History of the Ústí nad Labem House of Arts 2016 – 2021

art, culture, creativity, research,
education, social responsibility

The Ústí nad Labem’s House of Arts is a newly established exhibition institution whose operations and program are provided by the Faculty of Art and Design at Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem.

The House of Arts’ exhibition concept is focused on the presentation of the important artists and key artistic trends and themes currently shaping Central European art. The program of this institution combines artistic, research, education and publication activities, which are consistently implemented in an international context and in collaboration with a number of Czech and international partners. The House of Arts’ key objectives include the professional production and presentation of current artistic outputs; the promotion of international collaboration by organizing joint exhibition projects; creative research work in the area of contemporary art, carried out in collaboration with institutions of higher learning with a similar focus; the development of educational activities within the study programs implemented at Jan Evangelista Purkyně University; the support of educational strategies focused on working with visitors to the gallery; and the implementation of social responsibility with respect to the socio-cultural development of the local community. 

The House of Arts’ main curator is prof. Mgr. Michal Koleček, Ph.D., who collaborates on individual exhibition projects with curators representing local professional departments (in particular the Department of History and Theory of Art of the Faculty of Art and Design at Jan Evangelista Purkyně University), and also with partner institutions, mainly international ones, as well as invited freelance curators. The House of Arts’ overall curatorial concept is focused on the analysis and presentation of current artistic expressions, with a particular focus on themes that are shaping the socio-cultural situation in Central Europe in the national context while also reflecting the specific situation in the local region and community. The House of Arts is located on the renovated premises of the former university canteen in the residential neighborhood of Klíše near the city center and the university campus. It offers 500 m2 of exhibition space and other premises suitable for the realization of artistic, educational and social programs. The House of Arts has a significant development potential connected with the planned expansion of its activities into the other premises of the building, which are gradually being made accessible.

The exhibition and research activities of the House of Arts significantly contribute to the presentation of a wide variety of contemporary visual cultural forms in the city of Ústí nad Labem and the surrounding region. Together with the Emil Filla Gallery, the Cultural Factory Armaturka, and the Public Hall Hraničář, the House of Arts has a striking potential for creative activities that are unique in the Czech context of regional centers and public universities.

The Ústí nad Labem House of Arts is, therefore, the expression of the self-confident potential of the local art scene. It wants to be a gateway to the dynamic structures of contemporary art, mening itself up to the diverse impulses of the international art scene. It also accelerates the interconnection between education, research and their practical use and represents an open, creative space between the University and the local community.

prof. Mgr. Michal Koleček, Ph.D.