The Chilean government has opened a new centre for contemporary art located in a disused airport, Los Cerrillos, near the capital Santiago. The National Centre for Contemporary Art Chile, which is funded entirely by the state, encompasses exhibition spaces, libraries, a digital archive centre, along with conservation and research laboratories. The budget for the project is unspecified.
The centre will be home to the National Council of Culture and Arts Chiles contemporary art collection, including works currently housed in Galeria Gabriela Mistral in Santiago. Chilean artists such as Norton Maza, Flix Lazo and Natasha Pons are among the artists represented in the collection.
According to the website, museum officials aim to support national artists and promote understanding of the Chilean contemporary art [world] in relation to the Latin American scene.
The inaugural show, An Image called Word (until 30 January 2017), includes works by Gonzalo Daz and Eugenio Dittborn. Further exhibition programme details will be announced next January, when a new director is due to be appointed.
Patricia Ready, a local dealer who runs a contemporary art gallery in the borough of Vitacura in Santiago, says that the new centre could be an important space for contemporary Chilean art. She adds, however, that other key arts institutions such as the Santiago Museum of Contemporary Art, which is run by the University of Chile, suffer from a lack of resources and funds.
Los Cerrillos, which operated as an airport from 1929 to 2006, is considered a landmark Modernist site. Earlier this year, the 4,000 sq. m building was transferred to the National Council of Culture and Arts Chile.