Artspace Gîtes (France)

Initiative: To bring out the creative spirit in all who visit, and support artists by offering them a free place to stay in exchange for creative donations

Business: Artspace Gîtes consists of two gites in the heart of historical Fontaine-Daniel in France

Description: Art isn’t about perfection, it’s about expression. As a writer, Ursula Benjamin recognized that being a creative can be a very isolating experience.

ArtSpace Gîtes invites artists to come and experience the community of Fontaine-Daniel. This village has been inhabited for 800 years, and nestles in the heart of an ancient forest. First it was a community space (a Benedictine Abbey), and then social housing was created in the village for the weavers of Toiles de Mayenne, a fabric manufacturer which still operates from the village. Fontaine-Daniel is a vibrant place, with a strong social and ecological awareness (Rudolph Steiner inspired), but most of all it is a community. Visitors to the Gîtes help fund the art residencies, and the artwork then appears on its walls, forming an ever-changing gallery of local art. If the creative is a writer, musician or performer they are encouraged to share their talent in the local co-operative space, where they get to know the people who life here.

The objective of ArtSpace Gîtes is to enhance the artistic life of the village and to help artists to be part of the community life of this unique village  – as well as inspire the visitors to unleash their own creativity.

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