After we had announced the first exhibition in the CASAdelDRAGON three and a half years earlier, and after more than a hundred people were already waiting in front of the door, it was time to put the lighting system installed the day before into operation. The test failed. The tension rose.
In the end a decision had to be made, the light wouldn’t go on in one room. So we improvised there. The guests didn’t care. They hardly noticed. All other rooms were bathed in bright and neutral light. It later turned out that several errors came together: you can’t really go troubleshooting with a defective bulb in a defective socket.
Antje, translator and interpreter and in Cologne also tour guide in her role… the first exhibition was very well attended. We were also very pleased that so many residents from the village had come by. Local connectivity is important and will remain so. The CASAdelDRAGON is a house for European culture – and thus also for the very local and very valuable culture.
Gabriella, the Sardinian, who, among other things, embellished the Aquarius at the entrance to the gallery with broken tiles, in her pleasant way of helping quietly in the second row, with the eye for what is important, with the strength of her Sardinian ancestors.
Visitors came to the opening from near and far. Half were from the village or the surrounding area, the other half came from more than 1000 km away. From the very beginning, the gallery was also a meeting place, the best prerequisite for bridging cultures, for understanding and respect.
On that day, two founders of Familiafeliz were standing together in the gallery and didn’t even know that they were both laying the seeds for everything that would arise in the years to come around the house of the dragon. The idea of maybe buying a rental house together in Cologne was not implemented, but the successful founding of our decentralized community was. Sometimes you can remember the moments, they are often small decisions, and yet they lead to great adventures.
Barbara Rombach, German-French glass artist, stands next to Jose Caldes, Antje Kalisch and Peter Buch. Along with Genevieve Girot, these were the first five representatives of European contemporary art whose works were exhibited under the title Amigos en el Arte 1.
The well-known painter and sculptor Jose Caldes spoke about the risks and opportunities of a contemporary art gallery in the region. Caldes was the first artist who was able to sell a work – on the day of the opening – to an English art lover and collector. Caldes passed away a few years ago after a long illness, his work is remembered, and his friendship, his noble nature.
There are those who are at the front of the stage, whether they like it or not. And there are those who make all this possible in the first place, through their patience, perseverance, their will to create something positive and their willingness to give. Antje is such a person. Always the real center, quiet, present, for the gallery, the house, the community. Thank you.