The BAZA award for contemporary art is to be presented for the third consecutive year to a young visual artist. It constitutes part of an international fellowship award program for young visual artists in the region of Central Europe and the Balkans (YVAA, Young Visual Artists Awards), launched in 1990 and managed by the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP), New York. Bulgaria joined the program in 2008 on the initiative of Maria Vassileva, establishing the BAZA award, which is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia. The exhibition of nominated works will be hosted by the Sofia City Art Gallery. The award comprises a six-week travel fellowship to New York and a solo exhibition at the gallery of the Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia. Eligible for the award are artists under 35 years of age, working in any medium of contemporary art. The award winner will be announced at the exhibition opening.

Now that it is 2010, it is already possible to sum up all BAZA-related events. In October-November 2009, the first BAZA award winner, Rada Boukova, had a solo exhibition entitled STILL LIFE …all the rest is by the way… at the gallery of the Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia, and at the beginning of 2010, the 2009 BAZA award winner, Samuil Stoyanov, successfully completed his residency in New York. Broadening of the scope of opportunities for professional fulfilment and networking is one of BAZA’s top priorities. In 2009 the Vaska Emanouilova Gallery hosted a solo exhibition of Luiza Margan, winner of the OHO award, which is the equivalent of the BAZA award in Slovenia.

The nominees for the 2010 BAZA award were selected out of a total of 35 applicants. The winner will be chosen following consideration of projects completed, particular attention being paid to the work presented at the exhibition. This year’s nominees have been working predominantly on new projects, specially completed for the event, as well as on the the further development of artworks that have already been on display – mainly objects, video and installations.

Members of the BAZA 2010 jury are as follows: Iara Boubnova, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Rene Beekman and Daniela Radeva.

The winner is Anton Terziev