Art galleries have a long history of recycling old spaces, putting them to new and creative uses. The Ex-Tobacco Building in Umbertide, Italy is no different. After a €5.9m overhaul the old factory unit and surrounding grounds have been transformed into an arts, performance space with children’s play area and sports facilities outside.
Exhibition space Umbertide
This large, fresh space provides a perfect void for showing art. High, whitewashed walls, spacious floor area and a mezzanine level for more intimate gatherings.
I was honoured to have been asked to be a part of the inauguration ceremony on the 24th October 2015, with the inclusion of seven of my paintings. Six other talented artists and sculptors displayed their works and the evening was topped off with a delicious buffet and an entertaining musical duet. Those who attended were treated to a cultural as well as a nourishing feast and it was wonderful to see so many familiar faces there.
By the numbers in attendance the event proved a great success and Umbertide now has an excellent area where its inhabitants can show off their skills and talents in this interesting building.
While Umbria’s once flourishing tobacco industry is rapidly being replaced, it is nice to see that the architecture of this period is being kept alive and put to new and creative uses. It would probably be easier just to knock the old factories down and start again but then you lose the history of how the area developed. Hopefully more of these crumbling ruins and derelict buildings, with a little imagination, can be put to good use.