Residency-Gallery, an innovative concept in the art sector

Jordi Bohigas is the director of Piramidón Centre d'Art Contemporani, an innovative space combining an artist residency with an art gallery, providing a unique concept for artistic production and exhibition.

In the ever-evolving art world, new concepts and approaches are constantly emerging to support and promote artists. Piramidón Centre d'Art Contemporani is a residency-gallery located in Barcelona, Spain. With 16 studios, the center offers a vibrant space for artists to work, collaborate, and grow. As Jordi Bohigas explains, "Fourteen of them are designed for artists who live in Barcelona and have their place of work here. And two of the studios are for international exchanges or with the rest of Spain for artists who want to make shorter stays.”

The center's primary aim is to foster an international artistic community. Since its inception in the early 1990s, Piramidón has attracted artists from various corners of the world. Bohigas reminisces about the center's humble beginnings, stating, "I think, the first artist that I remember from the exchange, we are talking about '92 or '93, was a Dutch artist. And since then, we have had artists from many parts of the world in these residency workshops.”

At Piramidón, artists not only have access to dedicated working spaces but, also the opportunity to exhibit their work in the attached art gallery. Jordi Bohigas highlights this dual offering, stating, "There is an art gallery where there is also an exhibition in which we can always exhibit, and we exhibit the work of these artists who come or who have been here." The center provides a platform for artists to showcase their creations, whether it's a short-term residency or a more extended stay.

To ensure a diverse and engaging artist community, Piramidón operates an open call system. Artists contact the center expressing their interest in securing a residency space, and the dates are narrowed down based on availability and preferences. Bohigas explains the selection process, saying, "We establish a selection with the different candidatures we have, trying to balance the interests a little." The center maintains a rotation system, allowing a maximum of six or seven artists to occupy the two international studios each year, while the remaining spaces are occupied by local artists.

This residency-gallery concept has proven successful, giving rise to exciting exhibition projects. Artists who have spent several months at Piramidón have had the opportunity to develop and curate exhibitions during their stay. The center's commitment to providing both a working space and a gallery platform has nurtured the artistic growth and visibility of many talented individuals.

With a yearly cohort of around 22 to 25 artists by year, Piramidón Centre d'Art Contemporani continues to be a dynamic hub for creativity and long-lasting collaborations. The residency-gallery model, pioneered by Piramidón, demonstrates how innovative approaches can reshape the art sector and offer artists unique opportunities for artistic exploration, networking, and exhibition.

As Jordi Bohigas proudly concludes, "There are artists who have been with us since 1994!" This remarkable longevity is a testament to the enduring impact of the residency-gallery concept and Piramidón's commitment to supporting artists throughout their creative journeys. As the art world continues to evolve, such pioneering initiatives will undoubtedly inspire and shape the future of residency management practices.

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