Saturday we were at UNARTE (Bucharest University’s Art Faculty) for its annual open day, held in the university’s grounds on Calea Grivitiei. It’s a lovely place, an oasis of open-mindedness and tolerance, and we spent a pleasant couple of hours drinking soc, buying trinkets we don’t need and watching the kids try out all sorts of hands-on painting and printing techniques. We only found out about it because Mrs. Bucharest Life knows one of the organisers: next year we will give you a bit more notice so you can go along. It’s fun, especially if you have kids.
Then on Sunday we were at Hanul Gabroveni (the recently restored Old Town inn which links Strada Lipscani with Strada Gabroveni) to look the closing exhibition of a year-long urbanism project involving a number of children at five schools around Bucharest. Son of Bucharest Life was one of the kids who took part.
Organised by Asociatia Komunitas the project – Urban Spaces in Action – was designed to encourage children to think about the urban spaces in which they live in and how they can be made better, starting with those spaces that perhaps matter to them most: the courtyards of their schools. Throughout the year the children were taught about urban planning, photography, graphic design and other visual arts. The end result was two-fold: the exhibition of their ideas, mock-ups, photographs and paintings at Hanul Gabroveni, and the realisation of some of their ideas in the very schools they attend every day.
At Son of Bucharest Life’s school (Scoala 79) the kids designed and built a rather funky, colourful bench, and decorated the entrance with an eight-bit mural of two superheroes.
Then came the bombshell. We spotted some paintings on a wall. ‘Oh, we did those too,’ said Son of Bucharest Life: an exhibited artist and we had no idea.
The Komunitas project exhibition can be seen at the rather impressive Hanul Gabroveni until Friday.