The “Emerging Artists Dortmund” festival was first held in spring 2015 under the auspices of the cultural affairs manager for the City of Dortmund. The festival showcases the potential of young artists from the urban art scene in Dortmund and is aimed at making them more visible in urban society. Wilo-Foundation provided financial support to help launch the festival in 2015 and has pledged pledged its continued support to the biennial arts festival.
Dortmunder Kunstverein (Dortmund Art Association) is responsible for the artistic direction of the festival. The U2 cultural education centre at the Dortmunder U art space and the cultural office of the City of Dortmund also play a key role in organising the event.
The exhibition “Emerging Artists Dortmund” displays artworks representing a variety of forms of expression. A specialist jury selects the ten best artists from amongst the participants in the open contest, based on the criteria of originality, innovation and concept.
The exhibition format was specifically designed to help talented young artists to professionalise. The winning prize enables the artist to exhibit at Dortmunder U as an “emerging artist” and includes the opportunity to consult with experts for portfolio advice.
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Dortmunder Kunstverein (Dortmund Art Association) was established in 1984 as an initiative of Dortmund citizens with an interest in culture. In 2014, the association moved into offices near Dortmunder U. It has now grown to 200 members. With its constantly rotating presentations spanning a wide variety of artistic genres, Dortmunder Kunstverein has become an established platform for local artists and the region.