Artwork by Czech Students Displayed for First Time at Ambassadors for Humanity Gala
Czech students have watched testimony clips from the Visual History Archive and created original artwork for the past three years as part of a national contest organized by USC Shoah Foundation. On December 8, select artworks were displayed alongside art by students from Hungary, Ukraine and California for the first time in an exhibit at the 2016 Ambassadors for Humanity Gala.
The art contest was initially conceived in 2013 by Jakub Mlynar and Petra Hoffmanová. Mlynar and Hoffmanová are researchers at the Malach Centre for Visual History at Charles University, a Visual History Archive access site in Prague. The contest is open to all secondary students, asking them to watch clips of testimony from the Visual History Archive and create artistic comic strip-style pieces inspired by the stories they heard.
Since the Czech contest launched, similar art projects have been held in Hungary and Ukraine, led by USC Shoah Foundation’s international consultants Andrea Szőnyi and Anna Lenchovska, respectively. Students in Los Angeles have also created art inspired by the archive’s new Armenian Genocide Collection.
Several hundred students have entered the contest in Czech Republic since 2013, hailing from grammar schools, high schools and vocational schools all over the country.
Two pieces by Czech students were part of the “Art Through Testimony” display at the Ambassadors for Humanity Gala reception in the Loews Hollywood Hotel on December 8: a photo of 15 year old Marie Sara Toddová’s 3-D artwork “Memories,” inspired by the testimony of Eva Herrmannová, and 16 year old Eva Kretková’s “Escape from transport,” inspired by the testimony of Jaroslav Kraus. Marie attends Základní umělecká škola, in the city of Nový Jičín, and Eva attends Gymnázium Petra Bezruče, in the city of Frýdek-Místek.
The 2016 gala was attended by 700 guests and honored George Lucas and Mellody Hobson.
In the gallery below, the following two outstanding artworks are also included: 18 year old Lukáš Vacek’s “Refugee Jan Orlík,” based on the testimony of Jan Orlík. which won the 2015 contest, and 16 year old Barbora Mamulová’s “Escape from transport,” inspired by the testimony of Jaroslav Kraus. Barbora attends the same school as Eva and Lukáš attends Střední odborná škola obchodu, užitého umění a designu, in the city of Plzeň.
"Memories" by Marie Sara Toddová
“Escape from transport” by Eva Kretková
“Refugee Jan Orlík” by Lukáš Vacek
“Escape from transport” by Barbora Mamulová