The exhibition at the CHF features the sculptures of Marijan Mirt, the artistic photography of Vlaho Brangjolica and the promotion of a book by Stipe Cvitan.

The Circle’s Vibes inter-media event is the first of this year’s presentations of artistic achievement by artists from the Croatian minority communities abroad at the Croatian Heritage Foundation.
The exhibition at CHF headquarters, featuring the sculptures of Marijan Mirt, a native of Zagreb now working in Maribor, the artistic photography of Skopje resident Vlaho Brangjolica and the promotion of a book by Piran resident Stipe Cvitan, was presented on the 22nd of September by event moderator and art historian Ljerka Galic.
Also at the opening to welcome the gathered was CHF director Mijo Marić, who said that he was very happy to see this event take place and with the permanent donation to the CHF of Vlaho Brangjolica’s Kalamota, dalje od svjetlosti (Kalamota, Far From Light) series of photographs dedicated to the island of Koločep (known locally as Kalamota).
On hand to heighten the wonderful atmosphere of the event with their rendition of Stipe Cvitan’s Garoful i Murtela was the Klapa Dalmari a cappella ensemble out of Maribor. The group is led by Marko Mandir, an initiator of this gathering and president of the Croatian Culture Association of Maribor, the oldest ethnic Croatian association in neighbouring Slovenia.
Croatian Writers’ Association president and writer Đuro Vidmarović was also there to offer his discerning presentation of Piran resident Stipe Cvitan’s collection of poetry Poleti kalebe, published by the Croatian Culture Society of Maribor.
Stipe Cvitan is a retired sailor and a poet, born in Tribunj near Šibenik in 1928. He moved to Piran in neighbouring Slovenia in 1955. He has authored several collections of poetry and is the recipient of the 2014 Tartini Award. His printed collections include Maslina u ledini (2007), Ne odi nider (2010) and Babin pas (2012).
Cvitan could not, because of his advanced age, personally take part in the event and we sorely missed the authentic Čakavian dialect of this folk poet and native of Tribunj.
The following acoustic backdrop was extraordinarily lively. On the air was the team of Študent Radio, the only Croatian language radio programme in Slovenia. This is again the work of the Croatian Culture Association of Maribor and their leader, the youngest head of an ethnic Croatian association in neighbouring Slovenia.
The second presentation featured professional sculptor and painter Marijan Mirt. He heads the Milena Lah arts section of the Croatian Culture Association of Maribor and is the vice president of the Maribor Artists’ Association. He earned his master’s degree at Zagreb’s Academy of Fine Arts, is the recipient of many prizes and awards and is active as a painter, sculptor and printmaker. He has exhibited at nineteen solo and group showings in his country of residence and abroad.
The third featured artist was Vlaho Brangjolica, who lives in the Macedonian capital of Skopje. He was born in the Croatian-Macedonian family of composer Ljubomir and ballerina Vera. He earned his degree at the Faculty of Fine Arts in the Macedonian capital in 1987 and received professional training at Vienna’s University of Applied Arts in 1995. He has staged a number of solo exhibitions of prints and photography and taken part in numerous group exhibitions in the homeland and abroad.
Both academy-trained artists thanked the gathered and the Croatian Heritage Foundation for the opportunity to take part in this project. CHF director Marić presented them with commemorative gifts in anticipation of future meetings.
Special advisor for Croatian minority communities abroad Milan Bošnjak greeted the artists, the CHF associates and guests on behalf of State Secretary Zvonko Milas and the State Office for Croats Abroad. Minister Counsellor Matjaž Marko, on hand representing the Slovenian ambassador to Croatia Smiljana Knez, declared the exhibition officially open.
Painter Vincent van Gogh’s (1853–1890) verses on the homeland, as interpreted by event moderator Galic, wonderfully rounded off this day dedicated to artists and their art.

By: Diana Šimurina-Šoufek; Photography: Snježana Radoš