Since 1997, Palma’s Nit de l’Art has become one of the most eagerly awaited events of late summer. Not just by art lovers.
On 23 September, between 6 and 11pm, people will be thronging the streets walking from one art gallery to another.
Nit de l’Art is a great excuse to explore central Palma at night and perhaps duck into new bar or restaurant. It’s a colourful occasion filled with glamour, sparkle and music.
The night itself is the focal point of a programme of exhibitions and activities organised by Art Palma Contemporani. Unfortunately, the website, while comprehensive, is in Catalan without an English translation as far as I can see.
Art Palma Contemporani members include ABA ART LAB, Fran Reus Gallery, Galeria Pelaires and Pep Llabrés Art Contemporani. The association was founded in 2004. It is committed to enhancing the cultural life of Palma and increasingly other parts of the island while bringing contemporary art closer to citizens and visitors.
The Ajuntament de Palma, the Balearic Islands Government, the Consell Insular de Mallorca and Institut d’Estudis Baleàrics all support Nit de l’Art.
For those of us especially interested in contemporary artists living and working on the island, it’s good to know that Nit de l’Art includes several artists based here.
Teresa Mata is at Aba Art Lab. Susy Gómez’s Campos Penetrables is at BARÓ. Laia Ventayol is showing at Maior Pollença. Danish artist Lin Utzon is at the Sant Francesc Hotel under the auspices of CCA Andratx.
LA BIBI Gallery is offering group exhibitions I’m told are essential viewing.
There’s so much going on I’m just scratching the surface. I suggest you get an early start on Saturday.
An important part of Art Palma Contemporani’s stated mission is to bring art closer to the people. With this in mind, it organises free guided tours of galleries by professionals fluent in English, Spanish and Catalan.
Find out what’s available and book a tour here.
There’s also a round table discussion at Caixaforum Palma on Friday 22 September starting at 6pm on the subject ‘Are there patrons for tomorrow?’ with a focus on private collecting.
Guests include Nimfa Bizbe, Head of Art Collections at La Caixa and Professor Chus Martinez, Director of the Institute of Art of the FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel.
According to Fran Reus, gallery-owner and current president of Art Palma Contemporani, ‘Our aim is to attract visitors who want more than just sun and the beach, who love culture and gastronomy. We now have international followers with a home in Mallorca who ask us when Nit de l’Art is because they want to time their visit to the island with the event. That’s very special.’
As anyone who lives on the island knows, there’s been a concerted effort to bring attention to everything Mallorca offers, not just sun, sea and sand.
‘Working with local artists is important for us,’ Fran says. ‘But the idea is to be international from Mallorca. When I used to take part in international art fairs, people would see Palma and Mallorca in my logo and say, “Do you have art galleries in Mallorca?”
‘That’s changing,’ he continues, ‘people know we have a lot more to offer. But we still need to make more noise than cities like Madrid and Barcelona. Fortunately, we have a supportive government and great relationships with institutions like Casa Solleric and Es Baluard. The Art Palma Contemporani family is growing, as is public support, which makes us very happy.’