ArtColLab: Art & creativity meet sustainability & philanthropy

The ArtColLab project stands for creativity, philanthropy and sustainability. In our interview, co-founder Olga Re Rebaudengo gives exclusive insights into the current collection and the future of the art scene

Art and sustainability
Source & Copyright by ArtColLab

Author: House of Eden

ArtColLab is a philanthropic project of Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation (FSRR). The goal is, artists Bringing together from different disciplines to create something unique and new. As part of this mission, all profits go into programs that nurture the generation of young, emerging talent. The foundation of the project is always guided by three main elements: creativity (through artistic interdisciplinary collaboration), philanthropy and Sustainability.

In this interview, ArtColLab Co-Founder Olga Re Rebaudengo shares her art expertise and valuable insights about the project:

art and sustainability

Olga Re Rebaudengo

We celebrate design, diversity and sustainability through culture

My mother-in-law Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, founder and president of FSRR and co-founder of the project, and I share a love for timeless fashion and art. So, a few years ago we came up with the idea to combine these interests for a good cause. The idea was to give a chance to artists with whom FSRR has worked and supported in the past to collaborate with creatives from other industries and in the process raise funds to foster a new generation of young talents.

Motivated by our passion to use culture in order to create bridges and to celebrate diversity through design, we have chosen two leading multicultural creatives to collaborate on this year's collection.

ArtColLab: Creative connections with a conceptual & aesthetic sense

This year, the Kenyan-British artist Michael Armitage and the award-winning Italian designer of Haitian descent Stella Jean represent our mission. For our project, it is vital that we pair together creatives that have some meaningful connections between them, conceptually or aesthetically.

Art and sustainability

Source & Copyright by ArtColLab

This collaboration is uniquely rooted in both, the artist's and designer’s equally distinct traditions and cultures. Both demonstrate their uniquely rich storytelling through their art forms with Stella Jean’s ethically sound designs as well as bold and colourful aesthetic, and Michael Armitage’s dreamlike palette used in his expressionistic style. In my opinion, both Stella and Michael - in their respective work - communicate a bigger message, beyond just an aesthetic one. And that is a sense of multiculturalism.

Ethics and sustainability are at the center of everything we do

We are well aware of the issues that the fashion industry is facing with regard to sustainability and pollution, which is why we definitely do not want to add to the problem. Hence, ethical practices and sustainability are at the core of our project with collaborators using eco-friendly materials wherever possible. The current collection comprises of two 100% wool limited-edition sweaters which come in a box made of 100% recycled paper.

The main aspect of our project is the sense of collaboration, which is done in a meaningful way. I would encourage more brands to foster collaborations with creative talents from various disciplines and to do so with a specific message in mind. I am not a fan of collaborations in which brands just print artist's works on the garments. What we need is more open dialogue between creatives and industries that bring positive messages to consumers.

ARTUNER: Hybrid future model with a sustainable impact

At ARTUNER, we focus on identifying talented artists and nurturing their careers. In order to achieve this goal, we have developed an innovative ‘hybrid’ art platform that stages curated selling exhibitions, both online and offline through an ambitious programme of international pop-up shows. This new hybrid model, that my husband Eugenio Re Rebaudengo has pioneered, lies somewhere between a traditional gallery, an online educational art platform and an incubator for talented emerging artists with a long term focus on developing and managing their careers.

Art and Sustainability

Source: Artuner, art by Paul Kneale, "Recycling"

The main goal is to be able to discover the most exciting artists. Those, who are going to be collected by major international museums as well as mentioned in art history books 50 years from now. Obviously, not all of the artists will have these careers (and it is virtually impossible to forecast with absolute certainty at these early stages), but the mission really is to strive to identify and collaborate with artists that pursue this ambition as well as have the potential to create unique works.

We work together despite Corona - just a little differently

Of course, the Corona pandemic made the process of this collaboration much more challenging as all the conversations were held via ZOOM. This was quite a different process compared to the more physical experience of our first collaboration which was between Canadian artist Paul Kneale and British footwear designer Nicholas Kirkwood. Collaborative processes in the artist’s studio or simply sharing a meal whilst brainstorming ideas are much more difficult to replicate via ZOOM.

On a practical level, we could not arrange a photoshoot with Stella and Michael present due to travel restrictions. Also, we could not arrange any events alongside the launch of the capsule. On the other hand, we found a great partner in the online platform YOOX, which exclusively sells the sweaters online as well as helps us to bring the project to a wider audience.

The future of the art scene

We see more and more artists being engaged with sociopolitical as well as environmental issues and I believe these themes will continue to occupy artists’ minds. And rightly so!

Thank you very much for the interview, Olga!

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