The eleventh edition of the most prestigious competition for young artists in Bulgaria will be held in 2018. BAZA is part of the Young Visual Artists Awards international network (YVAA) in different countries in Central and Eastern Europe. It was established in 1990 and managed by International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP), New York (by 2014) and by Residency Unlimited (RU), New York (since 2015). Bulgaria joined the network in 2008 upon the initiative of Maria Vassileva, and the Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia was chosen as a partner to organize the award provides the competition management.
The exhibition of the nominated artists is traditionally held in the Sofia City Art Gallery. From 2018 the Edmond Demirdjian Foundation has joined the organisation of the award. When Bulgaria joined initially the YVAA Network, the award was a stipend and a six-month residence in New York; from 2015 the duration of the residence has been extended with two months. During the residence in New York, the BAZA laureate artist enjoys a rich programme of visits to galleries and institutions, professional and artistic meetings and presentations of the artist’s works. More information about the history and work of the Young Visual Artists Awards international network is available at the updated website https://www.yvaawards.org/.
For 2018 the BAZA jury members are: Boshko Boskovic (program director of Residency Unlimited, New York), Karina Kottova (curator), Vladiya Mihaylova (curator), Vera Mlechevska (curator), Stefka Tsaneva (curator).
The BAZA award winners so far are: Rada Boukova (2008), Samuil Stoyanov (2009), Anton Terziev (2010), Vikenti Komitski (2011), Leda Ekimova (2012), Kiril Kuzmanov (2013), Zoran Georgiev (2014), Alexandra Chaushova (2015), Dimitar Shopov (2016) and Martina Vacheva (2017).
The BAZA award winner for 2018 is Martin Penev.