People Kovačica: A village of art

Kovačica: A village of art

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The village is bursting with living traditions and original arts and crafts, as well as several collections. Almost every house is home to a painter and works by artists from Kovačica are on display in many museums and private collections wall around the world.

This predominantly Slovak village is known throughout the world for its naïve painters. The tradition was started in 1939 and advanced in the 1950’s when several peasants took to painting scenes from their daily lives. Zuzana Halupova and Martin Jonaš were the first to be recognised internationally and, since then, many others followed in their steps. Today, almost every house is home to a painter and works by artists from Kovačica are on display in many museums (Dali’s and Picasso’s) and private collections wall around the world.

Slovaks settled in Vojvodina in the 18th century and have been renowned as hard and modest workers. Not only did they live up to these expectations, they also managed to keep their culture alive to the present day. The Slovaks arrived in the small Serbian village of Kovačica in 1802 and transformed it completely. Some of the Slovak houses are still painted or tiled in the traditional light blue colour with the name of the family in the gable. One can also observe older women in fluffy dresses sitting in front of their houses or riding bicycles.

The Evangelist Protestant church in the centre of the village dates back to 1829. The paintings on the main altar are by a famous Serbian painter, Konstantin Danil.

Today the village is bursting with living traditions and original arts and crafts, as well as several collections. The Gallery of Naïve Art (Galerija naivne umetnosti, Masarikova 65, tel. 013/661-157, is the oldest and has the broadest range of art for sale and on display. Just around the corner is the Ethno CentreBabka”, Vinogradska 7, tel. 661-522, where one can take a peak into several of the artists’ ateliers. Apart from the paintings, handicrafts are also on sale here, such as painted plates and squashes or corn-husk dolls.

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