In our regular Brussels culture pages Colin Moors checks out a different take on the local art fairs.
You’ve surely been to some of the arts fairs around town – many are very good and some are even, as they claim, affordable. How about a different take on the usual art fair this time around? ARTsenal is here again in its sixth outing in La Chaufferie, just off Boulevard Louis Schmidt. Founded in 2012, ARTsenal’s brief is a very democratic one. Every year, it hosts artists, sculptors, photographers and exponents of other forms of art. Some you will have heard of, some you won’t have. This, as co-founder Clare Richardson explains is because “The public rarely has the chance to see [the hidden creativity in our community] because there is a lack of opportunity for new artists to exhibit.”
Upon your first visit, you’ll notice the easy-going, no pressure vibe of the exhibition, a space in which the artists are always in attendance and are more than happy to discuss their work, or a particular piece with you. Take it easy, spend a little while and perhaps get a cup of coffee, there’s no rush. All the pieces are for sale, because even artists have to eat. Prices start around the 50€ mark and can go up to around €2,000 although this is the very high end and far from the norm. If you feel you simply can’t go home without that piece you saw, you can buy it there and then. If you don’t see something you like but like the artist’s style, why not ask about a commission? All the artists will be happy to discuss your requirements.
ARTsenal is non-profit, the focus being on art and opportunity rather than making a quick euro. It really is an exhibition by artists for art lovers. Why not check it out on Ascension weekend? Entrance is free. 1 and 2 June.
ARTsenal, La Chaufferie, 6 rue de Pères Blancs, 1040 Bruxelles