luni, 1 august 2016

Civic engagement brought back the portrait of Marion Davies to the center of a Romanian city

A vintage advertising image of the world’s most famous soft drink reappeared almost a hundred years after being released in the USA on a central building in Arad, a city in Romania.
According the, the portrait of the young, blonde actress holding a glass of Coca Cola was painted on the side of the building from the eastern end of the Meţianu Street in the 1990’s, a couple of years after the company started business in Romania.
Marion Davies was one the most famous silent film stars and appeared in the ad campaign featured in newspapers and items like tin serving trays, boxed playing cards or jewelry boxes, sold now as collectibles the internet.  
The only pedestrian street in Arad was modernized four years ago by the city, but the shape of the wall painting, which became an unofficial landmark of the city center, worsened every year until not much of it has left.
In May last year the cultural website started an online petition joined by 669 people. The subject was picked up by the local media and a month later the Marketing Department of the American beverage company contacted the initiators of the campaign and offered to restore the painting.
Art collector Laurenţiu Cladovan, who owns half of the building, filled all the paperwork needed for implementation of the project and in December last year the City Hall issued the certificate of urbanism, allowing it.
He, and all those who worked to make this dream come true, couldn’t wait for the summer to start the restoration. One last important task was to find the artists who could reproduce the image and create a painting that hopefully will last more than the original one.
Sabin Chintoan is known in Arad as a teacher at the local school of art who decorated several public spaces in the city, along with his students.
Together with his partner, Cătălina Oproiu, they realized many projects in the country, including 3D floor paintings, wall and canvas paintings, art reproductions and urban paintings.
Their work was featured in exhibitions in New York and Los Angeles and at the end of the year will be exposed at the Spectrum contemporary art show in Miami.
The artists managed to remake entirely the vintage ad in only three days at the end of July, working at a height of several meters, under the summer sun and being watched most of the time by passerby.
“This ad is beautiful and it’s a nice addition to the image of Arad” a local woman said, most of the residents being proud of the wall painting. 

Picture 1: Making of… Credit:
Picture 2: The wall painting before restoration. Credit:  
Picture 3: The artists with the finished painting. Credit: Sabin si Catalina Art Facebook page
Pictures 4 & 5: Marion Davies Coca Cola memorabilia  Credit:,

marți, 28 iulie 2015

Artistic bikes hanging from lampposts

People from the city of Arad (Western Romania) found recently some unusual objects in central locations, tied to lampposts and even hanging from them.
A group of local artists from an advertising agency transformed their old bicycles in artworks and exposed them in public spaces, encouraging residents to do the same.
So far, around ten “thematic” bikes were exposed in the city center. Each of them is different: painted entirely in a single color, or decorated with seashells, butterflies or leather stripes, representing its creator's personality.
The project called “Handsome Bikes” was accepted by the city administration, which offers the locations to expose the objects.
“We initiated this project to prove that small gestures, without big costs or budget from public funds, can matter. It takes only time and passion for art, color, life. The project is open to new partners, people and organizations that can create their own artistic bikes” the initiators say.
At the end of the project, a public vote will decide the most popular bike, which will be awarded.
“We are not involved politically, but our project has a message: more street art, more bicycles, more involvement from local businesses, more challenges for the creative youngsters, more green, more air, more tourism and more beauty in this city!” the founders of the Hello Bike Arad community states. 

                                                    Photo: Hello Bike / Facebook

vineri, 29 mai 2015

"Romania – Martial Art Hall of Fame" gala with special guest Don "The Dragon" Wilson

Martial art fans from Western Romania and nearby countries are invited Saturdy, May 30th, to the “Romania – Martial Art Hall of Fame” gala in Arad.
Starting from 9 AM EET, eight grandmasters from Germany, Switzerland, Serbia, Italy, Portugal, Hong Kong and Sweden, including Herbert Forster, Mauro Rovelli, and Samuel Kwok will present Karate, Taekwondo, Ju Aikido, Kenpo, Wing Chun, Okinawa Karate, Shotokan Karate and Kyokushin Karate training sessions at the Sala Polivalenta sports center.
The special guests of the event come from the United States and are famous from several movies they starred: 11-time kickboxing world champion Don “The Dragon” Wilson and Cynthia Rothrock “The Lady Dragon”.
They will host a demonstration from 1 PM, followed by an official presentation held by the organizers.
The event was initiated by the Arad Matters action platform with a local karate school and sponsored by the County Council of Arad.

marți, 18 noiembrie 2014

Romanian team at the Stihl Timbersports World Championship 2014

Teams representing 23 countries, including Romania, competed last weekend at the Innsbruck Olympic Arena in Austria at the Stihl Timbersports World Championship 2014. The total prizes of the competition worth 60 000 Euro.
The members of the Romanian team were Csongor Nagy, Ioan Nyamcsuk, Botond Nagy, Dan Petrescu and Cornel Pleş, the contestants who had the best results at the National Championship organized in August near the city of Arad (Western Romania).
The contest involves six disciplines: Springboard, Stock Saw, Standing Block, Underhand Chop, Single Buck and Hot Saw (using a customized chain saw with a modified engine).
Friday took place the Team Relay Championships, followed by the Individual World Championships on Saturday. Romania was in group with four other countries: The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Turkey.
Current Romanian Champion, 26 years old Csongor Nagy didn’t pass the individual qualifications for the first five places. His best result was the fifth place at the Stock Saw category.
The Romanian team met Denmark in the second change of the qualification and missed the eight finals by only three and half minutes.
The 2014 World Championship was broadcast live on the internet and will be aired on Eurosport channel on December 12.
Stihl Timbersports Series was founded in 1985 and is considered the major league of lumberjack sports worldwide, testing athletes’ strength, endurance and skill in a series of thrilling, high-octane chopping and sawing events.
The Romanian Championship is organized every year, since 2009.

The Romanian team

Romanian champion Csongor Nagy

Botond Nagy at the team competition
Photos: The Official Stihl Timbersports Series Facebook page

luni, 10 noiembrie 2014

Romanian runner finished 64th at the Athens Marathon

A Romanian runner finished on the 64th place out of 13 000 contestants at this year’s edition of the prestigious Athens Marathon.
Roland Unterweger ran the 42 195 meter long distance in two hours, 52 minutes and 46 seconds, probably the best result for Romania in the history of the competition.
The 29-year-old member of the Kipkelenge Running Team from Arad (Western Romania) started running three years ago and participated to several competitions this year in Paris, Salzburg, Budapest or Berlin.
“Thank you all for the wishes and good thoughts. I hug you”, Unterweger wrote on his Facebook page a few hours after the competition as a response to his friends congratulations.
The second Romanian to cross the finish line was 41-year-old Adrian Petruţ from Bucharest, in three hours, 28 minutes and 33 seconds, on the 669th place. He is a member of the Ro Club Maraton, the first Romanian club of amateur marathon runners.
Other three Romanian athletes managed to get in the top 1000: Alexandru Vişan (742nd place), Matei Cristian (944, Ro Club Maraton) and Virgiliu Badea (991).
At the 32nd Athens Marathon – the Authentic, Romania was represented by 43 runners, including 13 women. The youngest Romanian participant is 19 years old; the oldest was born in 1958.
According to legend, the competition it covers the same ground that the Athenian messenger Phiedippides ran when he brought news of victory from the battlefield of Marathon in 490 BC. 
The Athens Marathon is recognized as the original marathon course and it was the same course used in the 2004 Olympics held in Athens
This year’s winner is Felix Kipchirchir Kandie from Kenya, with a new record of record of two hours, 10 minutes and 37 seconds. Women’s race was won also by a Kenyan runner, Naomi Jepkogei Maiyo (2:41.06).

Photo: Romanian runner Roland Unterweger after the competition, with his wife, Marina Anca

vineri, 7 noiembrie 2014

Western Romanian psychiatric hospitals start using therapeutic gardening

The 70 patients of the Psychiatric Hospital from Căpâlnaş, a village located 93 kilometers east from Arad, are having a new occupation starting this week: gardening.
Marcela Nicşanu, a landscape engineer, initiated the project to help and calm the patients. She chose vivid colors and created mostly circular floral arrangements, many of them from plants that withstand cold season. “The smell of the flowers in spring will be the third important factor, besides their color and the shape of arrangements. There have clear therapeutic effects” the engineer says.
The 1 500 square meter garden includes 3 000 plants and was opened by the president of the Arad County Council, the institution who invested 100 000 lei in this project.
“There is an increasing incidence of mental illness in Romania, which demands us to give special attention to patients” council president Nicolae Ioţcu declared.
Patients are also making collages using dried flowers and plants and autumnal arrangements from flowers, fruits and other natural elements, all being exposed as part of an exhibition at the hospital.
According to the manager of the medical unit, all those involved in the project all are engaging themselves in work and they are enjoying it.
The hospital functions in a castle built at the end of the 19th century and is surrounded by a 12 hectare park.
This is the second therapeutic garden in Arad County, after the one inaugurated in June in the yard of the Mocrea Psychiatric Hospital, which was also the first in Romania.
The therapy known as Horticultural Therapy (HT) uses plants, gardens, and other aspects of nature to improve people’s social, spiritual, physical and emotional well-being. It is used in a growing number of psychiatric hospitals in Western Europe and the USA.

luni, 20 octombrie 2014

Romanian-Hungarian movie co-production, presented in Budapest

A short film co-produced by the Arad Chamber Theater was presented last week at the first edition of the Hungarian Film Week in Budapest, an event held by the Hungarian National Film Fund and the National Media and Infocommunications Authority.
The movie called “Agape” is one of the two common projects of the Hungarian theater from the Western Romanian city and Mirage Film Studio from Budapest and was financed by the Hungarian Media Sponsorship Program in 2013.
The film presents life on a typical farm, where time seems to have stopped, through the perspective of an old couple. The main roles are played by awarded Hungarian actors, including Haumann Péter and Romanian born Lázár Katalin.
The director, Bánovits Ottó graduated the University of the Arts London and participated last year to the Cannes International Film Festival as screenwriter for the movie „Awake”.
„Agape” and the other international co-production called „Stage fright” will be presented in Arad in early 2015.  
The international artistic collaboration continues, as another project of the theater and the Hungarian company was selected for financing in 2014. Shooting is planned to begin next March.
The total budget of the three films is almost 50 000 Euro and all of them will be presented on the Hungarian public television.

Photo: Arad Chamber Theater