As restrictions are rumoured to be relaxing, one welcome sign of a return to a “new normality” comes this Sunday when 11 spaces will open up for an “Art Walk” Valencia. Tina McCallan reports..
One of the many pleasures of living in Valencia is strolling around the city on a sunny day, luxuriating in the beauty of the orange trees, the architecture, the graffiti and having a coffee at a terrace bar. It’s a work of art itself but did you know there are also many hidden art galleries and artist’s studios scattered around the city?
A brilliant initiative by British artist, Bay Backner will see 11 galleries and spaces simultaneously open their doors on Sunday, 18 April 2021 from 11am to 2pm. The idea arose during conversations with Kristin Gracie, director of the RW Project about how to safely attract visitors to their current collaborative exhibition. This new initiative has also been created to support some independent art spaces in the city of Valencia.
Art Walkers will participate in groups of six or less, in accordance with current Covid-19 restrictions. It is a free, self-guided walk. The maximum distance between La Trini galleries in Zaidía and Lanevera in Russafa is about 30 minutes on foot, so plenty of time to stop for a coffee. The map with the participating galleries and all the information can be found at artwalkvlc.com
Bay says: “Covid has challenged artists to be more creative when it comes to sharing our work. A year has gone by without regular gallery openings or artist talks in independent spaces. Before Covid I organized a group of 1,000 art visitors in Valencia. Since the end of the lockdown, many of them have asked me how they can continue to support artists and art in our city.
“Art Walk Valencia makes it easy to visit some of the most exciting art spaces in Valencia. In English, these are called ‘grassroots’ art spaces because they support emerging artists. If we can help them grow their audience, we all benefit from a more prosperous art scene,” she continues.
The Jan Royce Gallery in El Carmen was the first gallery that agreed to open on Sunday 18 April for Art Walk. Director Cornelis Moonen explains:
“Art Walk is a wonderful initiative, it’s important that people know that Art galleries and artists of Valencia continue to work together to present new contemporary art, despite this challenging year.
“By walking on a Sunday morning, we also support the restaurants and bars in our neighbourhoods. I hope that many art lovers will find inspiration in the diversity of art that is presented and enjoy its vibrant and artistic city.”
Reyes Martinez, director of SET Espai D’Art adds:
“We participate in Art Walk since we support any initiative that helps bring art closer to the public, that normalises visits to galleries and exhibitions, that allows the public to get to know the work of the artists and see the work galleries do in supporting the artists.”
Walkers will be encouraged to share their photos on social media with the hashtag Soy Artista, Soy Art Walker at #artwalkvlc, and you can download a template to add your photo from the website.
Here is a list of all the Art Walk spaces, which are open on Sunday 18 April 2021 from 11am to 2pm. All are free to enter. Let’s support this creative initiative and imagine many new spaces will come on board for the next one!
- SET Espai D’Art, El Carmen, Plaça del Miracle del Mocadoret 4, 46001
Exhibiting: We weaving time – Ana Esteve Llorens, Chingsum Jessie Luk, Pamen Pereira
- The Trini, Carrer de la Trinitat 10, 46009
Exhibiting: Painting by Marta Gómez Lechón
- La Mercería Gallery, Carrer de Moratín 7, 46002
Exhibiting: Around the corner – ROICE 183
- LABA Valencia, Carrer de Quart 21, 46001
Exhibiting: Here is a Falla – Virtual Reality Exhibition; Designers of The Universe – LABA & EspaiTactel
- The Jan Royce Gallery, Carrer de l’Almirall 1, 46003
Exhibiting: April Wake up! – Tatiana Roig, Aleksandra Istorik and Bay Backner
- Sporting Club Russafa, Carrer de Sevilla 5, 46004
Exhibiting: Collective exhibition: Josie McCoy, Elena Martí, Fernando Rincón, José Antonio Picazo, Lucia Peiró, María José Ballester, Ximo Micó and Rafa de Corral
- The RW Project, Carrer de Cuba 25, Bajo Derecha, 46004
Exhibiting: Eve – Bay Backner, Kristin Gracie, Steve Kempen
- FreeZia, Ruzafa, Carrer de Cuba 3, 46006
Exhibiting: Gravitational Waves – Sergio Villanueva (TKO); Exposed pieces – Eduardo Bermejo and Julia LOOL
- Lanavera, Carrer de Puerto Rico 46, 46006
Exhibiting: PROPOSTERS by Iban Ramó
- Splendini, Ruzafa, Carrer de Sogorb 10, 46004 València –
Exhibiting: The Jazz Problem – Jose Mardi, Lisa Gingles, Alex Barbaroja, Matias Bosch
- Ártika Ruzafa, Carrer Buenos Aires 39, Bajo Izda, 46006
Exhibiting: Miguel Ángel Aranda, Araceli Carrión, Cristina Coquillat, Olga Esther, Jose Juan Gimeno, Elena Pérez Ayrault, Jessica Rey.