If Art is thought of as a universal language, people from vastly different cultures and generations are able to understand each other’s values and points of view based on this unique code. With a similar idea in mind, in 2012 the Italian born Raffaella Gallo started a new concept of meetings, aiming to create a multicultural platform to activate a debate between people not strictly related to the Art world, but sharing a passion or even a mere curiosity for Art. She named this appointment theARTCaffè, both to underline the informal features of the meetings as well as her own cultural Italian roots.
ARTCaffè: the very first meeting was about Raffaella’s own art collection.
Art Collector at the age of 16
Raffaella has been nurturing her interest for Art since an early age, starting her own collection at the age of 16. Her passion and continuous research, with a focus on Contemporary Art, didn’t stop during her College years, even with the “unexpected choice”, as she herself points out, to undertake engineering studies. After ten years working mostly in the automotive sector, as a program manager and consultant, Raffaella moved to Beijing where she could open a new chapter of her studies, focusing on Chinese Contemporary Art.
As ARTCaffè grew, it became a way for artists to show their work
A multicultural platform
From 2010 to 2012, Raffaella curated several exhibitions, both in China and Italy and wrote critical essays about the artists she was cooperating with. She moved to Dalian in 2012, where she founded ARTCaffè, with the very first meeting being mostly about her own collection and the work of the German artist Christine Hoenstein, who for a very lucky coincidence happened to be her neighbor at that time.
“It was basically a pretext to create a chance for those into art to share their passion, and for the small expat community overall to have a new meeting point. I was also interested in bringing close to Art those people who were attracted by it, but felt too shy to engage themselves on it due to their lack of academic experience.”
Since the beginning, the ARTCaffè has been involving people from all over the World, with more than 15 countries represented per time. And it grew, becoming a way and a chance for artists to show their work.
“When my nomadic life brought me and my family to Shanghai in 2014, I thought the ARTCaffè wouldn’t make any sense in a city which offers so many events within the art community. It was a pure coincidence I met the Dutch photographer Emmy Schoorl in that precise moment, while she was promoting her photographic book. I invited her, organized my first ARTCaffè here, and there I was: back on track.”
Experts and amateur art lovers meet in an informal and relaxed setting
The living room as an arena for inspiration
The ARTCaffè is a free of charge event, open to all. Each month, in Raffaella’s home, the living room becomes an arena in which a guest artist gives a talk to a multicultural and diverse crowd. The speakers share career stories, advice, works and inspiration, ultimately giving the artists a chance to connect with the audience. Experts and amateur art lovers meet in an informal and relaxed setting, presenting their projects, sharing their passion and expressing opinions from all those different cultural points of view.
Raffaella starting a meeting: each month her living room becomes an arena for artists to give inspiring talks