Cecilia (60) celebrates ten years with the most intimate gallery at Kraanlei: “We speak the language of art” | Ghent

AGAINChampagne and snacks at Kraanlei 55, because ten years ago the art gallery Cecilia Jaime opened there during the Gentse Feesten. Initiator and namesake Cecilia ended up in Ghent via Argentina and Paris, where she opened the gallery with her husband Luc, a theater actor. “During corona, I got more time for my art, but I’m happy that I can keep in touch again”.

The smallest and coziest art gallery in Ghent is Cecilia Jaime, named after the artist who also curates at Kraanlei. Cecilia and her husband Luc Rogiest have run the gallery for ten years, which also houses Cecilia’s works. Ten years ago, before her fiftieth birthday, Cecilia started a new chapter. In addition to her own paintings, she has been a facilitator of up and coming talent.

Climbing and growth

“There is nothing better than seeing artists who are exhibiting with me for the first time climb and grow. It’s a pain point for many young artists, fresh out of the academy. Selling yourself is just not easy”, says Cecilia. “I can do that again. All the artists in this gallery have a link to Ghent. Their work must of course appeal to me, but it must also have social relevance, it must be a reflection of the times. Many of them also have an international touch .” Like Cecilia Jaime herself, who comes from Argentina and already knows what it’s like to start up in a foreign country.

Cecilia and her husband Luc were stranded in Ghent when they had children. The two met in Paris when Luc starred in a performance of ‘Evita’, based on the life story of Argentine first lady Evita Peron. “ONE coup. He didn’t speak Spanish and I barely spoke English, but we built a relationship through letters. We spoke the language of art. When we had children and our lives changed, we chose a stable place. It became Ghent, Luc’s home base.”

In front of Cecilia Jaime © svg

Ten more years

The gallery, with a prime downtown location, is also where they live. Until before the corona crisis, the couple also ran a B&B and bar. “In the early years of our children we turned to ourselves, around my fifties we turned our faces towards Kraanlei and the water, resulting in the gallery”. The bar and B&B no longer exist, Cecilia is still a successful visual artist. Her own painting is also displayed behind the counter. An impressive work reminiscent of lavender fields in France or the Argentine pampas.

“During the corona crisis, I started painting more landscapes, you can feel that the question of returning to my homeland is hovering a little. At the same time, I also had an exhibition in France. As artists, we got a lot of time during the crisis, but I’m still happy that we can exhibit again,’ it says. The gallery therefore remains a home base for Cecilia to keep in touch with other artists. “We will probably move the number of artists in the coming years, at least 50 have passed the notification in recent years. We are celebrating this anniversary with the group exhibition with 15 of ‘our’ artists. And we will definitely continue for another ten years!”

The group exhibition is a good way to celebrate 10 years of the gallery
The group exhibition is a good way to celebrate 10 years of the gallery © svg

The gallery is currently hosting a group exhibition featuring fifteen artists. Among other things, you can see work by Valery Vermeulen.

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