Pop-up to date (2): The fantastic four
Antwerp district Berchem has got plenty more pop-up stores to offer. After visiting the three royal shops at the Driekoningenstraat for the first part of this article, I’ve now visited the fantastic four of the Statiestraat for the second part.
Academy of Fine Artists
Ruis, Statiestraat 14
Having met each other at different Academies of Fine Arts, eight young artists decided to have a reunion every Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the week during the Pop up to Date event. Or maybe even beyond. The artists worked together for the first time at a Christmas event where they sold handmade gifts and stuck together ever since. And so they created the collective Ruis. An artistic collaboration that exhibits artwork with photographic content and sells fun and original handmade gifts such as note books, candles and key holders.
The artistic collective has already participated to several art exhibitions, but this would be their first time to open a pop up store. Convinced that this store is more accessible to all sorts of art lovers, they hope that their diverse collection of artwork could tempt the hesitating spectator lurking through the shop window to enter the creative nest of ideas, Ruis has to offer.
Rebel with a cause
The Vandal, Statiestraat 16
Meet the not so typical Vandal. He’s inspired by everything that has to do with cycling and shares a great love for graphic design. In his shop you’ll find cycling gear, cycling wear and… cycling everything. Going from his own clothing collection with cool graphics to custom painted bicycle frames. Though on the outside, but conscious on the inside, he cares a lot about the environment and social responsibility. Thus his organic and fair-trade clothing collection is eco-friendly printed with biodegradable ink.
The shop resembles a little gallery as every item is carefully presented as an artwork. On given Sundays you can even visit the shop to enjoy a beer or cup of coffee while watching the cycle racing in the cozy sitting area at the back of the shop. If only every Sunday could be like this…
Le fabuleux destin de Kelly
We are Kelly & Friends – Le cabinet de curiosités, Statiestraat 32
Welcome to the wonderful world of art as experienced by Kelly. A fun, spontaneous and skilled graphic designer who wants to show her versatile self through her cabinet de curiosités, her little gallery of art. In this store one does not simply buy art, but experiences it. This means that all the artwork shown in the gallery is adjustable. It’s a sort of mix-and-match concept. You can choose a painting or photograph to your desire and have it printed on a bag, a cup, or have it framed in a different way.
As a curator, Kelly doesn’t only show her own artwork but also that of her friends. Every week another collection is added to the little treasure room. A room that sometimes serves as an atelier as well, since she often organizes workshops to give an extra dimension to what she believes is art.
Olala, bier en Chocola –Statiestraat 126
If you’d ask a local to name two products Belgium is known for, it would definitely be beer an chocolate. However, never have I ever thought about combining these two. Here at Olala, bier en Chocola they did. The chocolate they sell here, which is by the way locally produced, isn’t the sweet chocolate you’d expect for dessert. It’s 100% pure chocolate and thus tastes a bit bitter. Some of the chocolate bars have a fruity citrus flavor and can perfectly be served alongside a fruity hoppy beer.
The pop-up store regularly organizes tastings and workshops to make your own beer or pralines. Matter of fact, the 10th of May both breweries from this joint pop-up venture will brew their own beer based on suggestions made by customers. And if it tastes well, there might be a new beer on the Antwerp beer market in the near future.
The pop-up shops will be open until the 13th of June on Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.