Centre for Contemporary Art Laznia is located in a district which requires financial support as well as a complex educational input. The social issues made it necessary to reach for means and methods that could appeal to the local society. Education was integrated with the mechanisms of revitalisation. The workshops realised within the framework of The Outdoor Gallery of the City of Gdansk are conducted by renowned artists representing theatre, dance, music, visual arts, media, hand-crafts as well as by educators practicing alternative educational methods.

In 2004 we began to work on The Outdoor Gallery of the City of Gdansk (GZMG) project. We aimed at realising long-term objectives connected with transformation of the district’s image. Together with establishing the Outdoor Gallery project, the educational team of Laznia CCA began the programme of social education, which aimed at the stimulation of local patriotism among the young citizens. It was achieved by Wanderers series of workshops. Children and the youth learned the history of the district and recognised how to deal with negative emotions and their everyday problems by the means of painting, film-making, re-designing their playgrounds, experimenting with digital technologies applied nowadays in various fields of life.

In 2008 we launched LKW Gallery, the truck stuck on its way under a bridge, by Lex Rijkers and Daniel Milohnic, the winners of the first edition of this prestigious competition. This piece of art originally described as ‘alive’ is a place designed to hold artistic activities in which local citizens could be involved. The works of art which we locate in the streets have aesthetically educational as well as interactive purposes. LKW Gallery, thanks to its unique study character, has turned into a club in which the youth as well as the adults are involved in various activities realised by us.

The first educational project realised in 2008 in LKW Gallery was The City of Talented Children carried out by Laznia CCA in cooperation with Artistic Association KULTYWATOR 3MIEJSKI and Primary School No. 65. It involved artistic and educational activities and events like dance, stilts walking, painting and singing workshops, which encouraged the youth to explore their inner-self.

In 2009 we announced a competition for the best educational workshop programme. From all of the submitted entries the jury chose Autoart – an artistic, educational and research programme for LKW Gallery which was realised within the framework of the Outdoor Gallery of the City of Gdansk. It comprised a selection of workshops stimulating creativity and activity directed at children, teenagers and adults from the Lower Town as well as from the other districts of Gdansk – a proposition for their leisure time, especially during the summer break. The workshops were conducted by renowned artists representing theatre, dance, music, visual arts, media, hand-crafts as well as by educators practicing alternative educational methods. The authors of the programme, Ewa and Elzbieta Okroy, diverted particular activities into two topical streams: “Focus-Locus” (focusing on the space, examination of certain areas and presentation of it by the means of artistic forms and by a scientific thesis) and “Hocus-Locus” (bewitching the space by the exploration of its rhythm, sound, shape, colour, meaning, association of it with extraordinary stories). LKW Gallery itself served as an inspiration for the topics concerning the space. The truck stuck under the bridge raises the question: why here? The intention of the authors of LKW Gallery, Lex Rijkers and Daniel Milohnic, was to emphasise the symbolic border and to make an attempt at crossing it. On the other hand, “Autoart” project aimed at „moving” the truck by the means of artistic activities. “Autoart” equals art created in the vehicle but also the producing of individual, creative subjectivity or, eventually, reaching of OUT(o)art and coming outside.

Nowadays, the educational team of Laznia CCA realises an interdisciplinary programme of artistic workshops for children and youth entitled TirArt. The cycle of implemented workshops aim at introducing symbolic and actual changes in the urban space as well as in the self-awareness of the citizens without damaging the integrity and character of their existence. The activities focus mainly on actions connected with designing and transformation within local environment, making sensitive to the needs of recycling and turning it into a natural response of everyday life. The workshops also shape the skills to translate imagination mechanisms into concrete actions actually affecting the appearance and condition of the space, and thus affecting the quality of life. They teach how to test their own creative abilities (by using all of their senses) and use them to initiate and implement their own ideas of changes.

We hope to achieve the aim which is transformation of the Lower Town’s image and improving its state and functioning – as a result of changes in the way people perceive their impact on the inhabited space, reducing their level of a sense of exclusion, overcoming the inertial attitude of indigenous citizens and inducing their sense of social responsibility.

More information about the current workshop programme: Education at Laznia CCA