The State School of Drawing was founded in 1896 by prominent Bulgarian intellectuals – Professors Konstantin Velichkov, Ivan Shishmanov, Anton Mitov, Ivan Mrkvicka, Boris Schatz and Ivan Angelov. This was the beginning, set by decree of Knyaz Ferdinand, but ever since the history of the National Academy of Art is increasingly committing. This commitment stems from the nobleness of what it delivers to Bulgaria, to art, to every person who has decided to cross its threshold to study the secrets of lovely art (as Nikolai Pavlovich defines it). Many generations of students and teachers have passed through its workshops, where the atmosphere, created more than a century, is capable of educating. As a Professor of painting recently put it, even the walls teach here. And it is not educational mysticism but a recognized tradition you cannot ignore or refuse to keep alive.
Several events in the cultural calendar of the Academy from the past year can be emphasized. In June 2014 NAA once again took part in the most prestigious forum for student art in Southeast Europe. This time the exhibition Transform was held in Bucharest and again the selection of Bulgarian Academy was one of the most professional and advanced. Also indicative of the ambitions of the Academy as the main educational institution for training of artists and an important generator of artistic events was the exhibition All’s Well That Starts Well in the Municipal Gallery in Varna. This exhibition (created in close cooperation with Societe Generale Expressbank) presented works by students and professors from all disciplines of the National Academy of Art: Painting, Sculpture, Graphics, Poster and Visual Communication, Photography, Digital Arts, Woodcarving, Ceramics, Textiles – Art and Design, Metal, Porcelain and Glass Design. At the exhibitions in Bucharest and Varna as part of the specialties Mural Painting, Book and Printed Graphics, Scenography, Industrial Design, Design in Advertising, Design of Children’s Environment, Fashion and Restoration (related to design or other design specific characteristic) were shown through a video presentation. But not only with these exhibitions has the Academy developed and enriched its inherent educational and cultural position. This was achieved also through the traditional exhibitions of graduating Bachelors and Masters, through the dynamics of the visiting exhibitions and foreign lecturers, and last but not least, through the ceaseless learning process in the studios. NAA confirms its fruitful position in the social space with the functions of the Academia gallery, its museum collection, the international business and creative activity of all departments and specialties. In this Yearbook can be seen the latest exhibits donated to the Museum and Library of NAA, the latest books and catalogues issued as well as the issues of the academic journal Art and Critique. The exhibitions and events organized by the Academy (whether in its spaces, in Bulgaria or abroad) are numerous and are also covered in detail in the pages of this publication. They are a demonstration of professionalism and the product of expanding cultural influence. Therefore, the official rating studies this year put NAA first in its professional field, although statistics is away from the real excitement of a true-to-life creative process.