Museum Night Fever Brussels

 On Saturday 7 March, Brussels’ museums are definitely the place to be! For the occasion of the 8th Museum Night Fever, the annual big night out in the city’s museums, about 23 museums will be showing off the best they have to offer in an extraordinary multidisciplinary program. What to expect? An offbeat programme with music, performances, dance, video, fashion, workshops and DJs. All 23 museums stay open from 7 pm until 1 am, followed by a massive afterparty in the Salle de la Madeleine, Brussels’ old casino.

The idea behind Museum Night Fever is to provide an alternative to the classic museum visit and present the collections to the public in a contemporary way. The program is the result of close collaboration between the museums and almost 500 young people from art schools, academies, youth clubs, artists’ collectives and a circus school as well this year. All the activities have been especially devised for Museum Night Fever. Thanks to an experimental coming together of various disciplines, a very different spotlight is going to be shone on the museums’ collections.





















STIB shuttles will run between the participating museums from 7 pm to 1 am. Use of the buses is included in the ticket price. The Museum Night Fever pass also allows you onto Noctis buses for free.

Here’s a list of the participating museums:

Royal Army Museum, art & marges museum, Autoworld, BELvue Museum, BIP-experience Brussels!, Le Botanique, BOZAR, Centrale for Contemporary Art, Choco-Story, CINEMATEK, Cinquantenaire Museum, Museum of the City of Brussels, Coudenberg Archaeological Site, Museum of Fantastic Art, Ixelles Museum, Jewish Museum of Belgium, Royal Belgian Library, MEDEX (Musée Ephémère de l’Exil/Temporary Museum of Exile), La Monnaie, Museum of Musical instruments, Parlementarium, Museum of Natural Sciences, WIELS.

For all practical information, check out the website. Can you feel the fever coming already?


Brussels Affordable Art Fair

In 1996 Will Ramsay opened Will’s Art Warehouse in southwest London to bridge the increasing interest in contemporary art and the London gallery scene. By concentrating on relatively unknown artists not carrying a premium for reputation, the gallery was able to offer works from £50 – £2,500 from a stable of over 150 artists. The response Will received to his Art Warehouse inspired him to take his approach to the next level, and 3 years later the Affordable Art Fair was born. Embracing other friendly galleries selling affordable art, the first fair launched in Battersea Park in October 1999. Some 10,000 visitors took advantage of the ease of buying, breadth of choice, affordable prices and user-friendly approach. Will then went on to launch a second event in Battersea Park in March 2001, to showcase entirely different artists from the October event. Now up to 22,000 people come to each London fair to enjoy the art exhibited by the 120 British and international galleries. A fair in New York quickly followed and since then Will hasn’t looked back.















Today, Will’s Art Warehouse still stands and the Affordable Art Fair has become something of a global phenomenon. The success of the British and American fairs encouraged Will to explore other markets and the Affordable Art Fair now takes place in cities including Amsterdam, Brussels, Milan, Singapore, Hamburg, Mexico City, Seattle, Stockholm, Hong Kong and Maastricht. Globally, over 1.4 million people have visited an Affordable Art Fair, buying over €238 million worth of art. The concept is very simple, yet unique: an inspiring and friendly atmosphere in which you can find thousands of original paintings, prints, sculpture and photography all under one roof, and all priced between €60 to €6,000. The work of young, emerging artists hangs alongside some of the biggest household names, while the compulsory labelling of all the artwork means you know exactly what suits your budget.

Will didn’t just stop with the Affordable Art Fair! He also founded the contemporary art-hub PULSE, held annually in New York and Miami; co-founded Asia’s leading art fair, the prestigious Art HK (which has since become Art Basel in Hong Kong); as well as being a shareholder in Art India, the sub-continent’s first international art fair, attracting over 190,000 visitors since its launch in 2008. Wherever there’s art, there’s Will!















Will and the Brussels team of the Affordable Art Fair are looking forward to welcome you at their next edition of the Affordable Art Fair from 6 to 9 February 2015 at Tour & Taxis. Come and spend an afternoon with them surrounded by thousands of fabulous artworks, chatting to friendly galleries, or taking part in a free workshop. From opening hours to admission prices, directions and info about the free shuttle service, and of course also an overview of the program: you will find everything you need to plan the perfect trip to the fair here.

As we are continuously encouraging and stimulating young, promising artists to express themselves, we at Hotel Bloom are very proud to be one of the fair’s main sponsors. There’s only one thing we can say now… Come check it out!

Henry van de Velde Awards & Labels

Every year, Design Vlaanderen awards the Henry van de Velde Awards & Labels, which focus public attention on local design. The Henry van de Velde Awards are cash prizes for designers and companies: one prize recognizes a career, while another aims to stimulate young talent and another honors a company. In addition, one prize goes to a public favorite and two are awarded for eco-design. At the exhibition that is currently running at BOZAR until 15 February, you can discover the laureates’ work and take part in the vote for the public prize. The exhibition is free of charge.













Here’s an overview of the laureates:

Henry van de Velde Career Award - A reputed book and poster designer, Gert Dooreman began working as an illustrator for publications as De Morgen, Humo, Playboy, De Gentenaar and De Standaard. He soon shifted his focus to design, and especially typography. He is the regular typographer for Tom Lanoye, restyled De Standaard and Humo, and has designed posters for numerous theaters as well as books for practically every important publisher in Flanders and the Netherlands. “Measured on that basis, Gert Dooreman is one of the most significant graphic designers in the recent history of the Low Countries. This praise may sound over-exaggerated, perhaps even somewhat perfunctory in an account befitting such a resounding award as “the Henry van de Velde Career Award”, but I have yet to meet anyone from the Dutch language book trade or the graphic sector who begged to differ.” This is how Tom Lanoye describes the winner of the Henry van de Velde Career Award.

Henry van de Velde Company Award – The 20th Henry van de Velde Company Award goes to Serax in Kontich. For the first time in the history of this award, it was not awarded to a studio or factory, but to a label mainly produced abroad. Serge and Axel: the combination of the first letters of their given names forms Serax. Under that name, the Van den Bossche brothers took over their mother’s company in 1987 and continued to work on the distribution of copper flower pots. Steadily gaining name and fame in the decorative floral sector, they began to create more and more of their own designs and send them to their suppliers in Eastern Europe. Working with good designers enabled them to distinguish themselves from competitors and they wrote the success story that now includes tableware, flowers, furniture and lighting.













Henry van de Velde Young Talent Award - What is the role of the designer and how is it changing in a time when design and manufacturing become increasingly more digitized? This question is key to understanding the work of design studio Unfold. The studio, founded in 2002 by Claire Warnier and Dries Verbruggen after they graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven, develops projects that investigate new ways of creating, manufacturing, financing and distributing in a changing context. A context in which we see a merging of aspects of the pre-industrial craft economy with high-tech industrial production methods and digital communication networks. A context that has the potential to shift power, from industrial producers and those regulating infrastructure to the individual designer and the consumer. Unfold has been acknowledged globally with its Artisan Electronique, a ceramic 3D printer with a virtual pottery wheel.

OVAM Ecodesign Award PRO 2014 - The Ecodesign Award PRO was also an important part of the Henry Van de Velde Awards & Labels this year. OVAM supports students, designers and companies to develop the necessary ecodesign skills. With the Ecodesign Award for students and the Ecodesign Award PRO, OVAM seeks to reward designers for their efforts. There are two categories in the OVAM Ecodesign Award PRO: “product on the market” and “product in development”. This year’s winner for “product on the market” is Smappee, by the Pilipili and Smappee-team. As for “product in development”, the winner is Oxyvase, by Studio Peter Van Riet.

PMV/CultuurInvest Award – Together with CulturInvest, Flemish investment company PMV invests in creative and/or growth sectors, including design. It encourages entrepreneurship in the sector and gives the Henry van de Velde Awards & Labels a boost so that they mean more for designers and design agencies. This year, PMV and CultuurInvest have granted a cash prize of 2,500 euros for the company that reflects the balance between creativity and commercial feasibility with its new product. The Piano light switch by David Dos Santos for Lithoss is a good example of a creative design product that successfully combines inventiveness with commercial flair. PMV and CultuurInvest hope that this award will stimulate entrepreneurs to develop and market new products, ideas and models.


Brussels, you jazzy city!

The Brussels Winter Jazz Festival is no more, but out of its sizzling ashes were born two distinct jazz festivals in the city. Flagey is organizing the first edition of its Brussels Jazz Festival from 13 to 23 January 2015. The River Jazz festival at the Marni is ongoing and you can still visit it until 24 January.

Flagey is welcoming some renowned Belgian and European musicians during the Brussels Jazz Festival. Among those not to miss, Philip Catherine will handle the opening during an musical night dedicated to him. Other musicians include the French-American Cécile McLorin Salvant, the Bruno Vansina Orchestra, the trio Galliano-Fresu-Lundgren and many more. All info can be found on the website.36112_field_home_slideshow_big_628x250









Up until 24 January, the Marni Theater is welcoming Belgian and European musicians for the first edition of the River Jazz Festival. This festival takes its strength from 3 different Brussels jazz stages: The Marni, Jazz Station and Senghor. The path taken between Ixelles and Saint-Josse through Etterbeek is actually the old riverbed Maelbeek, which has inspired the name of this brand new event. The closing of the River Jazz Festival will honor Manu Hermia with a triple concert during the River Jazz Night. Check out the website for all information.














All you jazz amateurs must definitely go check out one of these festivals – you won’t be disappointed!

Intergenerational opera at La Monnaie

What happened before we got involved in problematic things like civilization, religion and nationhood? In her conceptual album “Medúlla”, Icelandic artist Björk returns to a pagan universe that is entirely human. Björk’s composition for a cappella voices explores a huge array of vocal techniques, from throat-singing and choruses to beatboxing and pop harmonies. Released in 2004, the album was her reaction to counter the outbreaks of racism and neo-nationalism after the 9/11 attacks. A decade later, an ensemble of singers representing different generations – children and youth choirs next to senior opera singers – unites to redefine in meditative images what Björk named “medúlla” – an ancient spirit that’s passionate and dark, a spirit that survives – the basic element of human condition that unites us all, despite different beliefs, origins, nations and ages.










This unique performance takes place at La Monnaie/De Munt in Brussels from 4 to 8 February 2015. You can attend a pre-performance talk half an hour before the start of each performance.

Ticket prices: cat 1 – € 40 / cat 2 – € 20 / schools – € 10

Venue: La Monnaie/De Munt, Malibranzaal, Place de la Monnaie, Brussels,

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