfured, and
--the organization of media relationships (resulting in over 10 published articles and
publicity of the artists works on television and radio, all of which was most favorable).

As is described in the materials, in addition to the Balatonfured exhibition, every
three years another exhibition is held at the prestigious Vizivarosi Gallery in Budapest
to showcase the works of the artists for the past three years.  

The cultural attaché to the U.S. ambassador, television, radio and newspaper media
representatives and over 500 people attended the opening night of the month long
exhibition in 2001.  A number former residency participants from the US and other
countries also returned for the exhibition and were pleased.  

The next exhibition at the Vizivarosi Gallery will be July 1 -31, 2004.  We believe that
this exhibition will be even more successful than those in the past.

All of this was provided at a cost of about $25 per day!  The suggestion of profiteering
cannot be supported given this very modest cost.

I was present each day for the first and last weeks of the residency and was in daily
contact by telephone at all other times.  In addition,  the cultural organization curator
for the city was there each day.  It is correct that we do not provide instruction
because the artists who must demonstrate competence before the are selected.

As is described in the materials, the accommodations in the Paloczi Castle (which dates
from the 1700s) are normally provided to college students during the school year.  Ms.
Vag attended the residency 4 years ago.  She and 2 others of the 80 plus attendees over
the years would have preferred to have stayed in major hotel accommodations of the type
available in her home city of New York.  That is not practical for a program of this type
and cost.  Indeed, virtually all of the participants preferred the ambiance of the castle
and the historic town of Balatonfured and the numerous other amenities available there.

Set forth below are some of the evaluations of other artists who participated in our
residencies.  These evaluations are much more reflective of the views of the overwhelming
majority of our artists:


Lyn Gardiner
I am thankful to have been chosen and included in this summer’s opportunity to visit and
spend time living in Hungary.  Both in Budapest, where we started, and Balatonfured - a
beautiful town of lakeside and country.  I was able to visit museums and look at books,
seeing work I would never have been exposed to if I had not come.  I like the work I did
in Hungary and I am excited to see how it will grow from this experience.  I certainly
hope I can come back and photograph more.

Laara Cassells
Balatonfured is a friendly town with lot’s of resources for sculptors.  I was able to
find tools, materials, paint and adhesives with base.  We were a diverse group of artists
of different ages, nationalities and artistic styles.  We soon became good friends and it
was a rare privilege to be invited into 9 other “studios” to share a wide range of
artistic approaches.   I  thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the opportunity to visit
some Hungarian towns and savior the culture a little bit.  I appreciated having 2
Hungarian artists among us who were very helpful with any linguistic problems we
encountered.  I also appreciated Beata Szechy’s help and all her efforts to arrange the
exhibitions, the catalogues and to make us feel so at home.

Edward and Diane Lane
Overall, this experience has been fabulous.  Our new understanding of Hungary, the
hospitality of the people of Balatonfured, Beata’s very special care of each of us,
Rita’s help and good humor couldn’t be better.  The residency has far surpassed our
expectations.  We have been fortunate to have such a compatible group of artists... all
of whom we will certainly keep in touch with over the coming years.  The diversity of
artists not only in location, but in media is wonderful.  We loved the tour day and the
wonderful end of the day at Beata’s home.  Thank you for making this possible for us.

Manfred Rapp
The zeneiskola (music school) is a very inspiring place for artist to work.  The
facilities are clean and the staff is very accommodating.  Light and studio space is very
good.  The fact that it is close to shops and supply stores is a great plus.  Also to
walks to the lake Balaton is very nice, not to mention that the restaurants are in easy
walking distance.  In short, a great place to work in.

Renee Rohr
At Balatonfured, I appreciated first of all the huge terrace where we worked every day
facing the beauty of ultra old horse chestnuts.  We were a team of painters and sculptors
of all ages and countries and diversity was fascinating.  I had time enough as well as
having numerous exchanges regarding our respective works and ideas about art.  This
exchange gave me a lot of ideas and new experiences.  A special note is for the barbecue
given by Beata at her marvelous fairy tale cottage.

Bela Torkos
The HMC sponsored artist program has enriched my personal and artistic life beyond my
wildest imagination.  The program is well organized, Beata Szechy  --  president of the
HMC, and staff has provided a friendly and warm environment for the exploration of the
imaginable realm of art.  My many thanks to all.

Candice Smith
I loved it!  I loved how open and free it was with little structure.  I came wanting
solitary work time without judgment and am grateful that the atmosphere permitted that. 
The provided meals were a luxury and the restaurants great and people very nice.  I
enjoyed the mix of people and art styles.  I loved having a writer between us. 
Everything was so great, I feel lucky.  Thanks for all your hard work, Candice

Cathy J. Deak
The town of Balatonfred is beautiful and I had a great time working there.  I really
liked my colleges and everyone got along for most part.  It was very interesting to see
the diversity of artwork.  The gallery was beautiful and enjoyed the opening ceremony. 
Overall, my experience was very positive and even better than I hoped for...."

Goro Hasegawa
I had just completed my BA degree before I took up this Artists' Residency in Hungary. 
I felt that I needed a different environment to work in, where I though my art works
could be developed, or changed.  In my application for this program, I proposed the idea
of using different materials which I intended to discover within the environment of
Balaton.  For this, I chose beach balls, hoops, and dried leaves which I had never used
before, they were also materials which ubiquitous in Balaton.  However I was still unable
to hugely diversify my original methods or discover new styles since my period of stay
was so limited.  But on a cultural and personal level, I enjoyed discovering this country
of Central Europe, their history, and their language, as well as the people, their
hospitality, style of living, leisure habits, cuisine, and so on, subjects which all
fascinated me.  Now I really look forward to  our exhibition in Budapest in the year of
2000, and hope that I will be able to pay it another visit.

Wendy White
I had a wonderful experience while in Hungary in July, 1999.  Not only were the
residents of Balatonfured friendly and hospitable, but the scenery and local flavor were
incredibly inspirational.  The accommodations were exactly as I expected--basic and
comfortable, but not elaborate.  It was, for me, a perfect environment for producing
Although we had only a month, the work I created while at Balaton is very special for
me.  It probably isn't my best work--it was experimental, and I felt free to explore new
ideas and images.  But the work I made there reminded me that my environment is very
important in keeping my images fresh.  I was able to let go of some of the convention 
my work had come to involve here in the States.
Most of all, I learned of a new place and saw it with own eyes--an experience that is
immeasurable.  I made new friends.  I learned some words in a complex language.  I ate
new foods, walked on roads older than the oldest in my country, and I saw new faces.  The
residency was probably the most interesting thing I've ever done, and I would recommend 
it to anyone who genuinely wishes to expand their scope of knowledge, visually and
intellectually.  I would go again in a heartbeat.  Beata,   I loved the residency so

In the past the following artists participated at the residencies and exhibitions
Wil Bosbyshell, NC, painter;  Sarah Carson, Dallas, TX, photographer;  Russ La Chanse,
Chicago, IL, painter;  Cathy J. Deak, Anchorage, Alaska, painter;  Goro Hasegawa, London,
UK., sculpture;  Michelle Lance, Queens, NY.sculptor;  Allegra Marquart, Baltimore MD.,
printer;  Hilary Mason, New York, NY., painter;  J. Mehaffey, Santa Fe, NM., painter; 
Aleksandr Niestroj, Montreal, Canada, painter;  Sally Kim Strom, Newport, OR., painter; 
Sandra C. Vista, Venice CA., painter;  Robin Wassong, Seattle, WA., painter;  Wendy
White, Savannah, GA., painter;  Ivy Parsons, MA. conceptual artist;  Langelo Ho, Quincy,
MA, painter;  Daniel Atyim, Syracuse NY, painter;  Duc Ly, Portland, OR, sculptor; 
Angela Baker, San Francisco, CA, painter;  Margit Czak, Wien, Austria, painter;  Miwako
Kato, Albuquerque, NM, photographer;  Georges Le Chevallier, Raleigh, NC, conceptual
artist;  Melissa Furness, Iowa City, IA, conceptual artist;  Daniel Burns, Lancaster, PA,
graphic artist;  Carol LaFayette, Bryan, TX, painter;  Jenine Gehl, Tonawanda, NY,
painter;  Raymond M. Bancroft, Virginia Beach, VA;  Laura Beamesderfer, Annville, PA; 
Pip Brant, Hollywood, Fl;  Judit Csotsits, Studio City, CA;  Phyllis Kaplan, New Nork,
NY;  Kathleen Veronesi, Millburn, NJ;  Lynn Newcomb, Worcester, VT;  Phillip Chan, Akron,
OH;  Melissa Herrington, Atlanta, GA , Tomoko Ohara, Brooklyn, NY;  Eugenia Pardue,
Portland, OR;  Cheryl Safren, Valley Stream, NY;  Austin Thomas, New York, NY;  Sigrid
Wonsil, Streamwood, IL;  John Rise, Albuquerque, NM;  Bob Freimark, Morgan Hill, CA; 
Teo, Kim-Liong, Singapore. + 24 artists from 2003

Szabolcs KissPal, 
Hungary, +36-1-352-2763,
kspal at intermedia.c3.hu, kspal at aramszu.net

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