Expat Art Scene: Where To See, Study & Exhibit Art

  • 30 Jul 2015 11:00 AM
Expat Art Scene: Where To See, Study & Exhibit Art
Art enthusiasts rejoice, creativity is in Budapest’s blood, from the work of great architecture that brightens up the cityscape, to the minds behind many of it quirky ruin pubs. If you’re a budding artist, newly arrived and keen to see what the city has to offer, or you’re a veteran expat seeking new inspiration, we found some great ways to get your creative juices flowing.

Learn a new skill

Whatever your prior level of experience, if you want to learn something new then you should check out the courses at the Art School In Budapest. They run a range of short courses covering everything from painting, studio drawing and sketching to more abstract subjects like creative self-expression and contemporary art.

Group sizes are kept deliberately small and are taught by experts. The school was started by Barbara Guttman who has a deep love for contemporary art and set up the school with a desire to share the experience of her years “studying, teaching, making and exhibiting art” and to help people understand their creative side better.

Get arty at Sziget Festival

Did you know that Sziget Festival has its very own ArtZone for anyone that wants to get creative in between stints rocking out at the main stage. There you’ll have the chance to try everything from painting, sculpture, graphics, photo to video and complete beginners are more than welcome.The idea is for everyone to have fun.

Sziget ArtZone draws support from some major local galleries and art spaces including Paloma Workshops, Gregersen Art Point and Art&Me who will be running exciting workshops throughout the week. Expect to meet artists from Hungary and abroad mingling and showing off their ideas.

Teach the world about art

If you know a thing or two about fine art and want to share that knowledge with others then you should consider joining the docent programme at the Museum of Fine Arts.

As a docent you’ll lead individuals and small groups on free tours of the Old Masters collection at the museum and help people gain a deeper understanding of what they’re looking at.

Training is run annually in English and costs 50,000 HUF. It covers the skills required to lead guided tours and there is a lecture series to teach you about the art on display. If you just want to attend the lectures and don’t want to become a docent that’s possible too. Just pay 2,500 HUF per session and turn up when you can.

Get social with sketching

If you’re keen to get involved in sketching then join the Budapest Sketchers Group on Facebook. As well as posting their creations for all to see, they arrange meetups every second Saturday for group sketching sessions or workshops let by both Hungarian and international artists. Meetups are free and open to everyone.

Cool art spaces in Budapest

Budapest is well known for its fine arts collections, but it also has a budding contemporary arts scene with numerous smaller galleries worth visiting. These include Trafó Galéria which houses dance, circus, theatre and visual art pieces, Budapest Art Factory housed in a cavernous warehouse and Deák Erika Galéria which is one of the city's more established contemporary galleries.

Every year the Budapest art scene all comes together for the OFF-BIENNALE, which in its first year in 2015 brought together more than 160 projects, 200 artists, 180 events, 130 venues, and 600 stakeholders to showcase the very best the city has to offer. It’s a civic-led project, not affiliated with any government organisation and making use of local spaces to bring contemporary art closer to the wider public and to strip away some of misconceptions people have about it.

Words by Andrew Davison for XpatLoop.com

Andrew Davison is our expat expert from Britain. He’s been in Budapest for a year and half and when not giving advice runs Learn English Budapest and a similar business in Prague.

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