The Meeting Point: Plzeň

There's more to Plzeň than just the beer

Plzen is known by many tourists for the the amount of beer produced in its world renowned brewery and most likely only that. Apart from its beautiful architecture, the city has probably not been a main attraction for art and culture lovers. Slowly, that is starting to change. One of buildings from the smaller train station is completely isolated and has fallen out of use. It has been taken over by a group of actors that call themselves “Johan”. They have been using this space as a small theatre company, holding plays during the warm months. Last week, Hanka Krsankova held a 7-day painting workshop for a group of painters that resulted in a two-week exhibition entitled “Meeting Point”. Although this is the fourth exhibition held in this space, it is the first time the artists were able to create inside the station prior to hanging. For some, Plzen is their hometown while others traveled from Prague to attend this event.

Upon entry to the train station, the air becomes colder and electrical wires are seen connected to extension cords that run through the entire building. There are high ceilings and many rooms that used to be offices, toilets, a pub, a waiting room, a ticket sales counter; essential compartments of a functioning train station. The walls are crumbling, there’s debris all over the floor and all of the doors have been removed, but these conditions are perfect for painters to move freely and paint without worries of making a mess. During the workshop this past weekend, each person was able to pick a room and set up camp for their stay. One of the rooms had tables, chairs, dishes, and silverware for eating, relaxing, socializing. There was a restroom, running water, and a tremendous amount of creative energy that filled the huge space. Not to mention a wide variety of music that played non-stop.

The final results were quite impressive and all of the works of art will be up for exhibition through the first week of October. Although most of the painters are university friends, this was an amazing opportunity for them to get to know each other and see the process of creation.

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