"Coming in!" Festival for Outsider Art in Nürtingen

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Patrick Kunz, Rosalie, acrylic, 75 x 53 cm, 2023 ©Andrea Ebner, Kreative Werkstatt Diakonie Stetten e.V. (detail)

From June 14 to July 14; including the university degree programs in Artistic Therapies

NÜRTINGEN(nt). In summer 2024, the "Coming in!" art festival will take place in Nürtingen under the auspices of the city's Department of Culture and in cooperation with the Artistic Therapies degree courses at Nürtingen-Geislingen University (NGU).

From June 14 to July 14, various art institutions in Nürtingen will focus on art forms created by people with disabilities or psychiatric experience and make them accessible to a wide audience in exhibitions, lectures and performances.

Coming in! The festival for Outsider Art in Nürtingen is sponsored by the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung, the Stiftung der Kreissparkasse Esslingen-Nürtingen, the Eberhard-Rommel-Stiftung, the Karin Abt-Straubinger Stiftung, the Lechler Stiftung and the Albrecht Beck-Stiftung and supported by the Hochschulbund Nürtingen-Geislingen e.V.

"Creativity is the intelligence that has fun" Albert Einstein once said. And this is not limited to a specific group of people. For creative forms of expression can be found in all social groups, including people who are not part of the academic art world or are on its fringes due to disabilities or psychiatric experience. They create works of great urgency and persuasiveness, which are known internationally as "outsider art".

The term not only describes the particular social conditions of creation outside the academic art world and the specific experiences of untrained artists. It also refers to the fact that they have remained outsiders in cultural perception, although their works have made a lasting impression on cultural figures such as Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee and Max Ernst and have also been taken into account in high-profile spaces such as the Documenta in Kassel or the Venice Biennale.

For a long time, "outsider art" was considered an insider tip in the art scene. Through the commitment of institutions such as supervised studios, their creation is promoted and
made accessible to a broad public. This is the case with the Living Museum Alb at Bruderhaus Diakonie in Münsingen-Buttenhausen. Germany's first Living Museum is an inclusive place for participation and encounters, where art museum and studio merge and people with and without disabilities can give free rein to the fun of language, color, sound and expression and thus their creativity.
 The idea was born two years ago in the art committee of the city of Nürtingen.
Art historian Dr. Tobias Wall suggested breaking new ground for the summer exhibition in the Kreuzkirche and presenting this type of art instead of asking established artists. This idea was also welcomed by Prof. Dr. Tobias Loemke, Dean of the Faculty of Environment, Design and Therapy at NGU, and so the project grew in terms of both theme and content.

In addition to showcasing the wealth of "outsider art" in Baden-Württemberg as an important and equal part of the cultural present, another aim of this project is to use art to encourage a responsible and light-hearted approach to inclusion and tolerance. "Art is diverse and colorful - just like our society. That's why we want to make a contribution to openness by presenting and engaging with these special works," says Susanne Ackermann, Head of the Cultural Department, explaining the intention of "Coming In!". And this idea was met with a consistently positive response in the Nürtingen art scene. "I am extremely pleased that all of Nürtingen's art institutions are taking part and that we are also being supported by the Prinzhorn Collection in Heidelberg, which houses the most important collection of outsider art in Germany," adds Lord Mayor Dr. Johannes Fridrich.

The Domnick Collection, the Freie Kunstakademie Nürtingen, the Fritz und Hildegard Ruoff Stiftung, the Kunstverein Nürtingen, the Forum Türk, the SCHAURAUM des Provisoriums, the KulturCafé SprechZimmer, the Bodelschwinghschule, the Lebenshilfe e.V. and the Trägerverein Freies Kinderhaus e.V. are taking part in the Nürtingen event series.
Special content also requires special concepts. "Coming In!" therefore connects the participating artists with the audience. In addition, the art on display is communicated directly to children, young people and schools, among others, through guided tours and interactive workshops. The Alte Seegrasspinnerei accompanies the project with its own inclusion festival "Outside im Hof" and an inclusive workshop program.

The opening weekend already offers a wide range of opportunities to approach the topic of "Outsider Art". The first event on June 14 will be the Artistic Therapies course at NGU. NGU is taking part in a multi-part conference on the campus in Sigmaringer Straße as part of its 75th anniversary celebrations. An exhibition of expressive paintings and drawings from various creative periods by the artist Normann Seibold, who studied at the Karlsruhe Art Academy and now works at the Living Museum Alb, will open there from 4.30 pm. At 6 p.m., Lord Mayor Dr. Fridrich will then officially launch the project in the Kreuzkirche and at the same time open the central exhibition of the Cultural Office: Under the title "Farben.Froh.Leben!" (Colors.Joy.Life!), artists from five important supervised studios in the region invite visitors on a journey of discovery into their artistic worlds. On display are works from the Living Art Museum in Münsingen-Buttenhausen, the Kreativwerk Höfingen, the Kreative Werkstatt Diakonie Stetten, the open studio Grafeneck and Atelier 5 in Mariaberg. The immediate joy in color and experimentation, which is noticeable in an unconventional visual language and great color intensity, testifies to an incomparable creative power and creative energy. Afterwards, at 8 pm, the SCHAURAUM will present an exhibition by the Nürtingen artist Florian Müller, who studied at the Freie Kunstakademie Nürtingen and the Kunstakademie Stuttgart.

The various institutions will also be offering guided tours, workshops and lectures. The full program is available at