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Dubrovnik Homeland War Museum to receive painting by Croatian artist Kat Coric

Kat Coric and her painting homeland war

Kat Coric. (Photo: Andrea Robert Lezak)

Kat Coric, born in 1969 in Dubrovnik, Croatia, is a multifaceted artist, activist, art collector, and event producer based in Montreal.

Her father, Captain Ivan I. Coric (Dubrovnik 1939–Montreal 2015), moved the family to Montreal in 1973 after accepting a job offer there.

Throughout her childhood, Coric’s parents, Ivan and Marija, taught her about the rich history of Dubrovnik. It was important to them to ensure their young daughter grew up with a strong sense of her roots.

The Croatian language was spoken at home so that it would not be forgotten, and traditional meals were cooked to keep the rich Dubrovnik culture alive.

Coric visited Dubrovnik almost yearly and was even in her hometown in 1991, preparing to participate in an archaeological excavation with students from the University of Zagreb when the Homeland War changed all that.

What followed were months and years of sadness and strife, remembered by all Croatians, especially those living in the diaspora. It’s important to note that the years 1991 to 1995 were pre-Facebook, and the wide use of the Internet was just beginning to be popular.

The Coric family watched the developments of the war on the news and read about it in the papers.

For Coric, feelings of deep sadness, despair, and guilt permeated—guilt because she felt like she was personally abandoning her homeland while being so far away. It was in those darkest moments of 1991 that Coric decided to do the only thing she knew how: pick up a paintbrush and paint about the war.

The result was a series of paintings and an exhibition entitled “The Effects of the War on the Artist.” In 1996, with the help of her great uncle, Professor and Croatian historian Filip Potrebica (1933–2003), a three-city tour of Croatia was organized.



“At the time, I really didn’t know what else to do to communicate a message of support to my fellow Croatians at such a terrible time in history. I wanted them to feel what I was feeling, and I wanted them to know that I was thinking of them every day. I can say this period in my life was a time when I really felt the most helpless, and the only thing that saved me was my art,” stated Coric.

Flash forward 33 years, and one of the most important paintings of the collection was still searching for its home. “I looked at this painting almost every day for 33 years, and now I think it’s time that it goes to its final resting place, a place where it will be surrounded by other relics and memories of the Homeland War.

By accepting this donation, the Homeland War Museum has enabled me to make my humble mark as an artist towards my beloved hometown of Dubrovnik, and my personal solemn tribute to all those we have lost during those dark days,” added Coric.

Information about the Homeland War Museum

The Museum of the Homeland War Dubrovnik was established by the City of Dubrovnik in 2016 with the aim of collecting, processing, and presenting materials from our recent history and the Homeland War.

During the first half of 2008, a campaign to collect museum materials was carried out through the collaboration of the project leader for the establishment of the Museum of the Homeland War, Varina Jurica Turk, with the ZNG Dubrovnik 1991 Association and prominent Dubrovnik defenders. More than 1,500 original war photographs, approximately 120 hours of video footage, and dozens of items and documents were collected.

Homeland War Museum Dubrovnik attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors

(Photo credit: Homeland War Museum Dubrovnik)

Through the professional processing of this valuable material, the exhibition “Dubrovnik in the Homeland War 1991–1995” was successfully realized. This exhibition is part of the project to create the future permanent collection of the Museum of the Homeland War Dubrovnik, located in the Imperial Fort on Srđ, which represents a symbol of heroism and victory in the Homeland War for all Dubrovnik residents.

The museum’s collections include wartime maps from the Homeland War in the Dubrovnik area, a large number of Croatian documents on the attack and defense of Dubrovnik, war diaries, minefield plans, reports on zones of responsibility, lists of defenders, correspondence from archives, and documents from the Territorial Defense Headquarters.

Additionally, there is a large number of photographs taken by professional and artistic photographers, including Pavo Urban, Milo Kova, Miro Kerner, Božidar Gjuki, Marija Braut, Željko Šoleti, Božidar Vukievi, Matko Biljak, Zoran Filipovi, and others.

The collections also include records and memories primarily related to the testimonies of captured Croatian soldiers and civilians from Konavle, Cavtat, Župa Dubrovaka, and the Dubrovnik littoral who, from 1991 to 1992, were taken to the camps in Morinj, Kumbor, and Bilea.

Homeland War Museum Dubrovnik

(Photo credit: Homeland War Museum Dubrovnik)

We also preserve the armaments of the first Croatian units in the Homeland War in the Dubrovnik area, including mine-explosive devices, grenades, shells, bullets, parts of military equipment, anti-tank weapons, items from the daily lives of Dubrovnik residents and defenders under siege, memorabilia of participants, wartime flags of units, uniforms, HV insignia, and more.

We owe our gratitude primarily to the defenders and citizens of the city, associations formed during the Homeland War, war reporters, photographers, as well as institutions, and the Dubrovnik Defense Command, the Information Center, the Red Cross, the 163rd HV Brigade, the Territorial Defense Headquarters of Dubrovnik, the General Hospital Dubrovnik, the Institute for Reconstruction, the Information Center, the Crisis Headquarters, Civil Protection, and others.

More than 90% of the museum’s materials were collected through donations rather than purchases, and we are grateful to all our donors of items from the Homeland War, which will undoubtedly find their place in the future permanent exhibition of the Museum of the Homeland War Dubrovnik, with the shared goal of preserving the historical memory of the Homeland War for the future.

Homeland War Museum Dubrovnik attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors

(Photo credit: Homeland War Museum Dubrovnik)

“We would like to once again express our gratitude to our donor, the artist Kat Coric, for her painting ‘My Homeland 1991,’ created during the early days of the Homeland War amidst wartime destruction, and which she gifted to her father, Captain Ivan Coric (1938–2015), in 1991. The painting is an oil on canvas, reflecting the deepest thoughts of Ms. Coric during one of the most challenging periods of her life, and it was part of a series titled ‘The Effects of the War on the Artist.’ The series was exhibited in Zagreb, Požega, and Dubrovnik in 1996.

Through this donation by Ms. Coric, the painting returns to Dubrovnik and becomes part of the collection of the Museum of the Homeland War Dubrovnik, where it finds its place in the museum’s collection and remains as a testament to the enduring memory of the Homeland War and the creation of the sovereign and independent Republic of Croatia,” added Ms. Varina Turk, Director, Homeland War Museum, Dubrovnik.

Information about Kat Coric:

Coric graduated from Montreal’s Concordia University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, minoring in archaeology and art history. She has produced and curated over 60 art exhibitions and numerous fundraising events for the non-profit sector.

With a strong affinity for charity and veterans affairs, Coric has worked with organizations such as the Canadian Armed Forces, the Canada Company, the Respect Campaign, the International Economic Forum of the Americas, the Toronto Global Forum, the Vimy Foundation, Collège de Montréal, the Stewart Museum, the Macdonald Stewart Foundation, the Montreal Highland Games Festival, and the Montreal Real Estate Foundation for Kids.

Kat Coric

Kat Coric (Photo: Andrea Robert Lezak)

Coric is recognized as a health advocate, notably for her early community work fighting the AIDS epidemic, and later for being one of the first people in Quebec to warn of the dangers of methamphetamine. A self-taught artist, Coric has exhibited her paintings in Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Pozega, Montreal, Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, and Chicago.

Donation Ceremony:

• Date: July 12, 2024

• Time: 11:00 AM

• Where: Homeland War Museum, Fort Imperial, Mount Srđ, 2027, Mlini, Dubrovnik

To Donate to the museum:

Homeland War Museum Dubrovnik P.P. Milicevica 1
20000 Dubrovnik

OIB: 30079786731
Bank account:
Privredna banka Zagreb IBAN:HR2923400091110824404 Swift Code: PBZGHR2X

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