The Foundation The Sommerakademie is an international platform for contemporary art that focuses on exploring the present and reflection on art. Using professional training, promotion, sponsorship and mediation, the Sommerakademie aims to promote both artistic productivity and reflection on art among artists, and at the same time allows the public to be part of this process.
Every year in August, the Sommerakademie invites emerging artists and curators to Berne to work with renowned figures from the international art scene, creating and holding a ten-day seminar that is focused around a specific topic. With the Cantonal Bank of Berne (BEKB│BCBE) as a founding partner and the Zentrum Paul Klee, the programme is breaking new ground.
Artists, curators and critics under the age of 35 with a degree or an equivalent qualification are eligible to apply. Around 100 Nominators from around the world, each of whom enjoys particular renown in their specialised field, can nominate one candidate every year, although independent applications are also welcome. A jury then chooses twelve Fellows. The close connection of the applicant’s work to the yearly theme is a decisive criterion for the selection of participants.
The director of the Sommerakademie and a team of experts appoint a new guest curator every year to develop a theme, which is of great significance for each edition of the Sommerakademie. The guest curator selects then Speakers and is present during the academy. The international Speakers enrich the academy programme with lectures and workshops, and participate in the public events such as lectures, guided tours and workshop discussions. The programme aims to make Berne a central attraction for international artistic and cultural life. The careful preparation during the year is vital to the ability to make new contacts and to remain at the heart of the contemporary arts scene.
A publication and the website with the results and contributions to the yearly theme ensure the sustainability of the Sommerakademie.