Interview with Barbora Půlpánová, founder of EDUART EXPERIENCE

Barbora Půlpánová

You are the founder of the EDUART EXPERIENCE – a platform that helps new collectors navigate their way around the art world. How did you come up with this idea?  

Since relocating from London back to the Czech Republic in March of last year, it became clear from very early on that my peers were keen to tap into the world of art but had no idea where to begin. They enjoy art but find the art market quite intimidating and difficult to enter. With the wealth of experience I gained at Christie´s Education, I felt that I could be a trusted guide to introduce them to well-respected art professionals and ask all the need-to-know questions on their behalf. I then went on to create a six-month programme especially tailored for art novices and prospective collectors who want to learn the fundamentals of the art market while having fun experiencing art first-hand at various locations. 

You are talking about the EDUART START programme, how exactly does it help an emerging collector to find their way inside the art world and make well-informed choices? 

This programme provides a small group of participants with exclusive behind-the-scenes access to galleries, museums, auction houses and artists´ studios, as well as with insider tips from internationally renowned specialists, curators, and art advisors through online group sessions. They shall receive all the knowledge necessary in order to make their own, well-informed purchase of an artwork whilst also enjoying some quality time with like-minded individuals. The first cohort starts at the end of January and is almost at full capacity. The next programme is scheduled for April. Events take place in Prague, but anyone can enrol in the online part. 

Barbora Půlpánová

Is there something on offer for seasoned collectors as well? 

Certainly. While working at Christie´s, I co-organised events for collectors from Central and Eastern Europe. The collectors from the region, extremely knowledgeable about their local art scene, were keen to gain a broader international perspective on the art that is ‘closest to home’. This is something their local galleries are unable to provide them with, and where the idea for EDUART CURATOR stemmed from – a carefully curated six-month programme specifically tailored to individual needs and preferences. 

There is much opportunity for growth in the art markets of Central and Eastern Europe as they have yet to reach a thoroughly international level. With the burgeoning wealth of the region, I feel now is the right time to assist local collectors in refining their habits as well as help the CEE art scene become more visible internationally. 

Barbora Půlpánová (right) with the curator Blanka Čermáková. Photo by Vojtěch Veškrna

How would you like to do that? What are your future plans and projects? 

I have been working with a small team of art professionals on an online programme focused on the CEE art market. We share the common desire of wanting to make this region more approachable for a global audience. During my time at Christie´s, it became clear that international collectors were increasingly recognising the quality of CEE art, with well-respected institutions planning solo shows for great CEE artists. Only last year, the Hungarian artist Dóra Mauer had a great solo exhibition at the Tate Modern and major retrospectives were scheduled for the pioneer of installation art, Magdalena Abakanowicz, as well as for Slovak sculptor Mária Bartuszová. I hope we will be able to see them soon. 

How can your endeavour help the CEE art scene to thrive?

We at EDUART EXPERIENCE believe that art market education along with nurturing a passion for art will inevitably lead to seasoned art collecting. The more someone collects, the more the artists thrive. We also hope that our project will help cultivate the entire art ecosystem. We have partnered with internationally renowned specialists, curators, and art advisors who are willing to share their know-how and interesting art world experiences with our programme participants. Gallerists, curators and art advisors will benefit from collaborating with us through the opportunity to reach out to new audiences. Our mission is to unlock the world of art for everyone as we truly believe that anyone can become a collector.

What would be the most important advice you would give to a new collector out there? 

Buy what you love. Art has the unique power to transform your private space into a creative and cultural sanctuary. Don´t rush it. It takes time to find the right artwork for you. Educate yourself. It´s great to possess something you admire but it´s also great if it is valuable and becomes a good investment in due course. 

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