On receiving an invitation to visit Cered – a special small village north of Hungary – I was unsure what to expect but hopped in the car curious to find out more. With a few kilometres to go, the experience of driving through the woods on a narrow serpentine road that suddenly opens into mellow golden and greenish hills was wonderful. However, my trip to Cered had a purpose more than admiring the scenery, I came to check out The Art Colony Cered. Simply put, I arrived a few hours before the first artist shows up and left the following afternoon very much feeling that I should stay…
The environment could not be more low key yet resonated energy flowing from the bustle of last minute preparations before the colony kicked off in earnest with signs being hung, furniture moved around, all manner of things being picked up and delivered. Later on that night I found out that the preparations were also for a chill out party. The atmosphere felt like being at a big family reunion; locals mingled with newcomers as well as those coming back to their self-proclaimed ‘hometown’. Some artists keep returning to the Art Colony, and bring generous goods as well as stories to share with us – the visitors and newcomers. The party went well into the night, filled with interesting chatter fuelled by shots. A burst of summer rain made us feel even closer, as we were forced to take shelter and huddle together.
The next day I managed to join several expeditions and accompanied of the most recently arrived artists in their quests; I strolled around nearby fields buying honey from the local beekeeper, Sándor, who shares his back garden with a collection of beehives and enjoyed a strong coffee in a family house before visiting Vili, an folk art and antique dealer, and his personal museum in a neighbouring Slovakian village.
The Art Colony is in its twentieth year – its story can be seen through the artworks spread all around. Each artist that has passed through left a piece of his or her production somewhere – indeed, many of them also put their work on buildings and contributed to the improvement of facilities. The range of artworks exhibited everywhere inspires and shows a commitment to the freedom of creativity.
This post is also available in: Hungarian