De Bloemfontein straat galerij – Concept

Together with Sylvia – the projectmanager of Vitalis Berckelhof- I have been dreaming of a local pop-up store in the Doornakkers neighbourhood. Still with the current coronavirus measurements it is not that practical to start a store like this. So I have turned the idea around! What if we could find a way to do our window-shopping from a safe distance ? And what if the main focus was on selling creativity instead of selling products?

My ideal scenario would be the following:
A couple in the Doornakker neighbourhood, following all coronavirus measurements, goes out on a walk. They pass by the Bloemfonteinstraat and see the signs of a pop-up gallery. Curious they enter the street and they see that each window is decorated with creative expressions. They are hit with the realisation that they are already visiting the gallery by walking past the building. They are excited to learn from the signs that the painting featured in the first window is made by a lady who lives at the end of their block. All windows are decorated by local artists and entrepreneurs. The local bakery has their own window with pictures from an employee that is into photographing food art. The window of Vitalis Berckelhof features the handmade decorations the elderly make out of old books. Eventhough the products are very different, they are united by the way they represent all creativity in the neighbourhood. The different processes of how makers approach their work is featured in the posters and works as an inspiration to its visitors.

At the middle window there is a box and a bell. In the box there are two sides. One for buying products : You write down your contact information and the product that you would like to buy and push it through the letterbox opening of a closed compartment. The organisation of the street gallery will empty this compartment daily and connect makers and buyers. The other side of the box features all different ways to get in touch with the makers featured in this expo. You can log on to facebook and send them a comment on their work or find a business card -for example commission your own paintings.
Lastly there is the Bell. The bell can be rung by vistors who want to be part of the gallery themselves. The windows will be changed every 60 days and so the street gallery is always looking for new people to join the initiative. If you ring the bell the office of the MEDEWRKN will hear you and provide you with all the information you need!

I am excited to share that the MEDEWRKN is going to take on this project! I believe that sharing creativity works as an inspiration and that being creative can distract and safe people from the dread they experience due to all the corona-limitations. It would be nice if our gallery could provide a small income for people to also continue their creative expressions (Paint, beads, even strings for DIY facemarks costs money before you can make money of it).

The first makers I have contacted are close to home: #Awesome and Uit de Buurtfabriek will be using their windows of the building to show their latest creative projects. And of course Vitalis Berckelhoff is involved as the whole plan is based on an idea we had together. Lastly we are talking to ‘t Wasven and other local entrepreneurs. I am curious to see how this will develop further! I am hoping we can let this project be an example of the way the MEDEWRKN can support local creativity but also instigate a social economy through these type of projects.

Encouraged by Minsung to make the design as clean as possible I have made the following sketch for the street gallery. I am so excited to bring it all to life in the upcomming months!