Visual arts and crafts
In law nr. 70/2016 on Craft114 in the Republic of Albania, chapter 1 regulates the exercise of handicraft activity, the professional qualification in this field, as well as the organization of handicraft subjects through the establishment of the National Chamber of Handicrafts and apprenticeship schemes to ensure the development of handicrafts through the protection of the interests of artisans and consumers. Chapter 2 stipulates that products of traditional handicraft styles strictly respect the models registered as assets of Albanian cultural heritage and that the reproduction of these models is done according to the procedure defined in the legislation in force for cultural heritage. It also prohibits the sale of imported cultural-artistic objects in areas declared historic or archaeological.
The National Centre for Inventory of Cultural Heritage115, established in 1995, has continually updated its archive to adapt to digital innovation, and has raised awareness and signed collaborative agreements against the illicit traffic of works of art.
On May 9, 2016, the Marubi National Museum of Photography in Shkodra was inaugurated with the addition of the Marubi Photography collection. The year 2018 marked the 23rd and final Onufri International Exhibition and Prize at the National Art Gallery and later that year it was terminated by the Ministry of Culture. In 2020 it was revived at the National Gallery of Kosovo as ONUFRI REMADE116.
Since 2000, there have been many international graffiti artists in Albania, and more Albanian artists and activists found new ways of expression. Among many other events, MurAL fest began in Tirana in 2018 with the painting of large artistic murals throughout the city, as an extension of the Dekor Agency of Tirana Municipality and with international and local artists. Dekor has also painted hundreds of power boxes throughout Tirana, and all public arts were added to the HARP map of public arts in Tirana117 as part of the project “Engaging Tirana’s Communities in Public Arts and Policy” supported by UNESCO IFCD. The painting of murals has proven an effective way to liven and colour the city’s concrete surfaces and similar interventions have occurred throughout the country.
Most visual arts organizations operate as not-for-profits, however a few run as businesses, and both provide exhibition and sales opportunities while others also offer training and lectures.
The National Strategy on Culture 2019-2015 lists Policy Goal 4 as supporting the creativity of Albanian artists and increasing cultural and artistic activities. Albania has regularly hosted a pavilion at the Venice Biennale since 1999, and the 2021 pavilion is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Municipality of Tirana and with collaboration from the National Film Archive of Albania, National Centre of Cinematography, Audio-Visual Authors Protection Forum.
The National Art Gallery has organized many international exhibitions and events, discontenting at the same time many Albanian artists in need of the space and audiences. Gallery FAB at the Arts University is among the most active galleries in the country with a wide variety of exhibitions.