Pakje Kunst - Ro-nald Schrauwen


Ten years ago artist Ro-Nalt Schrauwen discovered an old cigarette vending machine in Potsdam (Berlin) with small boxes of art in it. For four euros you could pull a packet of art out of this vending machine. "That's what I'm going to do", Ro-Nalt thought resolutely.

So said, so done. Ten years later, the first pack of art vending machines will be on display in Tilburg. Ro-Nalt says: "I went to to look for an automat. Then I made my own boxes. My studio mates made the first works of art for the boxes. After a successful visit to the Art Market in Nieuwlandstraat, I pitched the project at the Awesome Foundation Tilburg. With this money I could continue. The first vending machine was installed at the Gianotten-Mutsaers bookshop. There were also vending machines placed at café Bolle and BANK15. I thought I had enough of 400 boxes, but during the preparation it soon became clear that many more had to be made. It didn't take long for the national media to tell their story."


In Tilburg there are over 350 artists, 45 of whom are involved in Pakje Kunst. "Some artists I approached myself, others responded to the report in the newspaper. Not everyone knew each other prior to the project, but the concept has a connecting effect." Package Art is, of course, a fantastic way to promote regional art. "Art is often not accessible to people because it is expensive. With a packet of art for four euros, this becomes easily accessible. You can present yourself as an artist in a small work of art. The concept works so well because people love surprises and saving. It works like a kind of Kinder Surprise egg."


Package Art is more than just a packet of art from a vending machine. It gives rise to conversation and creates new collaborations. Now that the first people have a packet of art in their homes, Ro-Nalt is taking a new step. "In September, I'm organising an exchange fair during Dear Future, a festival focused on social innovation. In that sense, the project naturally fits in very well with Tilburg.


In Tilburg there are four vending machines and now there are about 45 machines in Dutch cities and regions. In Flevoland and parts of Limburg they do not yet exist, but there is almost a national coverage. Of the forty regions in the country there are thirty-three with a Pack of Art vending machines. The artists also come from these regions. "A Pack of Art Museums in a few years' time seems to me to be absolutely fantastic. But that museum would of course have to be located in Tilburg."

The product can be seen as part of the exhibition 'Tilburg makers' at Hotel Mercure, Heuvelpoort 300 in Tilburg.

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