Arena Vestfossen, established in 2004, is a centre for contemporary art. The centre consist of galleries, studios and a black-box theatre. It is an arena for many disciplines within the arts. Arena is established in the village Vestfossen. The place was buildt upon the industry established there, and ARENA takes hold of the premises of the former paper-factory.
At the moment there is nine galleris, five studios og production-facilities for stage- and performanceart. There is also a black-box theatre with many shows throughout the year. A regional art school have facilities for instrumental practice. The regional museum, Drammen Museum, have a conservation workshop. Within all the areas of the centre there are a lot of activity, and a continuously production of art, both by artists in residence and visiting artists. We have an active out-turned work, and are anticipating approximately 50 visiting artist during 2006.The artists, working at Arena Vestfossen, are within the genres of painting, photography, installation, furniture, design, performance, visual arts and more.
Already from the start Arena and Vestfossen have had a strong international profile, and our goals in this area are very significant. This is reflected in our present work and profile. Through galleries, productions and workshops we have included artists from China, Cambodia, United Kingdom, Finland and Sweden to mention a few. This also shows that we want to be noticed on a more international level, and more than anything in Europe. At the same time it is important to be an arena for local artists, and an establishment for the local community. In september 2006 Arena Vestfossen became a member of Trans Europe Halles. It is an network of 38 cultural centres throughout Europe.
During the two first years Arena has received 190 000€ in public funds. We are funded by Arts Council Norway, County of Buskerud and Øvre Eiker Local Council. We anticipate additional financial support from the public authorities in the future. In establishing this art centre the building has been renovated for approximately 1 000 000€, and most of this has been financed by the artists themselves.
Arena Vestfossen is cooperating with the local community, other artists and institutions. First and foremost we are cooperating with Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium (Art laboratory) which has during the four last years evolved to be one of Norway’s most significant museums for contemporary art. Together the common goal is to develop Vestfossen from the decay of past industry to a substantial cultural art centre in our region.