Concept / Philosophy
The MdA is run and staffed by the Francophone Cultural Service of Schaerbeek Council and is a unique place whose activities are mainly concerned with the creation of works of contemporary art with a significant partnership programme that promotes access for all to contemporary art.
The MdA has hosted a rich programme of artistic activities since the 1950s when the building was purchased by Schaerbeek Council. In 2005, the MdA began a programme of inviting artists to work in building, to build more coherence between their works of art and the MdA.
Most recently, in 2016, Schaerbeek Council decided to position the MdA as a centre for the creation, diffusion and promotion of culture, contemporary two-dimensional, three-dimensional and digital art.
The MdA’s educational and social approach aims to promoting equality of access to art and its introduction to new audiences.
In practical terms, various exhibitions are hosted by the MdA each year, including work by established and emerging artists and art collectives, plus degree shows by students at art colleges. The exhibitions are accompanied by a programme of events (including seminars, film shows and lunchtime guided tours) that aim to encourage encounters, exchanges and discoveries.
Three times each year, with the support of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, the MdA invites an artist to work in the building with their unique installations. The artists chose where they will work (in one of the salons or the library or the dining room, each creating a unique dialogue with the building, its history, its residents and their works of art. Bob Verschueren was the first, followed by Marie-Jo Lafontaine, Marin Kasimir and Bénédicte Henderick; then Hughes Dubuisson, Philippe Cardoen and Jean-François D’Or; then the “atomic bombs” of Dany Danino, Lucile Bertrand, Arlette Vermeiren and Anne Liebhaberg; then Bernard Villers, Jonathan Sullam, Laurent Quillet, VOID, Léopoldine Roux, Johan Muyle, the Razkas Workshop and Jacques Richard. A numbered plaque records each of these temporary installations.
The MdA is housed in a listed historic building with considerable acquired heritage capital which is put in dialogue with contemporary creativity as soon as opportunities present themselves. The rooms on the ground floor were restored in 2018.
The MdA develops its potential for innovation and creativity through partnerships, collaborative projects and external activities, most frequently as part of the network of other Schaerbeek cultural organisations. It runs workshops and training courses as well as participating in local collective events such as “Extra Small”, “Le Jour J des ateliers”, etc.