At the beginning of the 1990’s, Renate Westhoff began to promote artists. She organized international art fairs and exhibition concepts for the artists she represented. In this context, she developed a concept for the 1994 Soccer World Cup in Chicago which had a direct connection to the sporting event. She exhibited artists from those countries which competed against each other in sports. This ‘Art Match Exhibition’ was shown in 1994 with great success at the Goethe Institut in Chicago. Visitors saw this cultural program as an attractive accompaniment to the sports event; it was reported on TV in 17 countries.
After this first experience of a major sporting event, and because this concept was lauded as grandiose, she was inspired to continue to emphasize this connection between art and sports.
Thus her idea grew to develop an identical exhibition for the Olympic Games. For many months, she researched whether there was anything similar to the Olympics. She searched in relevant sources as well as in the library of the University of Freiburg where she lived. She studied the relationship between sports and art from the ancient Olympic Games to the modern games initiated by Pierre Baron de Coubertin in 1896, reviving them after a gap of one thousand and five hundred years.
Westhoff’s research led her to the realization that in the present Olympic Games, there was nothing comparable. There was no exhibition in which the cultures of the participating countries were represented by their artists. Thus she developed the today’s ARTIADE – the Olympics of Art, based on the idea that athletes and artists, today as in Ancient Greece, are considered to be of equal merit and represent two facets of a common culture. This art concept then became very popular in politics and cultural organizations. Then it was decoupled from the Olympic Games because to many difficulties arose in this connection. After all the management decided to host this great and unique art concept in an environment where it will be unaffected.
From its beginning, the ARTIADE has found worldwide approval. This is a strong motivation for the organizers to maintain it. Especially the artists benefit from showing their skill and artistry on this international platform which has great public attention.
The ARTIADE concept has now been further developed, some modifications in the concept have been made, such as:
•a change of rotation
•a new art category has been added
• every new ARTIADE will take place every two years in different cities
Announcement for Berlin 2020
By choosing one of the most privileged cities in Europe and by means of the open announcement, the organizing team is again expecting contributions of meaningful and high quality. It is to generate an international meeting place for artists, art lovers and collectors. This will be a great opportunity for the participating artists to present their works to a large and extraordinary audience.
More information can be found:
info brochure of 2004 (Download).
ARTIADE Founder Renate Westhoff