NAA presents the “Students’ Banknote Projects” Exhibition in Dobrich Art Gallery.

Educational projects of students from the “Poster and Visual Communication” major with the special participation of graphic designer Dimitar Traichev.

14 March – 5 April 2024

Opening – 14 March (Thursday), 17:30 h

Dobrich Art Gallery

14, Bulgaria Str., Dobrich

The National Academy of Arts, with the support of UniCredit Bulbank, presents in Dobrich Art Gallery an exhibition of students’ banknote projects created in the period 2012-2023 as educational tasks in the discipline “Visual Communication” of the “Poster and Visual Communication” Specialty. The curators of the exhibition are Assoc. Prof. Dr. Stoyan Dechev and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nenko Atanasov.

The participating are: Lilia Milanova, Rosèna Todorova, Jaklina Simova, Ivan Kashlakov, Lyuboslav Boyanov, Katya Ivanova, Nataliya Yosifova, Georgi Georgiev – Arshata, Angelina Konzova, Stèfani Koparanova, Miroslav Zhivkov – Djingibi, Monika Radeva, Daniela Draganova, Evtim Voinov, Tanya Baeva-Barantieva, Teodora Kotseva, Vesela Tsekova, Zdravko Sirakov, Michaela Karadjova, Maria Alexandrova, Silvi Popova, Gabriel Petrov, Plamena Popova, Angela Aitovska, Valentin V. Shtinkov, Stefani Nedelcheva, Karina Talpova, Stefan Kotsevski, Petronia Apostolova, Nikol Dobreva , Elena Gencheva, Anna-Maria Adamova.

“For most people around the world, banknotes are pieces printed in color on various substrates that are accepted as money because what they replace is of value. They are also accepted as means of payment, means of accumulation, means of a better living standard, or even of nurturing human self-esteem. However, there are few who think about what the banknotes they use every day and which repeatedly pass through their hands symbolize and what information they carry.

Most banknotes have a portrait of a historical figure printed on the front. These individuals are in most cases people of science, art, literature, or from many other spheres of human activity. All of them have contributed to the development of humanity, have unique scientific achievements, have written books, novels, poems, composed music, painted pictures, thousands of years ago they sculpted with their hands wonderful sculptures that fill the world’s cultural treasury. There are also various banknotes that bear portraits of navigators who made great geographical discoveries, of genius generals who won the independence of their country in battles, or of patriots who gave their blood in the name of worthy causes.

Banknotes are the business cards of any country or union of countries that issue them. They are also miniature works of art that we keep in our purses and pockets. They are also an excellent source of information. It is enough for a person to look at a banknote and he will know what the political system of the country is or was: whether it is a constitutional monarchy, a presidential or a democratic republic, or a totalitarian state with dictatorial rule, whether the laws are respected or is ruled by a satrap with his junta. From just one banknote you can get information about the biodiversity – flora and fauna – in a country, about its natural wealth and geographical relief. And if we delve a little deeper into history, conclusions can also be drawn from the banknotes of a country about the moral and mental health of the nation at certain historical moments, especially during heavy losses in military conflicts.

Some banknotes “tell” us the love stories of unforgettable historical figures. Banknotes are historical novels, as long as one wants to read them. However, before an individual banknote or an entire issue “happens”, it is first an artistic project, such as the ones shown in the present exhibition, a drawing that came from the hands and soul of the artist.”

/Kostadin Hristov/

“A simple note (nota) written on a table (banca) has become an art called bonistique or notaphily. This is the focus of the current exhibition, which presents banknote designs. They were designed as a learning task by students in the bachelor’s program of the “Poster and Visual Communication” Department at the National Academy of Arts – Sofia. Given the extreme complexity of the task, the projects contain the most basic technical requirements, functional parameters and graphic standards for the modern banknote.

Following the understanding that every creative process should start with the flight of creative fantasy and not follow technical-technological limitations, students are given freedom to choose a subject and its graphic interpretation. Both good traditions and extravagant ideas are not excluded. This is the privilege associated with the modern conception of methodology in art education and which cultivates the avant-garde role of the creative imagination in social practice, challenging the development of the media necessary for its realization.”

/Assoc. Prof. Dr. Stoyan D. Dechev/

“Money has been a symbol for as long as it has existed. A symbol of strength, power, excellence, greatness, aspiration, wealth, luxury, success, prosperity, respect, dignity, honor, morality, charity, patriotism, state independence, sovereignty…

But money is also the personification of a fall, betrayal, meanness, spiritlessness, fratricide, insanity, greed, poverty, failure, avarice, usury, speculation, bribery, lawlessness, corruption…

Humanity has invented thousands of catchphrases and aphorisms for them, many genius words have been dedicated to them by emperors, rulers, politicians, wisemen, philosophers, bankers, financiers, economists, artists, stars of show business, ordinary geeks…

Each nation carries in its folk psychology countless legends, proverbs and idioms related to monetary signs and the individual’s relationship with them. They penetrated human communication – from folklore to slang, they were compared and named after people, animals, metals, colors, creatures, phenomena, elements… Literary, musical, film and artistic works are dedicated to them…

The world perceives money in the whole range – from “Hosanna” to “Crucify him”… whether it is in the form of metal coins, paper notes or intangible bank accounts. It invents new “fantastic” currencies and implements them in our futuristic everyday life… Human civilization has long realized that it cannot exist without them.

But only a minor part of this progress pays attention to their beauty – to what and how the coin is struck, or how the banknote is drawn and printed. With so much focus on the numbers, we often forget to look at the other symbols depicted on them – notable individuals, monuments, events, feats and signs of pride… This is precisely the essence of this collection of student banknote projects created by the alumni of specialty “Poster and visual communication” at the National Academy of Arts.

Without pretensions to credibility and applicability, the exhibition presents the creative freedom of young artists and their daring and “carefree” artistic reading of this “inaccessible” art. Therefore, let us also sincerely admire their majestic “patterned papers” and realize that indeed beauty will save the world, regardless of whether it revolves around money.

/Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nenko Atanasov/


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