Stadtgalerie is a non-commercial exhibition space for contemporary art.
A project by the Department of Cultural Affairs of the city of Bern, the Stadtgalerie takes artistic production in Bern as its starting point and opens up to an (inter)national context with its exhibition program, which allows for dialogue and exchange. At regular events, various disciplines such as fine art, music, literature, dance, theatre and performance are discussed and related to each other, thus fostering the cultural participation of an interested public. Cooperations with other institutions and groups create an international network that connects artists, art educators and curators from Bern with creative individuals from other cities.
Located on the ground floor of the center for cultural production PROGR, the Stadtgalerie hosts 8-9 exhibitions per year in its three rooms. Moreover the Stadtgalerie organizes “Artist in Residence” programs together with studio house Salzamt in Linz and the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, which enable artists from all over the world a stay with accommodation and a studio in the PROGR building.
The predecessor institution of Stadtgalerie, Berner Galerie, was founded in 1967 and was first located in the old city of Bern at Kramgasse 7. 10 years later the gallery moved into the basement of Schlachthaus at Rathausgasse. Until the artist Ralf Samens became curator in 1997, the city art committee chose the exhibited artists, which were mostly located in and around Bern. With Samens the name change to Stadtgalerie and a more international orientation was initiated.
In 1999 the art historian Beate Engel became director. The Stadtgalerie transformed into a pivotal player in the art scene of Bern and and bridged the gap between alternative art spaces and institutions. Networking with other cities and regions of Switzerland as well as the connection to international art production were emphasized.
In 2003 the Stadtgalerie moved to a mobile pavilion at Hodlerstrasse 22, which is located in immediate proximity to Kunstmuseum Bern, the alternative cultural center Reithalle and the drug dispensation point. Under the name STAGE the Stadtgalerie became an open stage at an exciting junction of the city.
When the former Gymnasium was turned into a temporary cultural center, the Stadtgalerie changed its location again in 2006 and placed the mobile container in the yard of the school building, now named PROGR. The Stadtgalerie was renamed LOGE. As a studio space and project workshop, the space offered a platform to various guest curators and artists.
When the building changed hands from the city to the PROGR foundation the continuation of Stadtgalerie’s activities was guaranteed. Since 2010 the Stadtgalerie inhabits three rooms on the ground floor of the PROGR. In an adjoining space works from the contemporary collection of Kunstmuseum Bern are shown simultaneously with the exhibits at the Stadtgalerie.
Anna Bürkli 2011–2015
Martin Waldmeier 2010–2011
Beate Engel 1999–2010
Ralf Samens 1997–1999