Gallery Neumannaka undertook the patronage of the Prachatice town’s involvement in the 9th annual international festival ARCHITECTURE WEEK PRAHA 2015 meaning that children from Prachatice, or more precisely from Národní elementary and secondary school (“ZŠ Národní”) with their artworks joined the Playful Architect project, which is a part of the festival, and even went for a trip to Prague on 24th of September.
Text: Zdeněk Přibyl, Photo: Hana Bolková, Headmistress of ZŠ Národní, FB-site Hravý architekt
“Half a dozen of the children’s drawings with theme of interesting places in urban conservation zone of Prachatice is displayed in Rosenberg palace until the 18th of October as a part of architectural festival, which is under patronage of the president of the Czech Republic. The topic of the festival is the Heritage of my Region and after it end, the drawing will travel around the world.” said Jakub Nepustil, the owner of Gallery Neumannka, which organized and also to great extend sponsored the participation of the children from Prachatice on the Playful Architect project.
Playful Architect is an international art & architectonic project for kids from elementary and secondary schools. This year is its 2nd annual. ZŠ Národní, joining for the first time, is one of fourteen elementary and secondary schools from Czech Republic that participated in the project. Moreover, 18 other countries from all around the world were part of the project, countries such as Italy, Brazil, Morocco and Peru.
What is the aim of the Playful Architect project? “Simply put, to give children a chance to express themselves as they are in the right age for transferring their thoughts onto a drawing or a painting. It doesn’t matter that not all of them will become architects, but that they will be able to try limit, learn new values and broaden their cultural perspective. What they will learn from it is all up to them. We merely provide them with an opportunity.” Explained Jakub Nepustil from Gallery Neumannka.
Before all the 25 children could set off to Prague Castle, they had to draw or paint the cultural heritage of the Prachatice town. “Already during the last school year children visited the town center, where there is a lot to choose from. The children quickly picked their “favorites” and with the assistance of their teachers took photos of the chosen spots, so that they could later use them as a model picture during the drawing in the school. The drawing and painting together with sticking took several hours, all known art techniques were allowed. The only rule was to keep the drawings in A3 format.” explained the headmistress of ZŠ Národní Hana Bolková.
“A pleasant surprise was meeting engineer architect Jakub Nepustil, who is a co-organizer of this project, and who invited the pupils into his studio and told them something interesting about Live Architecture. It was about the world that surrounds us and what role does it play in architecture. When a place or an object has certain energy, how does it lose it and how to return it in order to make a place that is meaningful and friendly to our lives. All was illustrated with pictures and easily caught their attention.” added headmistress Hana Bolková.
Six chosen artworks were sent to be exhibited at the Rosenberg Palace of Prague Castle, which represented Prachatice and ZŠ Národní. “To see how successful our drawings were in comparison to the ones of other Czech but also foreign pupils of same age, we all visited the exhibition on 24th of September. We were given a tour of Prague Castle, which was prepared for us; we saw an architectonic studio and exhibition. The pupils received gifts from the organizer and the partners of the project.” said Hana Bolková and added “The biggest thanks goes to engineer architect Nepustil, who accompanied us during our trip, told us many interesting stories and facts about Prague Castle and also provided us with means of transportation.”
The idea of the Prachatice’s participation in the ACHITECTURE WEEK festival, which the Playful Architect project is a part of, was born already during the last year. Last year in October upon the invitation of engineer architect Jakub Nepustil from Gallery Neumannka a group of foreign architects and preservationists, who are involved in the festival discussion on topic of cultural heritage outside the centre. The international group was led by Mrs. Marie Noel Tournoux from Paris representing UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
The group was very pleased to be here and decided to invite Prachatice to join this year’s annual. “I thought it would be a pity for our town and our children to miss the opportunity.” stated Jakub Nepustil. “And when the town hall hesitated to take the action, I did.”