Merano Arte in the Sparkasse building is a non-profit art association, located in a listed building with a loggia which belongs to Südtiroler Sparkasse AG.
The building was refurbished and transformed into a gallery of contemporary art in 2000/2001 by the Merano architects Höller & Klotzner.
Merano Arte has 500 m² of exhibition space, a studio apartment on the fourth floor, a cafeteria and a gallery shop on the ground floor, as well as an event hall that seats roughly 70 persons.
Kunst Meran is an international platform for contemporary art and architecture. Founded as a non-profit association, the institution is since 2001 based in the Portici, in a carefully renovated historic building of the Sparkasse. Kunst Meran understands itself as a place where contemporary art is not only presented but also developed, produced and discussed. The goal of Kunst Meran is contribute substantially to the cultural profile of the city of Merano, to promote international and regional art production in the form of exhibitions and educational programmes.
Through many collaborations with institutions in neighbouring countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), as well as with other European institutions, Kunst Meran has established an efficient network. As a place that intends to facilitate encounter and exchange with contemporary art, Kunst Meran also organizes diverse projects such as conferences, residencies and workshops. Kunst Meran is furthermore one of the most active institutions in South Tyrol in the domain of contemporary architecture.
With these objectives in mind, 14 art enthusiasts founded the association artForum Gallery - Forum Zeitgenössische Kunst Meran in 1996. artGallery Raffl by Herta Wolf Torggler in the years 1992 - 1995 was decisive for the objectives and concept of the new institution at the ‘Pfarrplatz’ square.
Prompted by the broad program and large public response, the association management started looking for a new location in 1998. The loggia building belonging to Südtiroler Sparkasse was ideal for cultural purposes, so the bank eventually restructured it and rented it to the association.
Today, Merano Arte in the Sparkasse building has around 80 members.
After the restructuring phase, Merano arte was opened on October 26, 2001 with the first exhibition: "Art and Cure – Aesthetics of Recuperation" (curators: Prof. Dieter Ronte, Carl Aigner, Andrea Domesle)
Already in its first years, Merano Arte managed to establish a dense network of young artists, recognized curators, institutions, and critics.
Moreover, "across" was founded, a loose connection of contemporary institutions in Trentino, South Tyrol, and the State of Tyrol. Since December 2004, Merano arte has also been a member of the national institutions and museums of contemporary art in Italy, "AMACI" www.amaci.org.