Niels Kongsbak. Photo: Business Region Esbjerg
Piece of art by Else Pia Martinsen Erz (c.) Galerie ERZ, Kunstrunden
Photo: Ulrik Pedersen

Discovering art in a new way

TEXT: NICOLAI LISBERG

Kunstrunden Sydvestjylland will open up the world of art, when over 100 artists once again invite everyone into their studios during the Easter holidays.

It all began back in 2012, when a few local artists came up with the idea to create a ‘kunstrunde’ in the south-western part of Jutland – an art crawl, so to speak, where artists invite spectators into their studios for a cup of coffee and to see and talk about the art. “We got the inspiration from Sweden, where the first kunstrunde dates back to the 1960s. It was an initiative to get some focus on art and, more specifically, art as a profession and a business. In the beginning, we were about 80 artists, but every year the number increases, and it has turned out to be something truly unique – not just for the artists, but for the guests as well, who come to visit us during these days,” says Niels Kongsbak, himself an artist and the chairman and one of the founders of Kunstrunden Sydvestjylland.

Kunstrunden Sydvestjylland takes place every year during Easter, and this year, 113 local artists will be participating in the event, welcoming people from all over the country into their studios. There are all kinds of different art, such as paintings, sculpture, textile and video installations, and external censors have validated all of the artists in order to guarantee the quality level.

A view into the life of an artist

It is free to visit Kunstrunden Sydvestjylland, and many guests decide to make a weekend trip out of it so they can visit as many studios and artists as possible. “People in general often think of the art world as closed, but we hope that this can help to open it up for everyone. As an artist, you often live an isolated life working on your projects, so almost every artist is more than happy to have people visiting them and talking about their work. It’s also a great opportunity for the guests to get a view into an artist’s studio, smell the paint or the clay and ask the artist whatever questions they might have. It’s not like visiting a museum, where the artist isn’t present. Here, you actually have the opportunity to talk to the people behind the work,” says Kongsbak.

Kunstrunden Sydvestjylland has people coming from all over the country, and not just people already involved in the art world. In fact, a lot of families with children spend their Easter holidays visiting the local artists. “Last year, we had a family from Aarhus where the children made their own kunstrunde in their house afterwards, hanging up artwork they had made and inviting their parents to come and see them. For me, this is a great example of how we can inspire people and get them interested in art,” says Kongsbak.

The nature as constant change

It is not just Kunstrunden Sydvestjylland that attracts a lot of people to the south-western part of Jutland during Easter, but also the area’s cultural history and the picturesque nature the area has to offer. This time of year, you might be able to see the ‘sort sol’ phenomenon, also known as the Black Sun, where up to a million migratory starlings dance in the evening sky during their stop at the Wadden Sea on their way south, making it one of the world’s biggest pantries. You can also join one of the many oyster walks, organised by local guides.

“The nature here is quite spectacular, and that’s also what attracts so many artists to this area. The light and the landscape work as inspiration for many of the artists, and so too does the Wadden Sea, which is constantly changing. It never remains the same, so you always see it in a new way,” says Troels Larsen, who works at Business Region Esbjerg.

Kunstrunden Sydvestjylland will take place 19-21 April every day from 11am to 5pm. All museums in the area, including some of the famous churches, are also part of this year’s event. At the art museum in Tønder, there is an exhibition with the well-known Wegner chairs, while Ribe cathedral shows its church art.

Facebook: KunstrundenSydvestjylland

kunstrunde.dk