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Izlake–Zagorje Art Colony

Local and international artists gathering here since 1963 have been contributed to a rich art collection of this place.

Brief description

The Izlake–Zagorje Art Colony was established in 1963 and enjoys a cult status as the oldest and most hospitable painting colony in Central Europe. The colony has been gathering local and international artists in the industrial environment of the former mining town who are able to work there for 10 days and asked to leave one work for the rich Izlake–Zagorje Art Colony art collection. The participating painters are selected by the colony's board which organises also the workshop and the travelling exhibitions of the works from the collection accompanied with the catalogue. At the occasion of the 40th anniversary it published a monograph book with a survey by Milček Komelj.

Since 2008 colony hosted more international participants coming from the newly acceded EU countries (Slovakia, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania). In 2010 the colony hosted 12 artists and opened up to the younger generation as well as to the visual arts mediums beyond painting.



Promotion of a natural and cultural heritage of a region through the art, improving the quality of cultural tourism offer, development of tourism at local, provincial and regional level, promotional opportunity for artists from Slovenia and abroad, cultivation of tradition at the local community.


Local B&B providers host the participants of the art colony which assures higher annual income of their cash flow.

WHY is the best practice considered as good

The practice is good because it promotes the Zasavje region in the most sophisticated way- through art. In the beginning a colony brought together mining town from Europe. The colony do not provide new jobs, it only keeps current. One of the disadvantages could be the lack of a gallery where all the works could be shown to the audience. Only once a year an exhibition takes place. We think in the future this could be a very successful exhibition available and attracted to wider audience.

WHAT are the measurable results

Number of tourist at the exhibition, number of overnight stay at B&B providers.

New opportunities created on the local level

Strengthening of the food/catering sector, trading between companies and cities, exhibition promoted in tourist guides, cultural exchange between countries.

Financial resources

Each year 50.000 EUR is required to attract the artist and be able to host them for 10 days in municipality Zagorje and to supply them appropriate place to work.

Material: 10.000 EUR

Accommodation: 12.000 EUR

Management: 15.000 EUR

Other cost (promotion,...): 13.000 EUR

Possibility of tansferring the best practice

We think the common idea is very important and the knowledge what is the focus of a such event. The best practice can be transferable but not in the same way because different environment needs specific approach. Goof practice can be transferred with specific model of arts marketing, which is underdeveloped in many countries and regions. Good practice can also be transferred into regions, which are based on cultural tourism offer. The Art colony is networking with other similar events in Slovenia and abroad. One of the practice which they would like to transfer to the Zasavje area is the management of the art work collection.

CTRIA HCC RoT Občina Jesenice CMS PAT PRA UNSPMF Chamber of Economy of Vojvodina