The President’s letters


Dear National Committee Presidents,

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

What a disgrace that we must prepare the events of 'World Art Day' for its 10th year of the official celebration, (since we declared WAD in 2011, in Guadalajara, Mexico and started celebrating it in 2012) in the midst of this ongoing cruel war!

Needless to say, since we are in the middle of this terrible invasion by Russia and the great resistance of the People of Ukraine, we cannot happily celebrate art, dance and sing as if everything was normal. But on the other hand, we believe in the solidarity of art and its healing power and we, as AIAP/IAA and our comrades from all over the world stay "hand in hand/heart in heart" with Ukraine and our fellow artists.

As you know, we trust in art, surviving and being performed even in the darkest days and moments, as symbolized by the attitude of Wallace Hartley's Band, during their performance until the very last minute aboard the Titanic on that night it sank, in the early hours of April 15th, 1915. So, we know very well that "the show must go on" as it did, even in the darkest moments of history.

You might remember that since 2020, the Turkish Artist Association UPSD has changed the name of its yearly Art Awards to "World Art Day 'Wallace Hartley' Awards" to remind the commitment of arts enduring at all times and being a magic carrier with this noble belief.

That's why, let me suggest to you and your committees, friends, and members that "Of course, we should still remember and celebrate art on World Art Day, but we should also remain deeply in full empathy with our Ukrainian colleagues and the beautiful resistance of the people of Ukrain, so that in all this year's activities and speeches, we pay our tribute and respect to them in full solidarity and understanding, hoping for peace to come to Ukraine no later than NOW-TODAY!"

Last, but not least, I would like to share a piece of information coming from UPSD, the Turkish Art Association, regarding this matter.

This year, we have decided to freeze all our national awards in the fields of art and instead, give all our yearly awards to Ukraine. We have selected three awards; the prizes being prepared to be delivered to Kyiv on April 15. Those awards are the following:

-"To the heroic people of Ukraine and the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Army, Zelensky, for their great resistance and courage that went down in world history, with our deepest feelings of admiration and solidarity and the belief that Ukraine will overcome these terrible days, reaching clear horizons as well as peaceful tomorrows"

-“With the belief that art should be continuous during war and peace times and that it will carry the next generations to a world full of peace, from Turkish artists and their professional organization UPSD to their young Ukrainian colleague Nickita Tsoy, with sentiments of peace, brotherhood and solidarity”

-"In the face of the terrible war that Ukraine and its dear people are going through, with empathy to the Ukrainian art scene and our colleagues for the disaster they have experienced, with our most sincere and heartfelt solidarity and affectionate wishes, to the President of the Modern Art & Research Institute of the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Victor Sydorenko and in his presence to all the Ukrainian artists"

We just wanted to share it with you.

We are sure that you and your colleagues will also organize touching activities, conferences, speeches, panel discussions during this year's WAD events and make a note of your statement in the best words and feelings.

In art we trust, and also in our AIAP/IAA universal solidarity FOREVER.

With my warmest feelings as well as deepest regrets for what we must go through.

(PS. Besides the panel discussions we are preparing in Turkey on this matter for the WAD, we want to inform you that we are holding an international zoom event with AIAP/IAA and Ukrainian Artists, on April 15, 2022. This online panel discussion will be held between 5 pm-7 pm Turkish time which is 2 pm-5 pm GMT (London Time). We hope you can publicize it, participate in it, and convey yours and your country's feelings on that matter, during this tragic moment of history. Let's hope we will never have another WAD, in a year like this, ever again!)

Bedri Baykam

World President
IAA -Official partner of UNESCO



Dear National Committees, dear Presidents, dear fellow artists,

As I told you in my last letter, because of the corona times that brought us a worldwide black out we decided all together to make our celebrations online.

Today I want to tell you something as an experience we have had here in Turkey for the past eight years and I will tell you about it as the President of UPSD, the Turkish National Committee.

Starting with 2012, the first year of celebration of World Art Day, we have started distributing awards in the Turkish art world. We wanted everybody in the art world to feel the importance and the value we give to art and artists. Those awards were given in the following fields of the arts:

  • Artist of the Year;
  • Emerging Artist of the Year;
  • Art Professional of the Year (among non-artists);
  • Art Media Professional of the Year (Writer/critic/editor-in-Chief);
  • Art institution of the Year (Foundation/Cultural Center/Museum of the Year).

I must confess that those moments of award distributions have been extremely touching, fulfilling and rewarding moments, for everybody those getting the awards as well as those giving it to them. Art awards, stimulate the art world, become standards that triggers an expectation year long in that country’s art community.

So in this important and unfortunate year when we were supposed to celebrate for the first time World Art Day officially all over the world, had this coronavirus not intervened, I will humbly advise every National Committee to get together and decide for themselves on whether they would hold these awards yearly in their country starting from this unforgettable year in every sense. That would add a meaning to 15th of April 2020 that has been unfortunately almost cut off from the calendar of our lives timeline… With the World Art Day spirit, we must add strength, confidence and belief to the world, from our perspective.

There is one more important information here that I should add to my suggestion: The Turkish national committee UPSD’s executive board has decided this year that those awards should be entitled not just 'World Art Day Awards', but 'World Art Day/Titanic’s Wallace Hartley Band' awards. At this point you should be intrigued about what does Titanic’s music band have to do with all that story and who is Wallace Hartley.

Everybody knows that the infamous Titanic transatlantic liner has sunk in 1912 in the Atlantic Ocean on its way to New York, on one cold spring night. Also, almost everybody knows that the orchestra of the transit line seats kept playing music during the two and a half hours after the boat hit the iceberg until it sank. This was the ever most striking art performance and decisiveness shown by any group of art performers in the history of art. They knew they were about to die, panic was all around them with people screaming, crying, hurting each other yet all they did was perform their creative profession until the very last moment, keep playing and singing their last song being most likely “Nearer my God to Thee”. There was a total of eight musicians in the Wallace Hartley Band, and their behavior was an exemplary courage and devotion to art and to their profession shown in the most desperate moment one can ever encounter in life. In other words, they were the most exemplary came to life version of the most famous artistic line in the world, “the show must go on”. We have to accept that nobody can match the performance of the Wallace Hartley band, no matter what field, no other artist or performer can claim to be a rival to that level of devotion and determination. Wallace Hartley’s body was found dead in the ocean by the boats and his music case was still strapped to his body. More than 40,000 people attended his funeral in his hometown Colne Lancashire in England and his bust was erected for his memory.

Besides this unforgettable example of carrying beautifully in history, this magic line 'The show must go on' (no matter which war, no matter what kind of bad situation, no matter the level of the economic crisis), there is a second reason regarding why linking the story of the Wallace Hartley Band to World Art Day: This disastrous sinking of the Titanic as well as this unforgettable final music performance was lived on April 15, on the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci and on a future date of World Art Day.

So dear National Committees, you have 17 days to get together (maybe online) and decide on this suggestion. Since this year you cannot hold anyway a party of any kind, if you decide to nominate and decorate with your awards some artistic names from the art scene, you can make your decision public and you can inform those awarded names and you can wait until the agenda comes back to normal, hopefully after we will get rid of those dark coronavirus days for the celebration and distribution of merits.

Please feel free to write back and inquire more information or brainstorm on this issue, and needless to say this is not at all an obligation of course; it’s up to your national committee to decide, to take or to leave this shared information and proposal. If anybody should tell you: "Well, in these coronavirus days, do you think this is the right thing to do?", you can always answer: "None of us can be in a worser position then the Wallace Hartley Band members on that terrible night of April 15, 1912", which now has a chance to immortalize itself forever by world artists acknowledging this dramatic and beautiful coupling of the most noble proof of devotion to the arts! Also showing our involvement and respect to the arts in these dark and even black days, will be a proof to the whole world about the deep meaning of the unsinkable relations between art and artists. The fact that the same date of April 15 pops up again within this story is more than a coincidence something that really mesmerizers us and keeps our breath in silence and respect.

But of course, you can take the decision to give out awards and call those 'World Art Day awards', as you want, or chose to give awards in 1 or 3 or 5 or different categories, OR as we said in the beginning, you can chose not to give awards at all. This is totally your National Committees decision.

We will be very careful with ourselves, with our families, our friends but we shall survive this dark tunnel together with belief. Wish you the best of luck in our common fight within those hard times and wish you the best of health to you and your family, as well as your friends and colleagues.

Bedri Baykam
AIAP/IAA World President



Dear National Committees, dear artist friends,

Fortunately, I am writing this e-mail to you in the very dramatic conditions that you know so well and that you are going through as well. As you know well, the coronavirus has invaded our lives and the world's health, economy, as well as everybody's plans in the world. We are like in the midst of a Hollywood thriller horror movie! Don't need to explain you the quarantines, the canceled flights all over the world and the raising death toll. Nobody knows how long this situation will last. Some say any few months, some say August or September … The unexpected attack of the virus on our planet's life has had two immediate consequences for us, AIAP/IAA:

THE FIRST ONE IS REGARDING WORLD ART DAY CELEBRATIONS about which I had written to you few weeks ago. As we know we will not be able to do open celebrations, any panel discussions, any conferences, any art show, any happening, any music performance in the street, for this first official International UNESCO Day celebration of World Art Day... Needless to explain why. So, here is what we will do: we will each/all prepare all social medias and online celebration posts that we will start spreading three days before April 15 and that will last five days, 12-17. Overall with a concentration of posts by hopefully each one of us on April 15 that should reach a world peak. We will kindly ask you to make all those preparations long before to have ready postings. As you know, from example, Ibrahim Spahic, from Bosnia Herzegovinia has communicated to us their project « Art communication and only/isolation »: « It enables artists to share from now until WAD their short documentary films, videos, performances, dance and ballet steps, as well as messages of wisdom, love, compassion and solidarity with everyone facing isolation. This is a typical joint project that serves all parties, artists, art lovers, that have been shared by all of you. »

ALSO PLEASE DO NOT FORGET: I kindly asked you all of you to send us potential documents, photos, and archive materials for a book we are preparing regarding the nine years old history of World Art Day. Please, send those to us in the next 10 days to:
Thanks so much.

THE SECOND ONE IS REGARDING OUR WORLD GENERAL ASSEMBLY that we were hoping to schedule for June 2020, this year. Again, we don't need to tell each other why this is not possible any longer with all the long distances flights in the midst of this world traveling which has become impossible due to the closed borders/frontiers, canceled airline flights and new restrictions coming every day. So, we will follow closely all those developments and use hoping to be able to prepare a General Assembly earliest in fall of 2020. (We must be able to tell you for sure and concretely at least three months ahead of detailed datas about the General Assembly, the exact days, location, hotels, and everything. So, if in June, the world is over that crisis then we will be able to schedule that sine die, hoping for this coming fall, if not, we will only be able to hope for the best and wait some more, until due time).

Nevertheless, to allow the Presidency and the Secretariat to prepare this General Assembly, I kindly ask you to mail us, before May 15 (deadline) your activity report, (preferably year per year, if you can) for 2015-2020. This report should present a special attachment devoted to all the activities you organized for the UNESCO priorities: Condition of the Artist, climate, water, Human Rights, women, sustainable development, health, peace, etc.

We hope that soon black days will be over my dear friends.


Send you the best wishes of our World Executive Committee and we ask you insistently to be very careful for all the health requirements to fight against the virus, no handshakes, no crowed places, but keep your moral and spirit high! Please, obey to all health disciplines that WHO (World Health Organization) or your Ministry to Health will be asking from you. Let's stay home or just move safely between your home and the studio/work place, let's trust each other that we'll overcome this drama as well, by our common good sense and understanding. Because before anybody and most of everything, we, artists, know that « the show must go on », we will be very careful without ever losing our creative spirit and positive thinking.

All our best and sincere regards to all of you, with all our solidarity to you fellows’ artists and your dear families.

AIAP/IAA World President



Dear National Committees,

Although I am sure you already did your best preparations, I still want to remind you about this coming World Art Day. This will be our first year of official celebration after UNESCO has declared April 15th, World Art Day as one of the Unesco World Days.

So, in order to be successful, we advise you to talk to museums officials, to municipalities, to Ministry of Culture bureaucrates, to foundations, to UNESCO representing officials within your country, and every other person or institution that you might think as relevant. Also, it will be a good idea to prepare activities in many different levels, with kids, with universities, with NGOs, with young galleries. Also please, don't forget also the option to cooperate with other creators like writers, filmmakers, dancers, musicians, poets. It is very important also that the press be made aware of the concrete declaration of World Art Day as well as its past story which is already 9 years old, embedded in the history of AIAP/IAA.

Please, also don't neglect the idea of documenting each one of your activities. Our website will need all those datas more than any other year ! So, please, also ask professional photographers and filmmakers you can.
Please, don't forget to send us all your plans, achievements, images...

Yes, we need all these forms because we are planning to prepare a book about the official launching of WAD.
Since it is always safer to double check, we will kindly ask you to send to this mail address, all past photos/ PDFs/ news about all your past WAD celebrations, since 2012, to:

Soon, you will be hearing from us about the general Assembly, in June 2020. That will be all for now. Look forward to meet you all at the GA.

Prepare a great World Art Day and enjoy it tremendously. Best wishes to you for a beautiful spring...

Bedri Baykam

World President
AIAP/IAA, Official partner of UNESCO



Dear National Committees, dear fellow artists and art lover friends,

On behalf of our World Executive Committee and myself, I would like to express all my best wishes to each of you and your friends, a very happy World Art Day!

May art enlighten most of your moments, help you in all your difficult moments, also most important of all, may art help overcome all prejudices around the world, all racisms, all wars, with the solidarity and friendship it creates among nations and people of the earth!

We want to kindly ask you not to forget to send to each to the addresses below, as soon as possible, all your activities programs photographs videos and other notes regarding everything you scheduled for today or this week:

We want to be enriched by your accounts of your activities, your stories, your ideas, your slogans!
Let’s please never forget that our communication and solidarity is our most important strength and wealth In this world where artists find themselves often neglected in very many countries...
We believe it’s our duty to change the world for the better of our future generations!

And the last but not the least,
We wish a happy birthday to Leonardo da Vinci for 2019 that marks the 500th year of his passage to infinity. His versatile brain working in so many different directions and dimensions will always remain an inspiration source and example for all of us today and tomorrow!

May art be your most friendly and effective weapon in life, in this world!

With all our best wishes

Bedri Baykam

World President
IAA -Official partner of UNESCO


Christmas and New Year’s greetings

Dear artist friends, National Committees!

It’s a pleasure to address another Christmas and New Year’s greetings to you all! As the AIAP/IAA family, we represent the largest gathering of the contemporary artists and we know that we want to achieve also the world’s broadest geographical extension as well.

Recently, in 2018, Colombia has added to our new list of countries composing IAA. Also USA’s and India’s application is now in process and their bylaws have been accepted buy the World Executive Committee. We welcome with our open arms, all new adhesions that we are expecting very soon to finalize. We feel richer and more fulfilled, the more our domain of influence and representation grows! We are happy to be welcoming all new countries that represent diversified and rich populations of the world.

We also would like to remind you that World Art Day had a great spread all over the world in almost all our National Committees and even beyond among countless additional independent artists worldwide! We hope you all will prepare even better celebration projects for WAD 2019! Please make your preparations ahead of time. We will talk again about WAD…

We all hope that the New Year will get rid off all the ongoing wars and pain through out the world. We believe art solidarity and universal dialogues will succeed in bringing peace to the world. On the name of the World Executive Committee and myself, we wish you and your family & friends, all the best for 2019 and hope that this New Year will bring health, success, luck and very many great artworks to us all,

Merry Christmas and happy New Year!!!

Bedri Baykam
World President
IAA -Official partner of UNESCO


The 2018 WAD message from the President

Dear IAA National Committee members, artist friends and Art lovers from all over the world,

Here we are again on those beautiful spring days that are now the eternal host of our World Art Day, April 15! Life does not flow easily in these times, in different parts of the globe. Unfortunately, more and more war tensions surround us in various frontier zones. Terror, killings, threats, bombs or clashes, polemics, haunt us and enter our lives on regular basis. Watching the news becomes a burden in very many countries.

Art is our haven, our meeting point for struggling against all these depressing issues. As I recently said in Puerto Rico, in a conference I gave at the University of Puerto Rico, 'Art is our pacifist weapon'. We only have our brushes and poems, and words, and sprays, and ideas, and inks, and stories and logic and rhetoric to bring universal peace to this tiring world. And we don’t want, their arms and armies and nuclear threats. This life is too important to waste with those shameful tools of aggression!

We don’t want the world to smell pain and blood; we want the world to smell art, to smell paint, to smell green grass… World Art Day is our common child. It has a beautiful naivety and calls for a global sisterhood/ brotherhood around the world through art. Please send us all the information about your World Art Day activities, send us your program, your festivities, your photos, your publications, we will be more than happy to place them on our social media and website.

As the World Executive Committee of IAA and myself, we congratulate you full heartedly for WAD 2018 and we wish you the best of health, success, happiness, and freedom with all our solidarity.

Bedri Baykam
World President
IAA -Official partner of UNESCO



Dear IAA members,
Dear art lover friends from all over the world.
May this email find you and your family in perfect health and spirit!

As the year is coming to an end, and as the thought of Santa Claus is warning up our north hemisphere's cold days, together with all the member of my Executive Committee, we would like to express our best wishes to all of you for Christmas and the New Year. No matter to which country or religion we belong, what counts is our common good thoughts and dreams in this spinning good old planet!

We hope that 2018, will be much more peaceful, without terror, without useless clashes between countries and with much more responsibility felt by our globe's citizens regarding ecology and the balances of this planet we share with our best friends, the animals.

We also hope the art world is going to be a much more open platform with more and more countries involved, with more dialogues, less hegemony and more participation of the masses in art exhibitions.
The last but not the least, we want to wish you a very healthy and happy New Year, with very many successes, new sparkling art works and beautiful events and exhibitions!

We will be happy if you share our message with all your fellow artists in your National Committee and your website.

All our best!

Bedri Baykam
World President
IAA -Official partner of UNESCO

Executive Committee
Pavol Kral, Slovakia
Marta Mabel Perez, Puerto Rico
Christos Symeonides, Cyprus
Katarina Jönsson Norling, Sweden
Ryoji Ikeda, Japan
Dolores Ortiz, Latin America
Franklyn King Glover, Ghana
Maria Moroz, Poland
CHO, Kang-Hoon, South Korea
Francis Desiderio, Belgium
Marta Yglesias Piza, Costa Rica



Dear National Committee members from the world, dear world IAA artists,
I wish to all of you, a great new art season with this September, that has ended all our summer peacefulness in the northern hemisphere, while I wish the most beautiful spring days to our friends in the southern hemisphere.
You have all received the Statutes amendments few days ago. I would like you to know that these new clauses for the statutes are the results of very long works and discussions over the table and online. We aimed to open our doors and hearts to more persons from the art world. It always had felt bad that we couldn’t take as member artists that didn’t have National Committees in their countries. Writing them those refusal letters was so disappointing for them as well as for us that we decided to make a move in the statutes.

The second change also has come for two separate reasons. One of them was because we also have many non-artist historians, museum people, and or curators who wanted to become members of IAA. We wanted to find a way to include them without changing the fact that IAA would stay only as an artist association, always run and directed by professional artists. The second reason is that in several NCs around the world, we have already member friends that are not directly 'professional artists'. So we wanted to legalize them. I guess we have done a good job for this middle of the way arrangements. Let’s hope that it will contribute to the emancipation of the international friendships in dialogues all over the world, which will end up in growing synergy among all of us on the larger scale.
Why do we need to be stronger and more numerous around the world? Why must we stay in touch with so many colleagues from around the world who are even in different positions, working in their studios, or in museums or in universities? Because, as you all know again very well, our world has been going towards very wrong directions may it be politically in regards of democracy and freedom of speech or may it be in regards to ecology and the protection of nature with its forests and oceans and wildlife. It is unbelievable that the United States under Trump has chosen to make abstraction of the concept of protection of nature. Even our friends who live in developed European nations should know that there are more threats then just wild terrorism and we should all be aware so that we don’t take anything for granted even in these harder days that we are living in.
World Art Day (WAD) has been celebrated again in many countries around the world. One way to make sure that next year each of us will do a better job is to start the preparations much ahead of time, is to take appointments from different art centers, museums, and especially municipalities in order to take them into this game of art celebration mingled with a worthy public relation for them. Creating the atmosphere that will blend all art forms and create new friendships, institutionally as well as individually, will also provoke more visibility, more press relations, more projects… The reason I am telling you all these things much ahead of April 2018, is to make sure that you will not be late for any project proposal to nobody, doesn’t matter small or big…  
Dear friends from every NC and especially all NC presidents, there is one more thing that I will kindly ask all of you to comply with. Please do not let anybody, who is not a member of IAA, get the IAA card through our/your association. Not only it’s illegal and unfair for all the others, but also it’s illogical and even absurd. Somebody who is not a professional of the art scene, who is not a member of IAA, has nothing to do with the IAA card. Unfortunately there has been some obvious misunderstandings that made at some countries, we have seen and heard, gave out many cards to non-members or to members that only of National Associations without the IAA extension. This would create such a big confusion within the main body of IAA that we don’t want to think about. So please from now on make sure that every person you give an IAA card, with the mention 'official partner of UNESCO' is a member professional artist, a person worth in the arts scene. Please don’t undersign such a mistake that would be also illegal towards IAA and towards UNESCO as well.
Dear NCs and dear artist friends… I wish I did not have to tell you that - but I must -you have to remember that the IAA has been existing for almost 70 years only through the contributions of National Committees from around the world. Unfortunately in the last years, mostly European National Committees have been paying their fees regularly whereas we have had problems getting the yearly payments of several of our National Committees from Latin America, Africa, Arab countries and so on... Please understand that it’s extremely important that these fees should be paid regularly by every NC, otherwise we would be unfair to our friends who pay their fees. On top of that, IAA World would be facing serious financial problems. I am sure, you don’t want that!
ALSO… Dear friends,
In order for all the NCs to be able to pay their yearly fee to the headquarters of IAA, you must remember that your NCs, can only pay their fees if you keep paying your yearly fee to your own National Committee as an artist. You see it’s very simple: If throughout the year you put aside, just tiny percentages of your pocket money or salary aside, in order to pay your fee to your National Committee, then things will happen more easily. If everybody proceeds like this, then it’s really not much heavy for your monthly budget, but if you don’t pay your fees yearly, it accumulates and anything that accumulates becomes a big burden. Where in Turkey, we have developed a system where artists can pay their fees to the National Committee by dividing their accumulated debt in four or five installments through the bank and their credit card. Then no matter what is the accumulated amount of debts, the wheel will still be rolling. We believe it’s a good solution. Also one more thing: we recommend to make arrangements and small contracts with various businesses that would give 5% or 10% discounts or even 3% discount to the card holders of IAA. That would also accelerate many payments and would generate new memberships. Trust me that this 'last but not least' paragraph was added because we want to preserve you as an artist, as a National Committee, as a friend in the body of a IAA.
That’s all for now dear friends, please let’s accelerate the dialogues and flux of information among each other,
Look forward to hear from each of you,
All my best,   
Bedri Baykam
World President
IAA -Official partner of UNESCO



Dear National Committees,

I hope that this letter finds all of you in great spirit and good health will in these days that are taking us closer and closer to Spring. I wish that also all of you had great artistic plans to I wanted to remind you few things that will be on our agenda during April 2017.

WAD 2017:
I have to confess that this year my own activities as well as the one of the Turkish Committee will be limited due to the fact in Turkey we have a very dangerous referendum coming precisely on April 16th. For those of you that don’t know, on that date, the referendum will ask to Turks if they say 'yes' or 'no' to the question 'do you agree to leave all the powers within the country to one single man? Do you agree that he should decide on the fate of the whole country?' In other words, just because we have to struggle this year in Turkey about such a crazy danger, I cannot go out of the country again to Monaco, or Los Angeles, or Florence or Paris… I have to stay here in Turkey in democratic struggle, in full solidarity with my artist and writer friends, with the people of Turkey...

But that does not prevent me from explaining again to you, what kind of activities you can arrange… I had already mentioned that you could arrange interesting shows, or happenings, street art/music events with museums, galleries as well as municipalities. You can ask all galleries and art institutions to carry the WAD logo on their invitations, catalogs or press bulletins, websites… You can ask municipalities to invite artists either on the 15th of April precisely, or one evening in one of the nights of the WAD week. It can be a dinner or a cocktail, or a cocktail during an art happening. Also, you can select as the National Committee of your country:

The honorary awards:

  • Artist of the Year;
  • Emerging Artist of the Year;
  • Art Professional of the Year (among non-artists);
  • Art Press Professional of the Year (Writer-critic-editor-in Chief);
  • Art Related Association/Foundation/Cultural Center/Museum of the Year.

So you should have a commemorative plate ready for the winners of the year in your country, a plate carrying also the WAD logo and your National Committees and the IAA’s logo. Thus the power structure in your country, will feel honored to have been 'decorated' by the artists of the country within an international organization and a worldwide-celebrated event.

SHOWS: If for some ideas you are late for this year, it doesn’t matter, you can do it next year this means you are very early for this year! The shows can be about:

  • Young art/under 35;
  • Art from art academicians and teachers from all universities;
  • Art from Fine arts high schools/ teachers and their students;
  • Children art;
  • AND/OR OF COURSE: ANY MAJOR Artist, or art movements or conceptually curated various shows.

SPEECHES IN SCHOOLS OR MUSEUMS/ART CENTERS: Visiting, kindergartens, schools, high schools and universities, OR MUSEUMS and art centers, giving celebration speeches, talks about Leonardo’s multi faceted, multi disciplinary art life, or general talks about the revolutionary spirit of modern and contemporary art worlds.

VISITS TO PRISONS: Or children prisons or rehabilitation centers are a good target for visiting and introducing friendship, solidarity and brotherhood of the power of art in the kindest way to people in need of warmth.

ART BOOK SALES POINTS IN THE STREETS ON THE WAD WEEK END: Is something we have experienced and done in major streets with a good success and turnover. Museum bookstores and art or general bookstores thus have been able to reach audiences that normally don’t go to bookstores.

STREET CONCERTS/HAPPENINGS: Of course one of the best possible ways is to cooperate with Municipalities for larger events including street festivals/happenings/dances/rock or classical music concerts etc

OTHER IDEAS: Dear friends, we trust you and we know that you can come up with great innovative ideas that you will want to share with us and the whole world. Please think and inform your us, there will always be the next better idea!

WHATVER YOU DO, PLEASE DOCUMENT IT! Take photos films; place them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, any social media with #worldartday #worldartday17 #aiap #iaa AND SEND THEM PLEASE TO US. So that we can place them on our websites and spread internationally the information, grow the universal awareness. Please send all materials, links, images, pictures, films to and

Look forward to hear from all of you, wishing you all our best in this coming spring, which I hope, will be beautiful!

Bedri Baykam
World President
IAA -Official partner of UNESCO



Dear IAA artists from all over the World,
Dear friends and colleagues,
As we are ending a very tormented year again, I am addressing you from a part of the world that is unfortunately under constant turmoil or terrorist attacks. This was not the world we had expected in the 21st century, and we have to face this sad dramatic truth, which is hitting us everyday. Not just the near or the Middle East, but also so many different areas of the world are going through heavy dramas and a re suffering losses. We remember intensely the last 18 months where Paris, Nice, Brussels, Istanbul, Ankara, Berlin, Diyarbakir, USA hit by waves of attacks, while in the middle-east Syria and especially Haleppo have been almost totally devastated. The problems of the refugees are becoming major and primary concerns for every human being or country that carries a heart. These are definitely issues we have to talk about, discuss in depth and eventually raise projects around.
In those unfortunate moments of tension and grief we must still look to the future with hope and solidarity. We must believe that art and creativity will really help keeping the flame of humanity alive: the show must go on...
We have had an intense year here at the President's Office, with important travelings done to several places of the globe, the USA where in Los Angeles and Mexico City World Art Day has been celebrated in very wide organizations, Tunisia where we met with several North African and Arab countries artists and art associations, and finally Korea where we had an international art festival at Suncheon with IAA artists as well as Korean colleagues. It was a very successful meeting. We thank you for all your collaborations...

There is one last thing I must remind you with your permission: We are four months ahead of World Art Day. We will stay in touch on this issue also of course. But please make a note that you should already plan your timing to find sponsors for shows or celebration dinners, you should prepare exhibitions, spread the use of the logo in the galleries and museums for April 2017, prepare panel discussions, events, children activities etc. I advise you to organize a much broader committee of WAD organization and not just your NC.
All the members of our Executive Committee, Anne Pourny, Marta Mabel Perez, Franklyn King Glover, CHO Hang-Hoong, Pavol Kral, Dolores Ortiz, Maria Moroz, Ryoji Ikeda, Katarina Jönsson Norling, Christos Symeonides and myself, we wish you all a merry xmas and a very happy new year, far better than 2016!
We have to hope still for the best, even if the language of the clouds has been telling us something different!
With best wishes, hugs and solidarity! 

Bedri Baykam

World President
IAA -Official partner of UNESCO



Dear friends and Colleagues,

I hope you are all starting to boil with energy in our Northern hemisphere as spring is coming in. As you know well, spring has had another meaning for us in the last 5 years: April 15 has been celebrated as World Art Day since 2011. As IAA, we had unanimously accepted the proposal of Turkey in Guadalajara to celebrate the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci as World Art Day (WAD).

As I had reminded you in President’s letter no.4 about WAD, this year we will celebrate it with a greater enthusiasm.
The whole world should find out about WAD little by little, so that the importance and value attached to art.
WAD aims to prove the solidarity and brotherhood among artists for freedom of speech, democracy and artist’s rights, all together simultaneously during the week of WAD.

I kindly would like to ask you two special favors: The first one, please celebrate each others World Art Day, as densely as you would celebrate new year or Christmas; on that day, World Art Day must become trend topic and people who would not know what is WAD, on that day should become extremely curious and should try to find out what these three letters mean together. So please remind all your artist friends to use WAD and World Art Day logo and hashtags (#WorldArtDay #WorldArtDay'16 #WAD #WAD'16) everywhere in the social media, websites, banners etc. Of course they are also welcome to have real banners handy, if they want to place 'happy World Art Day' as banners & posters in front of their house and studio. It goes for you and me!

Number two, please inform us from all over the world, about all the activities you do about WAD! May it be happenings, or conferences, or exhibitions, or installations, please send us all the best photos you can take from those them on our main we will place them on Facebook thanks to Öykü…
By doing so we will stay in tune with each other and we will be more and more happy to discover thanks to all of us that the weight and exposure of IAA is spreading fast in our planet.
This year during the WAD week, I will be the first in Los Angeles where the Downtown Art Walk is preparing several events for celebrating WAD. They are doing such a great job that we hope it will serve as an example for all the galleries around the world, besides our artists associations.

After staying in LA during April 9-14, I will be in Mexico City where I will celebrate WAD together with our Mexican Association ARTAC members and our dear ex-president Rosa Maria Burillo Velasco at the Jose Luis Cuevas Museum in Mexico City, during April 15-17. I will return to Istanbul after few days in SFO and participate to few last events of the Turkish WAD.

So, dear National Committees, dear friends and colleagues,
I am looking forward to hear from you all, receive all the good news from our 'hot' April day coming soon… One last thing though: Don’t let anybody ruin your expectations and feelings when bombs are exploding on the surface of our planet. Don’t forget that the show must go on at any price! Without that line, the terrorists of the world would achieve much more damage to the thinking zone of the world…

With all my best regards and love to all of you.


Bedri Baykam | Turkey
World President
IAA/AIAP – Official partner of UNESCO




The World Executive-Committee of IAA, is being held today and tomorrow, 8th and 9th of March in Istanbul, the hometown of World-President Bedri Baykam.

Are present at the meeting: Bedri Baykam/ World-President, Turkey; Anne Pourny/ Vice-President, France; Franklyn Glover/ Africa-Coordinator, Ghana; Marta Mabel Perez/ Treasurer, Puerto Rico; Dolores Ortiz/ Latin-America Coordinator, Mexico; Andrea Kozarova/ Observer, Slovakia; Cho Kanghoon/ Asia-Coordinator, Korea; Jung Jun/ Delegate, Korea, Öykü Eras/ Executive-Assistant to the World President, Turkey; Tijen Sikar/ Observer, General-Secretary of UPSD Turkish National Committee.

The IAA-World Executive-Commitee celebrates International Women's Day and we want to affirm our solidarity with all women of the world for their equal rights. We will fight in every possible manner all violence conducted against women and we will do our best to be their voice all over the world.

Please read here a statement written today by our African Regional-Coordinator Franklyn Glover who voices our feelings:

To all our women on this special day:

May you be respected and honoured at the city gate because of your virtues.

May you have divine flavor that will bring awesome taste into bitter lives of many women who are been abused in several ways by society.

May you be empowered to impact lives within the spaces you find yourselves to make the world a better place to live.

Happy International Women's Day, Congratulations!


Letter from the President -4: about World Art Day (WAD), read here [PDF]


Press conference about Ashraf Fayadh, 7 December 2015

IAA/AIAP Official Partner of Unesco, World President Bedri Baykam, held today a press conference in Istanbul at the Piramid art center about the poet and artist Ashraf Fayadh who had been sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia. Participated: AICA Turkey President Evrim Altug, Artists Initiative Spokesmen Ataol Behramoglu and Orhan Aydin, Pen Turkey representant Halil Ibrahim Ozcan, Turkey Writer's Syndicate representant Aba Müslüm Celik, Sodev representant Inan Dagdelen, Theatre Actors representant Erhan Yazicioglu and several writers and artists. Also Miss Jennifer Clement, President of Pen international, sent a statement to the press conference in solidarity with IAA and the Turkish artists and writers associations.


Letter from the President -3

Dear friends and colleagues from all over the world,

Now it has been 45 days since our GA was held in Pilsen, Czech Republic. We are already in the intense art season in these last weeks of 2015.

Few weeks ago, I came together with our webteam, to work on a new page design and we hope to finalize this soon. We took some nice decisions and this new page might bring you a more clear and transparent vision about what’s happening in the IAA World.

Meanwhile, talking about our website, we must remind you that the most difficult issue, is not to open a website, but it’s to keep that site alive with a constant flux of news images. So we kindly ask you to do your best in sending us your best selection of photos together with the most interesting and relevant news… Those might be issues of artistic, social clash, any censorship give links to each country’s own website.

As you know also, our main concern now is to save the life of Ashraf Fayadh who is an artist writer condemned to death in Saudi Arabia. We have already sent you a statement with an open call for action to the world’s art community. Please keep this issue as your centre of attention until Fayadh is freed! Please vote actively to save his life through this link (you can find this link and support him in our Facebook page):

Our other concern is to make the best possible use of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Ms. Oyku Eras, who is the General Assistant of the President’s office in Istanbul, will do her best to moderate the IAA social media. She has already sent you a detailed email about that. Her e-mail is . As you know, she is also conducting our new Facebook page:

Send her your exhibition or life comments, news, studio or artworks as well as any joke or travel suggestions. You can follow me Twitter too, in order to keep short news and dialogue alive, as free as birds would do it!

Although I have a personal twitter account have over 182.000 followers, which you are welcome to follow if you want, we will open a fresh account for our mutual shares, starting from point 0. The other one is my ongoing dialogue mostly with Turks! So you are welcome to follow our new twitter account @IaaWorld and start our dialogue and retweet our shares.

My 'President’s letter number 4' will be about WAD next week.

Wishing you all the best,

Bedri Baykam
World President
IAA/AIAP – Official partner of UNESCO



This is an open letter to the world’s art community for asking their solidarity about Ashraf Fayadh, the Saudi born Palestinian writer, artist and curator whom a Saudi Court has sentenced to death on November 17, 2015.

Fayadh has been accused first of insulting religion or preaching atheism in 2013. When in 2014 he was arrested, police failed to prove his atheist propaganda, he was then being berated for 'smoking and having long hair'. Although Fayadh told the court about his innocence concerning the accusations of atheism and his attachment to God, the pressure of the religious police on the Saudi court has been effective. He was even accused of 'having had relationships with women' although he explained that the women were artist friends and photos on his phone, some of which were posted on Instagram, were taken during Jeddah art week (Saudi Arabia’s most important contemporary art event).

Please sign the petition here below, to show your solidarity with Ashraf Fayadh in order to stop his execution and free him.

We also ask the world press to place a growing pressure upon this crucial subject in order to raise the consciousness of the general public opinion in every country. It is precisely a matter of 'life or death' to give open support to Ashraf Fayadh in this extremely urgent and important matter. We hope to receive your contribution as soon as possible. Also please send us your remarks and contributions to IAA Facebook page:


Bedri Baykam
World President
IAA/AIAP – Official partner of UNESCO

Anne Pourny | France Vice President
Marta Mabel Perez | Puerto Rico Treasurer
Franklyn King Glover | Ghana Africa Coordinator
CHO Hang-Hoong | Korea Asia Coordinator
Pavol Kral | Slovakia Europe Coordinator
Dolores Ortiz | Mexico Latin America Coordinator
Maria Moroz | Poland
Ryoji Ikeda | Japan
Katarina Jönsson Norling | Sweden
Christos Symeonides | Cyprus


Speech from the president at the regional meeting in Latin America and the Caribbean in Costa Rica, 19th November 2015, read here [PDF]


Letter from the President about the Paris attacks, November 2015

Dear friends and colleagues,

It’s with great shock and sadness that we have received the news of the random street massacres in Paris. Our pain is endless and we are looking forward to hear from Anne Pourny, our Vice-President of IAA/AIAP that none of our members are hurt. On the other hand, even that would never be a consolation to us since every citizen of the world is our sister or brother.

Unfortunately all the ethnic or religious fundamentalist terrorist groups are more dangerous than one another. The world instead of seeing the technological space era in the 2000’s has seen the middle Ages.

Fundamentalist terrorism should never become a shield for saving a field of action for terrorists. The right to live, the democratic right to chose one’s own life style, the right to express one’s self in artistic or written form, are, as untouchable as the religious citizens religious rights.

We send our warmest and deepest feeling of solidarity and sympathy to all France and we send our condolences to all the families of the lost ones from whichever country they might be… We share their extreme agony and sadness. Of course, the same goes for all the families that have been the target of ISIS and all other terrorist groups in Afghanistan, Syria, Turkey or Iraq.

IAA/AIAP as usual will do its outmost in order to try to help the atmosphere of peace to come back after this catastrophic turmoil in the capital of France.

Hoping to have better subjects to discuss in the near future,

Your sincerely,

Bedri Baykam
World President
IAA/AIAP – Official partner of UNESCO


Letter from the President, October 2015, read here [PDF]

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