BeCraft are artists from the Wallonia-Brussels Federation supported, promoted, trained and informed.
It is a continuous exchange between Belgium and the International.
It is a place in a historic high place: the Old Slaughterhouses of Mons.
It is also a space for exhibitions, conferences, workshops and above all, meetings.
Representative of Applied Arts in French-speaking Belgium, BeCraft lifts the veil on current creation, its new approaches and new techniques.
BeCraft is a professional association promoting applied arts professions in the regions of Wallonia and Brussels. Ceramics, glass, jewellery, paper, textiles, object design are, among others, the creative fields in which the artists who are supported and promoted are involved. BeCraft works in conjunction with WCC•Europe, within the global structure of the World Crafts Council.
Four main objectives motivate the actions of BeCraft: the support and promotion in Belgium and abroad of its member artists; informing and training the public and professionals in the field through exhibitions, conferences, workshops and guided tours.
The BeCraft Gallery is a showcase for the latest, ever more innovative and daring creations of member artists. The rigor with which the works are selected and presented does not hinder the conviviality of the place, conducive to tasting tea in handmade bowls.
Particular attention is paid to the creators of tomorrow. With this in mind, the association organizes the Tremplin exhibition each year, a competition for students who have recently graduated from the Schools of Art of Wallonia and Brussels. The exhibition of their end-of-study work shows a new landscape of Belgian creation in full prospection, while giving them a professional boost thanks to the Prizes awarded on this occasion.
A number of international exhibitions, in collaboration with other institutions, are organized here and then exported abroad. It is by offering the public and artists the opportunity to contemplate the works of creators from all countries that BeCraft contributes to promoting dialogue, stimulation and emulation of the Applied Arts.
Its participation in international exhibitions and fairs also confirms this objective by promoting artistic exchanges between Belgian and foreign creation while allowing its member artists to enjoy a certain recognition across Europe.
Before being renamed BeCraft in October 2018, the association was known as the World Crafts Council – Francophone Belgium (WCC-BF).
It was in 1981, with the support of the World Crafts Council, an NGO recognized by UNESCO, that the WCC-BF was founded. Starting with the determination of the creators gathered around Anne Leclercq, professor of ceramics and one of the founding members of the association, the WCC-BF ignores the difficulties to ensure the promotion of the Craft of creation and the improvement of the living conditions of creators. Gradually, the WCC-BF gains visibility and obtains the support of public and private institutions such as the City of Mons, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, the Province of Hainaut, the National Lottery, the European Union… with which partnerships are made. .
After more than twenty years of work driven by the permanent investment of Anne Leclercq – then President of WCC-BF, of WCC-Europe and Vice-President of WCC International –, the WCC-BF finds a place commensurate with its aspirations. Since 2006, he has occupied the Old Slaughterhouses of Mons, built in 1884 by the architect Charles François Sury in a Lombard style; admirably renovated by the Atelier Matador and the architect Philippe Roland in the spirit of their original function. The association’s gallery is located in the old barn where the offices are also located, designed as bivalent spaces for concentration and interaction with the public. It is in this place that the permanent exhibition of the creations of member artists, temporary exhibitions and tea tastings are held. The Grande Halle, with a surface area of 700m², hosts major cultural events, organized from time to time by the association, such as the International Triennials (European Triennial of Contemporary Jewelery; European Triennial of Ceramics and Glass; European Prize for Applied Arts) . The fridge, meanwhile, is a space conducive to events. Screenings, conferences and workshops are regularly held there.
In 2016, Anne Leclercq gave way to the new generation. Gaëlle Cornut will manage for three years an institution then recognized throughout Europe. Today, at the dawn of its forty years, the renamed association is managed horizontally by three managers (Administration, Project, Communication) and pursues the primary objective of universalizing the Applied Arts. BeCraft affirms its contemporary spirit and strengthens the promotion of creators in Belgium and abroad.
MANIFESTO FOR THE APPLIED ARTS
ABOUT THE MANIFESTO:
To mark its 40th anniversary, the World Crafts Council Europe has undertaken a survey of its members to determine the challenges facing the crafts sector. The results of the survey form the basis for the development of this “Crafting Europe, manifesto and action plan”.
THE ACTION PLAN SEEKS SOLUTIONS THAT WILL:
– Recognize the contribution of craftsmanship to our European society, heritage, culture and economy.
– Celebrate this rich creative sector which values the human connection with the world around us and which shows the way forward for sustainable development in local economies.
– Provide appropriate supports and legislation to enable the sector to grow commercially.
– Build the future of the sector through appropriate training to ensure the transmission of skills to young people.
– Stimulate all types of innovation to ensure the evolution of craftsmanship.
– Raising awareness in the sector in order to promote, preserve and protect the European craft heritage transmitted from generation to generation.
HOW CAN YOU CONTRIBUTE TO IT?
By simply signing the manifesto, you, together with the European institutions and national decision-makers who support us, work together on this six-point action plan to ensure the survival and development of craftsmanship for future generations.