Talente Competition. Wolfgang Lösche and Michaela Braesel interviewed by Klimt02

Published: 19.07.2017
Wolfgang Lösche & Michaela Braesel Wolfgang Lösche & Michaela Braesel
Carolin Denter
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Talente aims at young artists-craftsmen and has concerning the application an age limit of 33 years of age at the time of application. Therefore, Talente is explicitly an exhibition that is devoted to presenting works of young artists-craftsmen who have finished their studies or are still studying. You can show only once your work at Talente.
We have found that many students do not understand the difference between Schmuck and Talente  Can you briefly explain the main idea and the aims of the Talente Award and the difference to the Schmuck exhibition?
There are three main differences between the two exhibitions. Firstly, Talente aims at young artists-craftsmen and has concerning the application an age limit of 33 years of age at the time of application. Therefore, Talente is explicitly an exhibition that is devoted to presenting works of young artists-craftsmen who have finished their studies or are still studying. Secondly, you can show only once your work at Talente. In contrast, there is no age limit concerning Schmuck and depending on the choice of the jury you can be invited to show your work several times. It is one of the aims of Schmuck to follow the career of the artists over a long time, to observe the different stages of their work. Thirdly, Talente is not limited like Schmuck to jewellery alone but shows work from all parts of the applied arts and in many different materials like glass, ceramic, textiles, metal, wood, plastics etc.

The Schmuck exhibtion is 20 years older than the Talente Award. What has changed for Schmuck and where are the differences since Talente appeared?
For “Schmuck” things did not change fundamentally by “Talente”. One change might be the stronger interest in young artists in applying for “Schmuck”. Nevertheless, it is still the aim that young artists show their work first at “Talente” taking into account the age limit of the exhibition. “Talente” has the intention to support, to foster the career of young artists.

How and when came the Idea of this Award into being?
“Talente” was founded in 1970 explicitly to promote young artists-craftsmen, to inspire them by showing works by students from different international schools, therewith at the same time introducing students and the public to new trends and diverse approaches, which were represented by the schools.

 What represents the Talente Award for newcomers?
They have with Talente an opportunity to present their work at an early stage of their careers to an international audience. If their work is selected or even receives the Talente award it supports their point of view and therefore acts as some sort of confirmation. This might be an encouragement which might be important in the early stages of the career and might help in pursuing the selected direction.

Adéla Wiesenbergová, Necklace: Nude of Yakuza, 2016, Padouk-veneer, bent, glued.
60 x 110 x 45 cm, Awarded at: Talente Competition 2017


Why should young talents in particular submit their work at the Talente Award?
If their work is selected, they have with Talente the possibility to show their work at an international exhibition to an international public, to collectors and representatives of important galleries. As the International Crafts Fair is an international meeting point of artists and people interested in the arts and crafts from all over the world, they have the chance to establish and to intensify their network.
With the Talente catalogue, they have a publication and a medium that will transmit their works. They gain experience in organizing international exhibition transports and can establish via their works links to galleries therefore gaining further exhibition venues.
As “Talente” is an internationally prestigious exhibition, it is helpful to be able to list it in the CV.
The application with “Talente” has some utterly practical points too: While applying the young artists gain experience in organizing their work for international competitions and they learn about the knowhow for such applications.

The Award is open for young Artists and Designers under the age of 33. Where do you see the importance and need to support  especially this young newcomers? How does this support looks like?
Especially for young artists it is important to show their works to an international public, to attract galleries and collectors, to meet international fellow artists. It is also important to have a publication featuring the work. All this is done with Talente. The support is mainly in showing and publishing the work and in the comparatively generous conditions of the exhibition for the artists, which are only possible because of the generous support by the Bavarian State. This means that there are no exhibition fees, that the catalogue entry is free as well as the return transport and the insurance for exhibition and return transport. If it is possible to organize a collective transport in which all exhibits from one country are send together to Munich the transport to “Talente” can be supported finacially.

The Talente Award has established itself within time as a serious, acknowledged and prestigious Award. What are the pillars of success of the Talente Award?
The pillars of the success of Talente are its close network of mentors who recommend Talente to the artists and artists to Talente. As the artists-craftsmen are young, often have just or even not yet finished their studies, and have not a long history of exhibitions it is very difficult to know about their work especially if they are from far away countries like China, Japan or South Korea. The network of professors enables us to find promising young talents directly after they left the school/academy or during the last stages of their education. This is only possible via the support of the artists/craftsmen teaching. In this “Talente” has a special place in international exhibitions, which is due to the continuous international cooperation with teachers, artists and institutions.

Woo Jung Kim, Bracelet: Imaginary Setting, 2016, Acrylic, photos, digital picture editing, cut.
9.5 x 9 x 7 cm, Awarded at: Talente Competition 2017, From series: Imaginary Setting

What trends did you find in the context of the judging process?
Concerning “Talente” there are some subjects, which always recur like nature, home country, remembrance, family, the body. In the last year, there was special interest in materials and the crafts as well as in issues of beauty. But trends from former years are continued like environment and the connected subjects of resources and recycling. In former years connects with the Aids disease was a special interest in questions of health.

What challenges do you see for the future of Design?
It seems that the line between Design and Crafts is getting more permeable, that the Crafts give individuality to functional works. Moreover, it seems that young artists-craftsmen are very interested in materials, that they are eager to experiment with different materials, that they like to find new surfaces or ways of working with a material. There seems to be a certain tiredness with design objects, which are everywhere the same. Instead, it seems to be the aim of the artist-craftsmen and the customer to work and own objects which are individual and personal, which are not interchangeable and which are not be found everywhere. In times in which the information travels so fast it is always important to have something special and this is possible via the crafts.

About the Interviewee

Wolfgang Lösche is head of the department of exhibition and fairs at the Chamber of Skilled Trades (Munich and Upper Bavarian County). He has been in charge of the Schmuck and Talente exhibitions for the past 10 years. Lösche is responsible for picking an external juror for each year’s selection. Lösche makes sure that Schmuck gets plenty of exposure abroad. Past touring destinations have included: Dublin, Ireland (1991); Kilmarnock, Scotland (2002); New York, New York, USA (2006); Padua, Italy (2007); Birmingham, England and Lodz, Poland (2008); Melbourne, Australia (2009); and Cagnes-sur-Mer, France (2011). Finally, Wolfgang Lösche is manager of Galerie Handwerk, the Chamber of Skilled Trades’ retail gallery. Each year, Galerie Handwerk organizes seven exhibitions showcasing different arts and crafts disciplines, as well as an international jewelry exhibition during Schmuck.


Dr. Michaela Braesel, studied art history in Kiel and London. Ph.D. 1987. She works at the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Hamburg and at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. Since 2008 at the Handwerkskammer für München and Oberbayern in the department for trade fairs and exhibitions. She is organizer of the special show "Talente" for the International Crafts Fair in Munich and for exhibitions at Galerie Handwerk Munich.

Wolfgang Lösche, studied folklore and art history in Munich. 1984 he worked at the Bavarian National Museum Munich. From 1985 to 2002 he worked in the Department of Trade Fairs and Exhibitions of the Chamber of Crafts for Munich and Oberbayern. Since 2003 he is director of the Galerie Handwerk and the international special exhibitions for the Handwerksmesse Munich.

About the author

Carolin completed her training as Goldsmith at Master School for Craftsmen in Kaiserslautern in 2013. In 2015 she made an Internship at Klimt02, where she is working since 2016 as Content Manager. In 2017 she graduated as Bachelor of Fine Arts in Gemstone and Jewellery at Univeristy of Applied Science Trier, Campus Idar-Oberstein. After her graduation she started working  part time as Marketing and Designmanagement Assistance at Campus Idar-Oberstein in the Gemstone and Jewellery Departement.