The idea of ‘Z krosna do Krosna’ International Artistic Linen Cloth Biennial organizing by the Museum of Crafts in Krosno originated at the beginning of 2000. At that time, a group of enthusiasts: Ewa Mańkowska (the director of the museum in the years 1990-2021), Anna Kobak-Pisowacka (a fibre artist, 1950-2003) and her husband - Jerzy Pisowacki, came up with an ingenious idea to continue the weaving traditions of Krosno in an unconventional way, especially in the face of the then collapsing Krosno Linen Industry Plant ‘Krosnolen’.
‘Z krosna do Krosna’ Biennial is a competition and a series of exhibitions. The main competition is addressed to professional artists. The DEBUTS Competition has also been held as part of the biennial from the 5th edition (2008) onwards . It is addressed to the last year students of Polish art universities and art departments of other Polish universities as well as to graduates of these universities (one year after graduation). A participant can take part in the DEBUTS Competition only once.
The main objectives of the Krosno Biennial include: referring to the rich weaving traditions of Krosno and the region, and their continuation in the field of contemporary art. However, common weaving traditions and the sense of shared identity in the area of the broadly understood heritage of the countries of the Carpathian Euroregion do not exclude exposing the cultural diversity and weaving traditions of other countries of the world. The goals of the biennial also include: exhibiting works made on the basis of linen in Krosno, and from the 11th edition onwards also on the basis of other natural fibres; organizing recurrent meetings of artists and their works – combined with the exchange of ideas and creative experiences; the development of an artistic collection of linen cloth created at the Museum of Crafts in Krosno and its international promotion through the implementation of the exhibition formula.
The exhibition in Krosno is presented mainly in the Carpathian Euroregion. It is a traveling exhibition - there are usually several presentations. The substantive assumptions of the exhibition are based on the experiences of the Biennial of Small Woven Forms by prof. Ewa Maria Poradowska-Werszler, who is the artistic consultant of the biennial.
The scientific patronage over the biennial was held by prof. Irena Huml until her death (1928-2015) – an art historian, critic, educator and precursor of research in Polish artistic craftsmanship and design. She maintained professional ties with the Art Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Until the 7th edition of the biennale (2012), she was also the President of the Jury. The International Artistic Linen Cloth Biennial was managed by Ewa Mańkowska until 2021; currently Dr Marta Rymar (the director of the Museum of Crafts in Krosno) is in charge of the event. Since 2010, the biennial has been coordinated by Iwona Jurczyk - the art curator of the Museum of Crafts in Krosno.
‘Z krosna do Krosna’ International Artistic Linen Cloth Biennial has earned great recognition and got interest from artists as well as art critics. In fact, the biennial has not only been recognised by the international artists dealing with textiles, but above all, treated as an artistic event of serious importance. The proof of prestige is the participation in the event of artists from around the world: Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Canada, Latvia, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Scotland, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Hungary, Italy.
It is worth emphasizing that ‘Z krosna do Krosna’ International Artistic Linen Cloth Biennial is the only event of this type in the field of fibre art organized in Subcarpathia and one of the few in Poland. Due to its prestige and well-established popularity, it has become a permanent event in the calendar of international happenings in the field of artistic weaving.