Art Dialogue 1989: Prague-Los Angeles
A Short Herstory
A young artist from California with Czech heritage moved to Prague, just as Czechoslovakia opened her borders after fifty years of a totalitarian regime, when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. Her story lays out a new paradigm for artistic practice, interlacing the histories of East and West, and ultimately, challenging the North-South axis. The ‘Velvet Revolution’ inspired a systematic change in the social structure of Central Europe. Barbara Benish established the non-profit arts organization ArtDialogue in Prague in 2004 based on the revolutionary art and events of the fall of totaž, of which she was part of. International groups of students, artists and activists, began working at the artist’s 300 year old mill in rural Bohemia, renamed “ArtMill”. Art, social justice and environmental activism became the organization’s mission. The story is more than just about building community via the arts, but also the integration of an artists’ activism to create change. It’s a woman’s tale of building something from nothing, and defining creativity.
Chapter Two of a longer thirteen chapter book, tells the story of 1989 and ArtDialog’s inception, is published with the support of the Czech Ministry of Culture and ArtDialog. Graphic Design: Marcela Vorlíčková
You Are Here
Gabriela BK & the ArtFarm Research Project
In the winter of 2020, as the pandemic hit, twelve young people entered quarantine together on our small eco-art center in Central Europe. You Are Here is a creative, step-by-step guide for growing, living, and building a rural life. Part one focuses on communal living, part two is a permaculture guide for off-the-grid food growing, in the city and countryside.
Risograph print with soy-based inks
Published 2018 by Routledge
Form, Art and the Environment
Engaging in Sustainability
This book by Barbara Benish and Nathalie Blanc, adopts a pluralistic perspective of environmental artistic processes in order to examine the contributions of the arts in promoting sustainable development and culture at a grassroots level and its potential as a catalyst for social change and awareness.
This book investigates how community arts, environmental creativity, and the changing role of artists in the Polis contribute to the goal of a sustainable future from a number of interdisciplinary perspectives. From considering the role that art works play in revealing local environmental problems such as biodiversity, public transportation and energy issues, to examining the way in which artists and art works enrich our multidimensional understanding of culture and sustainable development, Form, Art and the Environment advocates the inestimable value of art as an expressive force in promoting sustainable culture and conscious development. Utilising a broad range of case studies and analysis from a body of work collected through the international environmental COAL prize, this book examines the evolution of the relationship between culture and the environment.
This book will be of interest to practitioners of the environmental arts, culture and sustainable development and students of Art, Environmental Science, and International Policy and Planning Development.
Wonderful recipes from our local village, that brings community and memory together by a young couple starting their new lives in the rural Bohemian countryside. Funded by Creative Europe, Table and Territory project.
Andrea Průchová Hrůza
and Tomáš Hrůza
The original catalogue from the exchange exhibit between Czechoslovaks and Americans in the heady days leading up to the velvet revolution in Central Europe. Features the 15 American artists and their work. Catalogue essays by Stephen Eisenmann, Peter Frank, and Zdenka Gabalová and Barbara Benish (co-curators). August, 1989. published by the Czechoslovak Ministry of Culture. Graphic Design: Ivan Kafka
Certain Traces, Dialogue Prague/Los Angeles
To mark the 15 year anniversary of the initial ground-breaking exchange exhibition in 1989, ArtDialog produced another major exchange between Czech Republic and California. Included 13 of the original artists, as well as 18 of the younger generation of Czechs and Americans in Prague, Brno, Los Angeles, & NYC. Curated by Sarah Brock and Barbara Benish. Venues: Barnsdall Municipal Art Gallery, Consulate General of the Czech Republic, POST gallery in L.A.; Sam Francis Gallery at Crossroads School, Santa Monica; Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont; S.C.A.P.E., Corona del Mar. In Prague, the Šipkarna Hala, Karlin & Museum Kampa. Essays by Benish, Brock, & Kristina Newhouse. Graphic Design: Kolář & Kutálek.
Dialogue: Prague/Los Angeles II
The second catalogue of the exchange exhibition between the US and Czechoslovak artists, that was presented in L.A. after the historic events in Central Europe during the fall of 1989. 12 Czech and Moravian artists were invited to show at Otis Parsons Gallery, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Arroyo Art Center. Supported by the Lannan Foundation. Catalogue design by Leland Means. 1990