La Nit de l’Art is one of the most deeply-rooted cultural events in Palma. At the head of its organisation is the gallery owners’ association Art Palma Contemporani, whose presidency has been held by Fran Reus since April 2022. The gallery owner took over from Frederic Pinya with the intention of “consolidating even more the already consolidated projects such as the Nit de l’Art, which is already a benchmark, and to promote other events such as Art Palma Summer or Art Palma Brunch”, he says. “They take place at another time of the year when Palma is quieter, and it is a way of consolidating the association’s projects throughout the year, as well as for Palma to be and continue to be a benchmark for contemporary art”.
This weekend both Reus and Art Palma Contemporani are celebrating Palma’s art festival, the 26th edition of the Nit de l’Art. The president of the association highlights “the incorporation of institutional spaces such as Es Baluard Museu and Casal Solleric. We have worked hard to reestablish relations with these spaces so that they can also inaugurate exhibitions during our events”, explains Reus, who adds that he has also focused his efforts “on expanding the association, with new members such as Galería Baró and the two member galleries, La Bibi Gallery and Galería Fermay, as well as involving the private sector”. In this way they have arrived at the Nit de l’Art with twenty exhibition spaces and new collaborators that bring contemporary art closer to the public, whom Reus reminds that on the association’s website they can book the guided tours they have organised until the month of October, both to the galleries in Palma and to the Galería Maior in Pollença and the CCA Andratx.
Mallorca, an artistic centre of reference
For Reus, the boom in gallery openings on the island and specifically in Palma is good news. “As long as they are interesting projects that are committed to culture, it is a positive thing. Palma has become a benchmark destination in the art world and, in terms of tourism, it offers culture and gastronomy beyond the sun and beach,” he says. In this sense, “Mallorca has a privileged location and an artistic level on a par with any European city. At the Arco Fair we are the third most represented in Spain with six galleries. And on an international level, there are many galleries that are interested and have opened spaces here. Palma is becoming a basic centre of reference in the art world”, says Reus.
For the president of Palma’s gallery owners, it is clear that “the work we do in Mallorca is being valued. The list of names present at the Nit de l’Art is an example that we are on a par with any other city in Europe; with our size, but the truth is that whenever we invite collectors and experts they are always surprised and do not expect the level we have”. Also, “the presence of Balearic artists in international galleries is more and more outstanding every year”, he continues.
Online sales and NFT
The consolidation of new trends in the art world, such as online sales platforms for buying and selling works or NFTs as a new artistic medium, are not alien to the sector on the island. “Thanks to the pandemic, galleries and artists were forced to activate these new online tools to stay connected with the public”, says Reus, who recalls that on Friday 16 the programme of the Nit de l’Art addresses NFTs in the art market through the conference ‘NFuTures. Perspectives on the future of NFTs in the art market’, moderated by Pau Waelder, curator and researcher specialising in the digital art market at CaixaForum Palma.
This weekend, and throughout the month of October, citizens will be able to enjoy contemporary art displayed in the galleries of Palma, Pollença and Andratx. “La Nit de l’Art is the ‘pretty girl’, the public waits for it all year round, but we have more events that continue to grow year after year,” says Reus, whose work at the helm of Art Palma Contemporani continues. In just two months, in November, the association will collaborate in the annual CIMAM congress – International Committee of Museums and Collections of Modern and Contemporary Art. “It will give us great visibility,” he concludes.