Gracia Arts Project
The Gracia Arts Project (GAP) is a publicly supported non-profit organization and non-governmental organization established by Justin Donlon, James Wardell, Lynsey Casson and Sarah Stirk on January 1, 2000 in Barcelona, Spain, to benefit all the arts with a view to share information, ideas, collaborate and actively pursue projects in a network of fellow artists from all nations. It was the first expatriate initiative of its kind in Spain and has had media interest including El Mundo. The gallery is located on Calle Sant Honorat 11 in the Barri Gòtic of Barcelona, next to the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya. All project activities are conducted in Castellano, Catalan and English and are supported by the Local Government, the Ajuntament de Barcelona.
In order to grow, GAP attracts artists of all disciplines and profiles them. There is a new exhibition in the gallery every month, publicized through local newspapers, magazines and Barcelona TV. The art critic Iván Sánchez is a regular visitor to the exhibitions as is El Informador de Martorell.
The GAP website contains showcase profiles of different artists with examples of their work. Gracia Arts Project (re)views all profile submissions once a month.
Gracia Arts Project aims to have sufficient members to group together so as to obtain 'a versatile space' (Codename "La Colmena") in the area of Gràcia for the use of all its members who live, work or regularly use Barcelona with their artistic work. GAP hopes to obtain a location so that it can be a space to physically see works of members through exhibitions, events, live music, theatre etc., as well as a centre for artistic studios, information, work, teaching and socialising.
Gracia Arts Project is not directly an agency for artists although it can act as a representative. GAP is run by the members, for the members. Donations received by GAP are directly invested back into GAP and recorded with an appointed accountant.
El Rusc is essentially an extension of the artistic vision of the Gracia Arts Project. <ref5> If completed, el Rusc would be a building constructed in the heart of Gracia to further carry out the purpose of the organization. It would be a reflection of all art forms, and it would act as a platform for regional, national, and international artists. El rusc would also include an academy for talented young artists in order to develop their creative potential at an early stage. In conjunction with the Gracia Arts Project, el Rusc would serve as a form of cultural exchange to allow for further artistic flourishing in the community. <ref6>
La nit de John Lennon
As an homage to one of the greatest artists and peacemakers of our generation, the Gracia Arts Project debuted “La nit de John Lennon” on October 9, 2009. <ref7> This work, a film created by Adrian Garcia, speaks to the heart of the Gracia Arts Project and fully exemplifies its cause. The film’s public premier was a great success.
Vital Film and Vital Graphics
In conjunction with GAP, the Vital Film and Vital Graphics companies have emerged on Cataluña’s cinematic scene. <ref8> Vital Film works to promote independent film-making in the Barcelona region. It serves as a platform and a creative stimulant to all such potentials film directors, focusing on everything from documentaries to short films to video clips. Vital Graphics serves as a way in which to democratize art publishing and advertising. That is, they work to promote exhibitions that benefit the artists, the artists’ works, and the art market as a whole. Specifically, they work to support developing artists in Barcelona by helping them to emerge onto the art scene, not only in Cataluña but also in the rest of Europe.
The Gracia Arts Project has ties to the following organizations: A Casa Portuguesa, Barcelona Connect, BCN Week, Maumau Underground, Moritz, MTX Mertxé Hernandez, and the Pikin Players.
GAP’s most successful music event was the music collaborative entitled Vital Musicians 2010 that began in January of that same year. <ref9> The event consisted of live studio recordings of twelve independent musicians that were presented to the public each month. A wide array of musical genres were performed, from rock to jazz and classical to bosa nova. The purpose of the recordings was to expose Barcelona’s freshest, most diverse musicians to the emerging art platform there. GAP’s first featured artist was Yonatan Birenbaum, an up and coming classical guitarist from Tel Aviv, Israel. Birenbaum performed the first movement of “Partita für Klavier,” or “Partita for Piano,” composed by the German Johann Sebastian Bach and transcribed for the guitar by the Israeli Henan Feinstein. It was a personal choice, as Birenbaum noted that Bach is his favorite composer. A twenty-first century artist performing an adaptation of the work of an eighteenth-century composer shows the perfect dichotomy of past and present. The balance between the traditional and the modern is exactly what GAP hoped to accomplish with this collaboration. Additionally, Birenbaum noted that Vital Musicians allowed him to compare the art scenes of Israel and Spain. The fusion of the smaller, more intimate Israeli scene and the explosive Spanish scene perfectly represents the cultural integration that GAP aims to achieve. The event was made possible by support from miniguide* Barcelona, Barcelona-Metropolitan.com, BCN Week, Maumau Underground, Barcelona Connect, barcelonarocks.com, and el Col-leccionista, as well as collaboration with Pasillo Cultural.
Barcelonarocks.com described GAP as “multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-faceted” and pointed out that it was both easily accessible to locals and tourists and conveniently located near the local Catalan government building. However, it is only able to hold between 30 and 40 audience members, which could limit its potential to grow in the future. <ref10>
Since its inception in 2006, the Gracia Arts Project has publicly displayed a variety of artistic and musical expositions. <ref11> For example, in February of 2010, GAP presented “Carn i malsons,” the Catalan equivalent of “Carne y pesadillas,” or “Flesh and nightmares.” <ref12> This reflected on the evolution of terror films and the formation of human fears throughout history. Another project that was presented in September of the same year was entitled “Flat Number Fifty” and was the international debut of artist Robert Listwan. <ref13> Listwan’s exhibit displayed the styles of surrealism and abstraction in relation to the themes of postwar Spain, communism, and anarchy. Although GAP tends to favor a liberal view of art and the avant-garde, it does still retain some of Spain’s traditional Catholic ties. For example, in December of 2010 GAP held a Christmas Exhibition that offered a wide variety of artists and art forms during the holiday season. <ref14> The exhibition was an attempt to outweigh the usual Christmas commercialism with art from local artists. It was also meant as a way to stimulate the Spanish economy, following the global recession that occurred earlier that year. Another notable event was the live illustration exposition that took place in February of 2011. <ref15> Prior to the Catholic period of Lent, five artists painted a mural in front of audience in response to themes of gluttony and excessive consumption associated with Mardi Gras, or Carnaval, contrasted with the sacrifices of Lent. This type of ingenuous artistic display is what separates the Gracia Arts Projects from other non-profit organizations.
- "Colmena de artistas busca local y espónsor para cultivar otro arte". El Mundo. 2007-09-07. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
- "GRACIA ARTS PROJECT: EXPOSICIÓ "SHOWCASE"". Barcelona Turisme. Adjuntament de Barcelona. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
- "Gracia Arts Project". Bercelona Connect. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
- "Las horas del día". El Informador de Martorell. 2007-10-14. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
- 5. "Gracia Arts Project" http://graciaartsproject.wordpress.com Word Press. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- 6. "El Rusc" Word Press. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- 7. "La Nit de John Lennon" Word Press. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- 8. "Vital Graphics & Vital Film" Word Press. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- 9. "Vital Musicians" Word Press. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- 10. "Gracia Arts Project" Barcelona Rocks. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- 11. "Expositions" Word Press. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- 12. "Carn i malsons" Word Press. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- 13. "Flat Number Fifty" Word Press. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- 14. "Christmas Exhibition" Word Press. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- 15. "Quien tiene miedo del rougarou" Word Press. Retrieved 20 October 2013.