The Founding of the Art Centre Silkeborg Bad

The health-resort activities ended in 1983 where Silkeborg Bad goes bankrupt. At that time it had been a health-resort for one hundred years. The next nine years the future is uncertain. For some time it is used, among other things, as a centre for refugees and for fitness activities.

Founding of the Independent Institution
In 1992 are the buildings brought by the Municipality of Silkeborg. A circle of institutions and committed people founds in August the independent institution KunstCentret Silkeborg Bad (the Art Centre Silkeborg Bad). Founders and contributors were, among others, Silkeborg Kommune (the Municipality of Silkeborg), Den selvejende institution Silkeborg Teater, Kreditforeningen Danmark (mortgage credit company), and Turistforeningen for Silkeborg og Gjern (the Tourist Association for the Municipalities of Silkeborg and Gjern, today’s Silkeborg Turist- og Regattaforening).

Renovation of Park and Buildings
The Board of the Art Centre Silkeborg Bad is now gradually renovating the buildings and the park area. Søvilla (“Lake Villa”) is to begin with chosen as project office and base for a number of activities for the audience, among other things, under the auspices of the support circle the Friends of Silkeborg Bad. Next Skovvilla (“Forest Villa”) is being renovated. Villa Granly (“the Villa by the firs”) and parts of Societetsbygningen (the building used for parties etc) are being let out in 1996-97 for the use of municipal institutions for children and other parts of the same building for the use of Silkeborg Ny Teater (“Silkeborg New Theatre”).

External Advisers
The Board establishes connections with persons which can advise on artistic matters. Among them are “københavnerne” (the Copenhagen citizens) Hans Edvard Nørregård-Nielsen, Ulf Horak og Sten Bjarnhof, the Norwegian Per Hovdenakk and from the local area Lars Kruse and Steffen Lange. This proves to be rewarding in the early development of the area and the first exhibition activities.

The First Exhibitions
Skovvilla (“Forest Villa”) opens in May 1996 with the exhibition Det abstrakte gennembrud I dansk skulptur (The Abstract Breakthrough in Danish Sculpture). Over the next one and a half year period three other exhibitions are held. First the exhibition Silkeborg–billeder (“Silkeborg Pictures”) and subsequently En samler af format (Quite a Collector) exhibiting Erik Andreasen’s collection of modern Danish and French art, and finally Hedebilleder (Paintings from the Heath) with motives from the Heath of Jutland. During the period of the first exhibitions the Art Centre is primarily open on weekends, with the help of, among others, the first volunteer attendants; a group which, in the course of time, becomes much larger.

Construction of the New Park
This period also sees a new construction of the green area where both old elements are thrown into relief and new constructions added, including Jørn Larsen’s logo “Sammen og ud i verden” (“Together and out into the World”)

Kurbygningen is being Renovated
At the same time renovation and extension plans are being worked out for the building "Kurbygningen". This building is the greatest challenge also economically. Financial support from Velux Fonden (the Velux Foundation) together with loan from the then Aarhus Amt (the County of Aarhus) becomes decisive for the financing.

On May 30, 1998, is Kurbygningen inaugurated with the exhibition Fuglefri. The new Art Centre is now fully working.

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