The VUB Foundation has a long history of supporting the visual arts. Its best-known activity is the prestigious and unique art competition Maľba (Painting) – The VUB Foundation award for paintings by young artists, which it is has run since 2006. The competition’s mission is to support the work of young artists, to contribute to its promotion, to improve and cultivate the art of painting, to raise the public profile of this art and to help young artists begin their careers in the arts.
The competition is intended for professional visual artists under the age of 35 years. Painters enter by proposing one of their own works that they have painted in the last three years. Entrants must also present a portfolio with examples of their work.
Entries are judged in two rounds. In the first round the judges pick their selections for the shortlist of 20 works, which is determined based on the total score from all the judges. These pictures are assessed in situ at the competition exhibition and the jury chooses the three prize winners by consensus.
The composition of the specialist jury is international and changes every year. The jury includes working artists, curators, gallery managers, art historians and art theorists. The international character of the jury guarantees a fresh view on the entered paintings free of preconceptions and the membership guarantees impartial and open discussion. Young Slovak artists thus come to the attention of the international curator community.