Firebrands and artists create urban development

Kerstin Molsted / august, 2018

Firebrands and artists create urban development

557 802 Civilian

The initiative for the Artist Project KIT was taken by a group of local firebrands, who in 2010 raised funds for the completion of a two-year project.

Kunstnerlavet KIT has emerged in a period where more and more empty retail premises dominated the cityscape in Skælskør city center.

It became apparent that if Skælskør should survive as a place to live and an active trading city, new thoughts would have to appear. These new thoughts leaned on the artistic and cultural currents that were already part of the city’s DNA, although the currents were not so visible and significant at the time.

By April 2013, the goal was to establish 10 workshops for artists, craftsmen, designers, musicians and other professional artisans, creating the foundation for a creative environment for the benefit and pleasure of both the artist and the local area.

The goals were more than redeemed, and today, Kunstnerlavet KIT is a major cultural institution in Slagelse Municipality, and an integral part of the community. KIT has contributed to giving Skælskør the nickname: The City of Artists! Through the striking artistic contribution to Skælskør’s identity.

KIT’s mission is to create attractive conditions for professional artists in Skælskør city. The vision is that in 2020 there are 20 professional artists affiliated with KIT.

There are currently 18 members of KIT, including visual artists, ceramics, a clothing designer, musician, architect, jewelry artist, glass artist, etc. The range is large and provides fertile meetings between the artistic disciplines.

KIT is organized as an association with a broadly composed board which includes the chairman of LAG Slagelse, a city council member from Slagelse Municipality as well as firebrands and cultural actors from Skælskør and surroundings. KIT’s board meets every second week to support the progress of KIT. A permanent KIT coordinator stands for the daily operation of the KIT secretariat.

The secretariat is responsible for the administration of KIT’s workshops and takes care of the press and PR. The coordinator is also taking care of KIT’s collaboration with many other local actors. This applies to both businesses, associations and cultural organizations. The coordinator is working to make KIT visible in a broader forum, as well as arranging visits to the workshops, and helping new artists get started, and in many different fronts, both inside and out of the organization.

KIT helps artists with networking, marketing, dissemination of workshops / ateliers as well as occasional decorating of workshops. KIT makes the premises available in an operable condition for the artists, ie. that can be purchased, for example, a printer or an oven, and KIT makes an internet connection available in its leases.

Further cultural projects and initiatives arising from KIT:

Art Talent class

In 2016 an art talent class started at Skælskør School. The art talent class is a professional proline, which is open to students from all of Slagelse Municipality. An artist who fled to the city because of KIT has been a driving force in building the art talent class and is a professional coordinator responsible for the artistic teaching of the art talent classes at Skælskør School.

Skælskør Picture School

KIT artists teach at Skælskør Picture School, which is an association that enables image-making activities for children in Slagelse Municipality. The association works together with Skælskør School.

Local art education

KIT artists teach locally in ceramics, crocis, glass art, design, visual arts, etc.

Pottery Festival

A very extraordinary project that has expired from KIT is the Ceramics Festival in Skælskør. The festival is estimated to attract up to 10,000 people to Skælskør.

The Skælskør Ceramics Festival ranges from the craftsmanship and everyday items to the innovations of Danish and international ceramics.

The festival takes place throughout the city, but especially on the quay along the canal that connects Skælskør Harbor and Skælskør Nor. Here are exhibited and sold ceramics from home and abroad in several beautiful dome dwellers tents in the cozy and beautiful surroundings – overlooking old houses, sailboats, seabirds and bastard mattresses.

The ceramics festival in Skælskør has emerged in the living art environment in the area, which is responsible for creating unique art and cultural projects. The ceramics festival is driven by volunteers and is organized by Lene Hansen, Nelly Gaskin. Cecilie Dige, Gerda Østergaard and Gitte Nurup – all ceramics from KIT, as well as the Galleri Købmandggården (also operated by volunteers), the KIT Secretariat, and International Ceramics, Guldagergaard. Next year’s Ceramics Festival will be held on July 10, 2019 and is the 5th year of the festival.

Salonen

The salon is a funky joint workshop, cafe, cultural greenhouse and joint store established by clothing designer Mia Hoffman. The salon is run as an association.

Yoga Studio

Gitte Nurup, a ceramic designer, opened a small well-visited yoga studio in the main street in May.

Art School

Art courses are offered in week 35 at Kunsthøjskolen at Villa Fjordjhøj

Kerstin Molsted, koordinator Kitkunst