We founded the not-for-profit organization, ArtMap, in 2007 as a platform whose aim is to support and promote contemporary art in the Czech Republic. The main impulse for doing so was the number of newly-created small galleries and initiatives focused on contemporary fine arts, which were however accessible only to a small group of people from the industry/field, but about which otherwise no one knew very much. We thought then about how to make them more accessible to the public. Our first project was a printed map of Prague galleries in 2008 (hence the name ArtMap). The document offers, every two months, an overview of exhibitions of contemporary art and you can find it in galleries, cafés and various cultural and information centers. (The map is published in two languages, Czech and English, and is free-of-charge). Three years later we set up a Brno version, which is published quarterly. On occasion we also publish ArtMap for other areas; for example, in Olomouc during Paf, the animated film festival. Since 2012 we have published, in cooperation with the Yoyo Association, a summer RURal ArtMap focused on mapping projects taking place in rural areas of the Czech Republic.
Because the printed maps only allowed us to cover a small part of the country, we decided in 2010 to launch the artmap.cz web portal. It has nationwide coverage and provides an overview of a majority of current exhibitions and events in the field of contemporary fine arts that overlap into other disciplines (i.e. the Studio hrdinů Theater, literary readings, etc.). The portal is updated daily and, based on information therefrom, we publish a newsletter informing about new events on a weekly basis.
In 2012 we expanded our activities to include operating an online bookstore, bookstore.artmap.cz, which is located in Školská Street 28 in Prague. The bookstore focuses on exhibition catalogs, monographs, artists’ books, theoretical texts, specialized magazines, DVDs, audio recordings and also comics and quality books for children. We also gladly support artists’ projects and publications not available in general distribution.
So as not to limit ourselves to an online bookstore, we will also begin running in June 2014 our own brick-and-mortar store, with a broad selection of materials, at the Moravian Gallery in Místodržitelský palác (Governor’s Palace) in Brno.
Our further activities include collecting artists’ videos created specifically for ArtMap. These are presented on various occasions and can also be viewed on our YouTube channel.
ArtMap also organizes on occasion events such as presentations, book launches, the Brno „gallery run“, audio tours of the city and more.
And finally. Nothing that we do could work without our close cooperation with institutions, galleries, publishing houses and organizations devoted to contemporary art. We thank them for their support and hope that our cooperation will continue for many years to come.