Students from the Sofia-based High School of Applied Art “St. Like” set up their drawing stands in centuries-old towns to depict the picturesque churches, bridges, streets and houses. The drawings united in the framework of the European Cultural Heritage project have been already put on display in the lobby of the central building of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
With their works revealing the beautiful architecture of Tryavna, Melnik and Sofia, young artists take part in the competition of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences for high school students with interests in the field of art studies and fine arts.
“Five years ago the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences revived something that had existed for a long time in the past - Youth Technical and Scientific Creativity movement,” academician Petar Kenderov says. “The idea is that students with interests in various fields of research work should be encouraged in their academic pursuits.
This year for the first time we also allowed space for projects in the field of art and art studies, so students from St. Luke High School for Applied Art organized this exhibition. In their paintings and graphic works we see the old Bulgarian towns through the prism of their minds, depicted in an interesting and unexpected way. For them the world looks different and it is a good thing to try and look at it through their perspective to get a clearer sight on the future.”
The twelfth-grade students Tsvetelina Kumanova and Lachezar Vladimirov choose the town of Tryavna for inspiration.
“This is the so-called humpback bridge with the bell tower behind it,” Tsvetelina told us about her painting. "I chose this place because it is the biggest landmark that can be seen in the town. When we realized that we could go to Tryavna, we looked for information and most of us spotted the old bridge. That's why you'll see a lot of drawings showing it.”
“My painting is also from Tryavna, but it shows one of the streets near the bridge,” Lachezar says. “I remember it was an afternoon in which the sunlight fell in a special way on the street. To recreate this incredible view, I used a lot of colors and various materials.”
The best drawings in the exhibition will receive awards at a students’ scientific session during which awards will also be given to projects in chemistry, physics, mathematics, informatics, biology, ecology and robotics. The distinguished authors will have the chance to spend a month in the laboratories of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and test their devices and theories under the guidance of scientists.
“Our goal is to show what scientific life means, as children are participating in conferences, talking to their peers, arguing with the jury and these are all elements of science, "Academician Petar Kenderov says. “I'm sure that wherever they go, they will do well because they have mastered the research approach and can apply it to everything they do. Some of the students are already participating in scientific competitions for young people on both sides of the Atlantic and are performing well, earning prizes, representing Bulgaria as well. So, this country is on the map – in science we are not lagging behind the most advanced European countries.”
In 2000, on the occasion of the International Year of Mathematics, several scientific organizations, together with the specialized students’ institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, established the Mathematics and Informatics Students’ Institute. Thanks to their budget, each year a hundred children participate in a summer research school, and the rest of the time they are consulting the scientists. Today, the institute's hope is to secure funding in other areas of science.
English: Alexander MarkovPhotos: Diana Tsankova