Fresco and memories will live on

Šárka Kučerová
Pedagogical School in Litomyšl, Czechia

Erasmus has opened the door for me which I haven't thought I would look behind.
I had never dreamt of painting frescoes, which will probably outlive me. I have met amazing people with whom we became life-long friends. We are connected through extraordinary experiences we share. I have learned so many new things, discovered new places and corrected my view on cultural aspects, previously influenced by prejudice. I feel immensely grateful for the Erasmus experience.

Dominique Sabroux
Les Passeurs de Fresques, France

We were from four different countries, didn't know each other, for the most part we didn't speak English very well, and from the first meeting we created a difficult work together in front of which a whole school today organizes its parties, its diplomas, its receptions.

This Erasmus together are friendships for life and the pride of being European together. The age difference is not an obstacle but a wealth for everyone, each one learns from the others.

The strength of collective enthusiasm makes us forget the cold, the wind, the rain, the muscular fatigue, the small wounds of ego, hunger. Everyone gives the best so that the coating fits on the wall, that it is as smooth as possible to welcome as a caress the painting a fresco. It was a little more than 10 m² for the first two frescoes.

And a huge leap in confidence for the third, 25 meters long in a central place of the city of Opole but dark at night and tagged, 45 m² in all on a totally irregular wall. The largest fresco made since the beginning of the association! And for 6 months this fresco is respected by all. Thank you Alicja for your dream and daring.

I reccommend all my fellow teachers to do an Erasmus+ with their middle school students or high school students.

I discovered the fresco when I was 52. Neither manual, nor artist, in a high school without plastic arts classes I could be embarked with a large number of students, colleagues, strangers in this adventure.

I also feel strongly today, at 74, the colossal surprise of reading, just three years ago, on my phone "Do you want to do an Erasmus with me, Alicja". I was 72 and retired 10 years ago. This project has been illuminating my life ever since, allowing me to continue the work I loved during my 42 years as a history-geography teacher.

My gratitude is immense for Šárka who bears the responsibility for this project, for everyone in this team and for Europe. It is impossible to tell how many we are now in this Erasmus+ project European Reflection in Fresco!

Alicja Kaczmarek

Wyższa Szkoła Bankowa w Opolu, Poland

Making frescoes is a completely amazing experience. A series of extraordinary events and meetings led me and my son, and then the whole family, to become involved in frescoing. Learning to make frescoes is a long (and probably never ending) process. A process in which a student observes the master, admires the master, questions the master, and then adores the master. Such a slow transition from the belief that you can do anything to knowledge of your own ignorance. From clueless to unconscious perfection. Frescoing is hard team work. It is not easy to conform to someone's vision, but the joy resulting from the sense of community in realizing something beautiful and unique is incomparable to anything else. Frescoing is like meditation, you can't rush, everything has its right moment, the state of mind shifts to the hands and affects what is happening on the wall.

And it is difficult to calm down, because after weeks of work, and actually fighting for everything to be properly prepared, you are already on the emotional abyss. And then comes a week of getting up early, of hurried breakfasts, and 8 or 10 hours by the wall, whatever the weather. Fixing your own mistakes, fear whether it will succeed, disbelief in yourself, overwhelming fatigue. All of this is done in a noise of three or four languages ​​that mix in your head, and you finally don't know what language you hear and in which you are answering the questions. At the end there is a relief and a regret that it was over and admiration of how it happened that we are looking at such a beautiful wall. Seemingly designed and in the expected shape, but different. Because the project was realized by so many hands with such different capacities that it gained its own unique life. And also the people you meet, friendships, relationships, inspirations, new universes and paths. Thank you all.

Martine Florent
Les Passeurs de Fresques, France

I was lucky to be in Opole at the very beginning of the project, on the "Helios" production. I immediately felt it was going to be great, taking into account the skills, talent and motivations of everyone. Exercising 12-hour days scared no one, quite the contrary! Later I came to the conclusion that this transmission functions so well because of the people, of course, but also because of the warm and permanent links among us that we respect. This Erasmus project ends in a distressing context, hoping that everything we have woven together works for the peace. More than ever Erasmus is necessary, yes, let's continue TOGETHER. Thank you for your great PASSION!

Marie-Noëlle Clément

Les Passeurs de Fresques, France

As I participate in the Erasmus project, I understand I realise the real EU. To do something together, to be able to understand each other, to build something new together, in order to bring something better to the world. It's something very boosting the hope in a world where everybody can imagine to be able to change the world. An Erasmus project can change the world by creating friendship network; I'm delighted to see how quickly we become brothers and sisters. It is splendid because it's something determined to be passed to the young generations. Our time needs that.

Joanna Wawrzyniak
Wyższa Szkoła Bankowa w Opolu, Poland

Participation in the project is a great experience. The art of the fresco was new and undiscovered for me, it allowed me to get to know completely new sensations and understanding of beauty. Direct contact with art enriches greatly, and cooperation with wonderful wise people broadens the world and brightens life.

Elżbieta Olak-Posacka

Wyższa Szkoła Bankowa w Opolu, Poland

Erasmus projects are about learning something new, which is not necessarily the thing you need in your everyday life and work, but what you might need to make you grow as a human being. They broaden your horizons, inspire you to reach for something new, and motivate to find new directions in life. Participation in the project allows us to understand the people who are part of our big European family, see how they live their lives not so far away from us, and realise how all these small differences form a beautiful unity. The spirit of cooperation, exchange of ideas and good practices, and last but not least, the lifelong friendship are the real outcomes of taking part in the project.

Jana Mackova
Pedagogical School in Litomyšl, Czechia

At the beginning I didn't come up with how huge this project is. For me, the fresco was either a story that is too technical for today. However, in these two years, I found out that there is a great purpose in reviving it. It doesn't matter if you are an artist or a bricklayer. You learn both skills quite naturally. And there is even a job for this technique with students in the classroom. You also get to acquire knowledge and skills such as patience and tolerance. Anyway, I am glad that I was able to participate in the project at least partially.
I learned a lot of new things, and most of all I met wonderful and young at heart people.

André Haase
Oberstufenzentrum II Barnim, Eberswalde, Germany

Being part of the ERASMUS+ project means living in Europe. We get to know an old technique but preserved in the present by very passionate people. Leaving traces in the participating countries leaves traces in my head and thinking. It's not only about painting frescoes, it's learning languages, experiencing cultural peculiarities and meeting people that have become real friends regardless of any boundaries.

No matter if a fresco arises on a large wall or on a tile, it is a work done by a group that has to make arrangements to be creative and successful. This is the idea of Europe that everyone can express oneself but accepts the other too. You can have this experience only when you are part of a successful ERASMUS+ project.

Jacek Mueller

Wyższa Szkoła Bankowa w Opolu, Poland

Making a fresco is sometimes a hard work in different weather conditions, sometimes it is cold and the work makes us extremely tired. But then there comes always the time when we share ideas together, eating an evening meal and discussing what we have achieved in the current project so far. It is beautiful to watch how the ideas are getting realized by the whole team. Personally, I really like watching the colours of the fresco being born on the wall, through the combination of light movements of brushes and the collective imagination of the Erasmus team. The possibility of travelling during the project also enables us to transfer to the wall the pieces of images that we caught on the way and in that way to preserve them forever.

Jacques Sautot
Les Passeurs de Fresques, France

In these troubled times, the Erasmus program in which we participate reminds us that it is working together that unites us and makes us move forward together.

Bogusława Wawrzyniak
Wyższa Szkoła Bankowa Opole, Poland

The Erasmus project has given me a lot of different creative experiences. What is more, the physical exercise that the work involves, let my mind be purified and open to the new ideas. Visiting places and meeting the people have developed me as a human being and stay in me forever. This is an adventure that everyone should experience!

Jitka Klofandova
Pedagogical School in Litomyšl, Czechia

I have always considered fresco painting as something noble, inaccessible and rather historical than contemporary. Realizing frescoes with teachers and students from non-artistic schools was an idea from the realm of dreams. Project European Reflection in Fresco has convinced me that when enthusiastic people with similar interests and cultural values get together, anything is possible! Even to lead a series of fresco workshops for students and the public. Demanding preparation, arrangements, realisation and dissemination brings endless opportunities to communicate, learn about life specifics in different countries and build on second language skills. New friendships are born, sealed by layers of personal manner of artistic handwritings on the common artwork of fresco. Fresco teaches us modesty and patience; it can have magnificent as well as intimate dimension and it outlives us. I recommend Erasmus projects to all who love creating, who are not afraid of challenges, who want to see through the prejudice and who want to move over with their lives. It's definitely worth it.

Geneviève et Marc-Daniel Seiffert
Les Passeurs de Fresques, France

The Erasmus project that we are pursuing together brings the joy of a connection between European citizens in an extremely conflicting period, where the lack of identity, chauvinism and anti-intellectualism are progressing.

This project connects European citizens with each other, with their history - including the universal use of lime! - in a real, collective, intergenerational, manual and artistic practice, ancient and creative art, a project anchored in the places where it is carried out, arousing the interest of the local public.

The realisation of the frescoes allowed by this Erasmus project is more than a one-time event such as a concert; it inscribes its mark over in the long run,, through learning and many projects that are already realised, particularly in schools, but also through the durability of the colour that combines the works and the stone on the walls ... for the eternity, perhaps!

Martine Ehlinger
Les Passeurs de Fresques, France

Once upon a time there were Czech, Polish, German teachers, French volunteers, profoundly European. Together, they built and realised a vast artistic project thus expressing, in one of the most universal ways, friendship, solidarity, sharing, weaving unbreakable bond.

Claude Dumay
Les Passeurs de Fresques, France

I am very happy to see all the marvellous frescos you have made in Europe. I remember the very nice stay in Eberswalde and you see now I am learning English.

Romana Hřibová
Pedagogical School in Litomyšl, Czechia

Project European Reflection in Fresco was and still is an immense life experience. I have never even dreamt of having the opportunity to learn the fresco technique. I am also very grateful for the working with the international team. I enjoyed meeting new people, exploring new places and improving my English. And I loved learning the craft which has been here for centuries and is so magical... Personally, I am very happy I broadened my horizons and especially developed my professional skills as an artist. Also, the community work was immensely enriching. Erasmus is a unique life experience and joy. I consider myself very lucky to meet all these great people, to learn antique art, to work on artworks which will last, and which convey our common European legacy.

Jean-Philippe Ledit
Les Passeurs de Fresques, France

My two ERASMUS + 2021 experiences have been very rewarding for me personally and professionally, culturally and linguistically.

Indeed in JUNE 2021, I participated in the training of young Europeans to create a 15m² fresco based on the artistic creation of a Japanese architect, Kinya Maruyama, at the request of the architect Benjamin Rivens, also passeur de fresques. This experience required me to use my resources to express myself in English. I loved passing on the technique of the fresco to 16 teenagers of the Erasmus Concordia Project and showing them the appropriate gestures of the great Italian artists.

From 19 to 25 July 2021, the (Les Passeurs de Fresques (Association of Fresco Smugglers) hosted, within the framework of the European Reflection in fresco project, delegations of teachers from Poland, Czech Republic and Germany in order to make them discover Troyes and Champagne through multiple visits, often linked to frescoes. I accompanied the visits of the chapel FOUJITA, Reims, the museum RACHI, the vineyards of Bar-Sur-Seine and the fresco of Lirey. I liked the friendliness when I met you all for the first time at the Creole restaurant.

From September 17 to 26, 2021, I participated in the realisation of the magnificent 45m² fresco in the centre of Opole in POLAND. A big thank you to the Association of Passeurs des fresques for giving me the opportunity to live this experience. I loved speaking in English and passing on my passion for coatings to young people and to the various people of the delegations. I liked to see the coatings evolve day after day. I loved giving personalized advice to each and every one and living this week. TOGETHER, with you. I look forward to a new ERASMUS+ experience. See you soon...

Angela Wucherpfennig

Oberstufenzentrum II Barnim, Eberswalde, Germany

The project European Reflection in Fresco - that was and still is a dream of me... European Reflection in Fresco - in the last three years that has meant to me the cooperation with many new interesting people of different professions, getting to know new countries and their special cultures, expanding my language skills, exploring historical European contexts, learning the "old" fresco technique, working with unknown materials and tools and crossing my own borders. I have grown during this time, in myself and with you. Thank you for all the time.

Juliette Rivens

Les Passeurs de Fresques, France

I've participated to the very first fresco, "About Helios", of this huge project as part of the French team to teach to the others partners how to create a fresco. I was enthusiastic to see how each person involved in this project was focused and concentrated on doing his best, on understanding the others as much as the fresco rules, on being understood by others whatever their English level... I'm sure all these teachers will teach even better after having experienced the learning process of fresco and put themselves in the student's shoes. They were discovering something completely new in a foreign language! It was a great experience, and an opportunity to joyfully build the EU in concrete terms, to make the EU. I think everyone's efforts and contribution are transposed in the beauty of the final result and the explosion of colors on the wall.

Benjamin Rivens

Les Passeurs de Fresques, France

What an idea! Let's paint walls around Europe. Let's train Czechs, Germans and Polish to an ancestral technic... Let's make friends! Believing in Erasmus and trusting lime, many walls have been now covered, many languages spoken. Three years and a pandemic later, the journey is going on. There will always be walls, let's find some more.

Jean-Noël Py

Les Passeurs de Fresques, France

Balzac wrote in "The Unknown Masterpiece":
"Neither the painter, nor the poet, nor the sculptor must separate the effect from the cause which are invicibly one in the other"
This consideration fully applies to what mobilized us, fed us, united us in the fresco at OPOLE which represents well beyond the borders the path we have taken for this creation, like a hymn to the Earth.

The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.