Since its early years, ARTESANTANDER has been held in the month of July, in northern Spain’s midsummer, in order to occupy a special place on the international art festival calendar which pleases gallery owners and collectors alike and gives our event its own identity.
The eighteenth ARTESANTANDER wants to place a special emphasis on two aspects: giving the festival more and better cultural content and boosting the internationalisation of the event. The main aim is to establish the event not just as a prestigious commercial festival but also as a cultural event of a distinctly international nature, with renown and capable of going beyond borders.
With the conscious decision to limit the festival to 32 exclusive galleries, ARTESANTANDER also satisfies the demand for a space that favours the discovery and acquisition of works of art in a playful spirit of pleasure and relaxation.
Making the most of Santander’s candidature for the 2016 European Capital of Culture, for three years, three different countries will be invited, one by one, starting with Belgium (2009), followed by Poland (the country that will share the European Capital of Culture status with a Spanish city) and then Italy (2011), inviting four galleries from the country in question each year. This new approach derives from an attractive idea of cultural fusion, of creating intercultural synergies and of mutual enrichment of proposals, which it is hoped will become the fundamental principle of ARTESANTANDER from now on.
One of ARTESANTANDER’s challenges is to reactivate relations with other cultural entities in the region in order to initiate collaborative programmes aimed at enriching the exhibition from a cultural perspective. In short, the aim is to coordinate the mechanisms needed to expand and enrich the forums of debate by involving more sectors from the cultural sphere.
Lastly, this new approach to ARTESANTANDER 2009’s cultural programme, in addition to a clear inclination towards permanent improvement and a quantitative jump in its internationalisation, includes a modest desire to have an atomising effect, acting as an epicentre capable of combining all the important cultural events held in the region at this time of year.