First placement: art show in a wine factory

During the third week of our stay here, Janki and I offered to help out the local gallery to hang a big show of Algarvian artists in Lagoa.

This was a brilliant experience as we met loads of great people, had the best bifanas so far and were given the chance to curate lots of different types of artwork in an unusual space.

The building is used to store (and make) wine and the project is an inventive collaboration between Rolf (the gallery owner) and the wine factory. He saw the potential for the audience who go and buy wine to be those who buy art so he proposed that it becomes a big gallery too. They agreed. The Algarve seems to lack movers and shakers so it was great to see this kind of thing happening. The exhibition changes quarterly and costs around 30 Euros for artists to take part. They are growing the database of contributing artists so the quality is still quite diverse.

The people we met:

Rolf is a German ex travel writer, superb networker and charisma. Once Janki and I had proved ourselves with nails, hammers and a creative flair, he trusted us to hang the ‘eclectic’ range of work however we wanted.

Janki and I with Rolf

Johanna is his coordinator – a lovely German lady married to a Portuguese guy who she now has two gorgeous kids with – Riccardo and Marta.I have now formed an independent friendship with her – she cooked me semolina meat soup a few nights ago and I did puzzles with the kids in Portuguese. I am going to hang out more with her to practice Portuguese while her kids are swimming.

Pablo is a charming and bright Portuguese/ German actor who sells the artwork to tourists and who looked after us brilliantly. He also leads Prostigo – an association of young creatives who live in Monchique and whose first event was a pool jazz party at Frank’s last year. We would like to work with them but they are in the middle of a battle it seems.

These are great contacts for my time here. Such lovely people. We went to the opening and had a great time, feeling like we contributed to the success.Rolf has asked me to hang the next exhibition tomorrow but I already have committed to running a group session at the Quinta. Shame.

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