ALENA FOUSTKOVÁ

+420 604 210 236

foustkalena@hotmail.com

www.alenafoustkova.com

www.artlist.com

Alena Foustková graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, Czech Republic, with a Master degree in Fine Arts in 1982, majoring in printmaking. In 1984 she and her husband decided to leave then Czechoslovakia and eventually settled in Canada, Toronto. Her Canadian and advertising experience gained in various Canadian advertising agencies became valuable after 1989 in the Czech Republic and Alena got a work offer by a well-known ad agency Saatchi&Saatchi which was just opening an office in Prague. She and her family decided to move back to the Czech Republic in 1995 and live there ever since. Alena worked until 2009 in international advertising agencies as an Art Director and Creative Director and gained numerous awards for excellence in advertising. Her work was collected also by the Neue Sammlung in Munich, Germany, for their permanent collection.

Since 2009, Alena has devoted her time mainly to the arts. She also teaches at international universities in Prague, namely the Anglo American University, UNYP (University of New York in Prague) and she has been a Mentor and lecturer of on-line courses for the International Program in Lebanon of the Empire State College, a New York State University.

“Alena focuses in her work for many years on social issues and the effects of mass media. She works with sign systems and symbols which function as codes of a content. She captures fragments of reality in the information chaos.”

(Vladimíra Bruchácková Závodná, Gallery Závodný, Mikulov, 2014).

Alena’s visual language expresses our more and more commercialized society through bar-coded images, like the Collective bar code, 2012, which she created from second-hand, hand-knitted pieces of clothes bought by the author. Then she and her mother took them apart and Alena’s mother knitted the balls again into a colorful, anonymous bar-code having the energy of all those anonymous women-knitters.

Alena’s social interest manifested in a group show called Hatefree and Transgender Me in the Centre for Contemporary Art, DOX, in 2016 and 2012, in Prague. In her latest installation called Dictionary, Alena dealt with the issue of tolerance – intolerance. Visitors actively engaged in the process of the selection by tearing off papers with what they want to be and what they do not want to be like. In the other site specific project the artist wrote for four days on two large walls of the gallery one sentence "I am normal." This work was called a Punishment and the installation was aiming at making people think about their acceptance of what they consider as normal and about the limits of tolerance. The show continued later on in Berlin with her installation of hundreds of written school notebook pages with a written text "Ich bin normal".

In 2012 Alena showed her work in a solo show in the Bohemian National Hall in New York. It was called "Where is my home" (just as the title of the Czech National Anthem). It spoke of her personal interpretation of emigration and longing for a homeland. Some of the pieces were part of the SWAN exhibition in Prague GUD Gallery, 2016.

In the show for the Gallery of the City Blansko, 2011, Alena worked with the visitors of the gallery asking them to participate in her project called “Do you care?”. They were asked to take part in her hand-made glued paper bags installation created from newspaper pages with selected articles focusing on social, cultural and political topics. The participants blew air into a bag of their choice, banged it and placed it back. "The artist in an almost meditative enclosure (or nearly prison-like?) cut up all types of the newspapers that surround us, into appropriate forms and glued them together creating paper bags (!!!!!) hung on hooks, again, in a sort of a minimalist structure ... But here the interaction with the audience is even more important: we have also been asked to realize not only the aesthetic qualities but, primarily, the semantics of the communication sequence chosen: and then which most surprises or upsets us, properly inflated with our breath are ... slammed against...."

(From a catalogue, Blansko, 2011, curator Dr. Ji?í Valoch)

Another show in 2014 was prepared in a partnership with a well-known conceptual Austrian artist Eva Schlegel focusing on texts again, this time her visual interpretations of poems related to a specific Moravian region written by a great Czech poet of the 20th century, Jan Skacel.

Selected exhibitions:

PUBLICATIONS AND OTHER ACTIVITIES

Selected Solo Art shows

2016 Gallery AMB, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

2015 Industrial gallery, Ostrava, Czech Republic

2013 Gallery Sam83, ?eská B?íza, Czech Republic

2012 Bohemian National House, BBLA Gallery, New York, USA

2011 Hotel Hoffmeister, Prague, Czech Republic / Days of Canadian Culture

2011 Gallery Vernon Project, Prague, Czech Republic, site-specific project

2011 Gallery of city Blansko, Czech Republic

2011 Gallery Školská 28, Prague, Czech Republic, kinetic object

2010 Gallery of Art Critics, Prague, Czech Republic

2008 Gallery Kruh (Circle), Ostrava, Czech Republic

Selected Group Art shows

2016 Kunsthalle, Bratislava, Slovakia

2016 DOX, Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague

2015 Topi? Salon, Prague, Concretist Club - KK3

2015 Concretist Club - KK3, Hradec Králové

2014 Gallery Zavodny, Mikulov, Czech Republic, (partnership with Eva Schlegel)

2013 Czech Center, Berlin, Germany

2012 DOX, Centre For Contemporary Art, Prague, Czech Republic

2012 University of Tampa, USA, Scarfone/Hartley Gallery, Installation

2011 Kit Schulte Gallery, Berlin, Germany

2011 International festival of Contemporary Art, Tina-B, Prague, Czech Republic

2011 International Art Symposium, Udine, Italy,

+ Group show Udine, Italy

2011 International Art Symposium, Šternberk, Czech Republic, 2011

2011 Gallery G, Olomouc, Czech Republic

2005 Art Canada 5, Gallery of New City Hall, Prague, Czech Republic,

group show of 5 Czech-Canadian woman artists

Collections:

Private collections in the Czech Republic, Switzerland, England, USA and Canada.

Die Neue Sammlung, Munich, Germany – a series of posters in the permanent collection

Education:

Academy of Fine Arts, Prague, Czech Republic, M.F.A., 1976 - 1982

George Brown College, Toronto, Canada, Certificate in Commercial Arts,

1984 - 1985

Work Experience:

2013

Anglo American University, Prague, Czech Republic

Lecturer - Media and Marketing

2012

University of Tampa, Florida, USA

Guest speaker, Global Scholar Series, College of Arts and Letters

University lecturer:

2012 - Present

ESC - Empire State College, New York

International Programs - Lebanon,

Mentor for the Graphic Arts Programs,

On-line Course of Visual Literacy, Design Thinking

2011 - Present

ESC - Empire State College, New York

Lecturer - on-line course Design Thinking, Lebanon Program

2009 - present

University of New York in Prague, UNYP,

Academic Board Representative

courses:

Intro to advertising,

Art and Architecture of Prague

Art of the Western World

Design Thinking

2011 - Present

Prague College

Lecturer - Advertising and Promotion

2010

Tiffin University, Prague, lecturer:

Design / Art of the Western World

NYU, Prague - Student Programs:

2012 - Present

Guided tours leader

Owner, Creative Director of MaMa Studio

advertising, design

Advertising:

2008 - 2009

Associated Creative Director, JWT Prague

2000 - 2008

EURO RSCG, Prague, Creative Leader

1995 - 2000

Saatchi&Saatchi, Prague, Senior Art Director

1990 - 1995

Gingko Group, Toronto, Canada

(part of Draft Worldwide Group), Senior Art Director

1986 - 1990

Weiss & Associates, Toronto, Canada, Art Director

1985 - 1986

Moores, Toronto, Canada, Art director

Teaching / Lecturing:

Design Thinking Course - Practical hands on experience in developing new and innovative ideas based on a method which combines analytic logic with an intuition. Suitable for business leaders, problem solving needs, social projects, improvement of an organizational structure, the arts or design.

Art of the Western World - Course focuses on understanding of the history of the Western art in a historical context.

Art and Architecture of Prague - Architectural styles and the art from the

Romanesque period until present learned through walking the streets of

Prague, supported by lectures and PPT presentations.

Introduction to Advertising - Course aims at learning to distinguish a good

advertising from a great advertising, practicing processes and strategy,

discussing controversial issues, social advertising and understanding integrated marketing communications.

Variety of national and international awards: 

New York Festival – Print Finalist 2006,

Cresta New York Awards – Print Finalist 2005, Golden Drum - Silver - Print 2004,

Golden Drum - Advertising Campaign –

Finalist 2005, 

Golden Hammer - Silver - Print 2004, 2005, Louskácek – Bronz - Print 2004, 

Golden Effie 2005,

Zlatý Štocek – 2004, 2005, 2006,

AKA Awards – Gold 2003, 2004, 2005,

Tour Region Film – Silver 2005,

etc.

Achievements:

Work published in Archive magazine,

Member of ADC Prague,

Member of international jury Cresta Awards New York, 

Member of jury in Louskacek (Czech national advertising awards),

Member of international jury Zlaty Klinec - Slovakia,

Various articles published in MaM and

Strategie magazines