The Karkonosze and the Jizera Mountains, as well as in valleys surrounding them – Jeleniogórska Valley and Kamiennogórska Valley - I have met two kinds of artists.

Some, seemingly lost in time, search for themselves in the woods and meadows on the hills of Kopanka, Michalowice, Przesieka or Kwieciszowice, among the mountains of Karpacz and Szklarska Poreba. Away from the cities they assimilate with the local landscape, as if drawing nourishment from the secret knowledge of these lands. Their art touches upon the secrets of the Walloon treasure hunters, alchemical discoveries of ancient glaziers, the art of the herbalists and lab workers, thoughts of mystics and visionaries, or follow the ways of religions of the East. In silence, focused on the recognition of self, inextricably tied to the place, they continue the magic history with their art.

Others, fascinated with the pace of modern life, running to make it on time and to be at the forefront, discover and build new worlds and new realities. They tell an entirely new story with their art, thus designing the future still unknown.

They came from outside and stayed. They have a common feature – they are active in shaping the reality of the region. They become animators of the broadly understood cultural life, have a strong impact on local communities, and organize them around non-prosaic subjects of life. They form a large colony of artists in the Jizera and Karkonosze. Aware people, active people, who want to do something, and who can do it. They have creatively tamed the place and its present.

Each of these places deserves the name of an artists' colony, although it has been given to Szklarska Poreba – which due to its historical and literary-artistic traditions has been entered to the Euro-Art European Federation of Art Colonies in 2005. But unlike other places in Europe, similar only to Kazimierz on the Vistula River, it is still a live colony, populated by active and well-known artists, poets, people of culture. Therefore, it is in Szklarska Poreba, and not in the picturesque Przesieka or the creative Kopaniec, that New Mill association found its seat, bringing together artists from around the region, including painters, sculptors, graphic artists, weavers, potters but also people of the theater, art historians and ordinary enthusiasts.

The name of the association refers to the Mill of St. Luke, the traditional headquarters of the St. Luke Artistic Association of Authors in Szklarska Poreba, operating in the twenties and thirties of the 20th century, emphasizing of follow up activity. Another similarity is the fascination with mountain landscapes and the need to co-organize art events. However, there are as many differences as there are members of the association.
As a very young association, it is seeking its own path into the future. The intuitively created plans are included in slogans found in the Statute:

The overall aim of the association is to promote the development of culture, art, preservation of cultural heritage and cultural traditions, as well as promoting European integration and to develop contacts and cooperation between societies.
Detailed objectives:

  1. To promote the achievements of past and contemporary artistic and cultural communities operating in the Ziemia Jeleniogorska, Karkonosze and the Jizera Mountains,
  2. To support the development of culture in the region, and expand circles of its audience,
  3. To promote the idea of artistic patronage,
  4. To promote the integration of the creative communities,
  5. To develop the material base in service of education and artistic creativity,

In practice, this means above all an attempt to get to know each other and create a representative power to take up the discussion with the authorities deciding on the fate of the location and try to transform the surrounding world into one valuable and easier to live in.

Bożena Danielska - art historian, senior curator, head of the branch of the Karkonosze Museum in Szklarska Poreba - House of Carl and Gerhart Hauptmann

WATCH - Artists of the New Mill, authors from Szklarska Poreba.