The Association of Polish Artists and Designers (ZPAP), with its main office in Warsaw, is the largest official association of professional artists in Poland. It was established in Kraków in 1911. It represents 8,500 artists working in the field of visual arts, including: painting, graphic design, sculpture, medallic art, ceramics, glass, stained glass and fabric arts as well as industrial design, interior and set design, art restoration and exhibition design. ZPAP membership is limited to graduates of Academies of Fine Arts and art faculties of other institutions of higher learning. Every three years the Association recruits new members solely on the basis of their artistic achievements.
The Association has a network of 22 regional Chapters located in the largest cities across the country and operates two professional development retreats, in Ustka and in Świnoujście.
ZPAP supports exhibitions in dozens of its art galleries. A chain of shops supplying professional materials for visual artists has been unabatedly popular with regular customers. ZPAP organises numerous national and international outdoor painting and sculpture workshops.
For many years, the Association has been an advocacy group working for changes regulating labor laws applicable to practising visual art professionals (including “Spatial Planning and Land Development Act”, “Building Code”, “The Housing Cooperatives Act”, “Act on Copyright and Neighbouring Rights”). In 1996, the Association organized the UNESCO conference around the international status of an artist and since then, it has encouraged respecting the status by Poland.
As the Polish National Committee of the International Association of Art/UNESCO, we have our own representative at the IAA World Executive Committee. The Association of Polish Artists and Designers is also represented in the European Council of Artists.
The Main Board of the Association of Polish Artists and Designers is the publisher of Biuletyn Informacyjny (Information Bulletin), a free monthly magazine, published in electronic form on CDs and available on-line at http://www.zpap.pl.
Since 1996, ZPAP is a reproduction rights organisation and deals with collective rights of the visual artwork management. Currently, ZPAP manages copyrights of about 1000 members. As a part of its operation, the Association is in charge of issuing licenses for the commercial use of their artwork.
The economic activity of the Association’s Main Board is run under the name ART ZPAP and is geared toward serving directly the members of the Association by helping to generate income and stimulate economic development and, in case of sole traders, providing them with opportunities to operate within a big nationwide structure and take advantage of its benefits, such as countrywide publicity, centralised ordering systems, legal and bookkeeping assistance. These are the areas of economic activity covered by ART ZPAP, in particular: 1) fine art services in designing, architecture, graphic and interior design, 2) advertising, 3) franchising, 4) art trade intermediary services and renting works of art.
In accordance with objectives outlined in the statute of the Association of Polish Artists and Designers, the organisation supports development and popularization of visual arts, and also protects freedom of artistic expression of visual artists.