An exhibition featuring the paintings of artist Friar Petar Perica Vidić opened at the CHF to mark the artist’s eightieth birthday.

An exhibition opened at the Zagreb headquarters of the Croatian Heritage Foundation on the 27th of March featuring the paintings of academician and artist Friar Petar Perica Vidić. The event, marking his 80th birthday, is co-organised with the Vukovar branch office of the CHF.
The exhibition, staged ahead of the Roman Catholic celebration of Easter, included a performance by the Zorja ethnic music ensemble, joined by Marjana Kremer and Maja Ivanković in folk costume from the village of Janjevo in Kosovo, of Gospin plač (derived from the Planctus Beatae Virginis Mariae). The melody is found in a small collection titled Bdijenje na Veliki petak (The Easter Vigil on Great Friday, published by the Apostolic Administration of Prizren, Bureau of the Croatian Faithful of Kosovo, specimen from Kistanje, 2003).
Presenting the artist and his work was Ljerka Galic, the head of our emigrant heritage department and Silvio Jergović, head of the Vukovar branch office of the CHF.
Speaking of the artist Galic noted that Friar Petar is still going strong in his painting, with a passionate use of colour and an effusive joie de vivre, with even the snow depicted in his paintings as multihued.
Galic quoted academician Vera Horvat Pintarić who emphasised that she wrote only of the works she had seen first hand, noting that, “only a direct introduction to the work allows us to observe the experience and the process of empathising, which is necessary in comprehending a work of art.”
Silvio Jergović spoke of the past fifteen years of the work of the Vukovar branch office of the CHF and of the exemplary cooperation with local institutions and the Vukovar chapter of Matrix Croatica, though which our collaboration with Friar Petar Vidić was established.
Friar Vidić spoke emotionally of his path through life, emphasising his three passions—for God and prayer, for people and for art. He works in pastels and oil on canvas at St Anthony’s monastery in the old part of Sarajevo, depicting nature in fresh colours and referring to it as the “bridge between heaven and earth.”
A member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Friar Vidić has waived his honorarium in favour of the impoverished, with every painting sold going for a humanitarian cause.
The exhibition was declared open by CHF director Mijo Marić, who reminisced about the times when he was a young parishioner in the parish led by then chaplain Vidić.
Friar Petar Perica Vidić was born in Sarajevo in 1938, where he attended elementary school before moving on to Visoko to attend the Franciscan Classical Gymnasium. He earned a degree in philosophy and theology at the Franciscan School of Theology in Sarajevo. From 1962 he worked in the atelier of academy-educated painter Gabrijel Jurkić before moving to the atelier of academy-educated painter Stane Kregar in Ljubljana from 1965 to 1966. In the summer of 1966 he moved to Vienna to study in the printmaking department of the Academy of Fine Arts under professor Max Melcher. He taught art from 1970 and later art history at the Franciscan Classical Gymnasium in Visoko. He has held a number of posts within the Franciscan province of Bosna Srebrena. In 2000 he was appointed president of the Sarajevo chapter of Matrix Croatica and in 1995 was accepted as a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He has taken part in a number of group exhibitions and has staged over seventy solo exhibitions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and abroad. He is the guardian of St Anthony’s Franciscan Monastery at Bistrik in Sarajevo. In 2011 Roman Catholic supreme pontiff Benedict XVI decorated Vidić with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (For Church and Pope) award. He lives and works in Sarajevo.

By: Naida Šehović; Photography: Snježana Radoš