Galeria Szyb Wilson, in Katowice, Poland, is an excellent example of how a postindustrial facility can become a cultural center. Come to the Szyb Wilson Gallery for contemporary art created by young artists in the postindustrial interiors of the former Wieczorek coal mine.
Discover why this place is a bright spot on a post-industrial tourism map of Poland in this blog post.
Galeria Szyb Wilson destroys the stereotypes of grey industrial Silesia
Post-industrial culture and tourism in Katowice
Katowice and Silesia have long ceased to be a purely industrial center.
Now people come to Katowice not only for business but also to visit unique cultural places.
The Galeria Szyb Wilson Gallery exhibits original, provocative works by Polish artists that touch on both political and social topics in their art.
I was there twice, and I was struck by the fact that there were practically no visitors. It suggests that either a few people still know about it, or they underestimate it. But in vain! I think if the exact same gallery were opened in Berlin, everyone would have been there already.
Anyway, this Gallery deserves attention and a visit, and here is why.
Galeria Szyb Wilson: from a coal mine to a unique art gallery
The Wilson Gallery is located in the former Wieczorek coal mine, the history of which dates back to 1826.
Excavations began in 1864, and you can still see it in ruins behind the gallery buildings.
The mines ceased operation in 1997. For several years the place was abandoned, but in 2001 it was revitalized and turned into the art gallery by the organization Eko-Art.
Now the remainings of the mine have a status of a historic building while providing a home to the exhibition space Galeria Szyb Wilson.
The size of this alternative Gallery is impressive: it boasts an area of about 2500 m2.
The complex consists of three halls: the Small Gallery, the Middle Gallery, and the Large Gallery.
The main goal of the Galeria Szyb Wilson Gallery is to promote local young, daring artists, graphic artists, and photographers.
Together with visual artists, the Gallery welcomes musicians, theater, and photography enthusiasts and hosts conferences, festivals, and concerts.
Apart from professional painters, in the Szyb Wilson Gallery, you can explore the works of miners-amateur artists, mainly employees of the mining company Wieczorek.
To make the world aware of local talented amateur artists and make art inclusive, the Galeria Szyb Wilson holds a colorful event - the annual Art Naif festival.
In addition to exciting exhibits of contemporary art in the Gallery, you can see impressive interiors created in industrial decorations. The buildings were
designed, like the entire Nikiszowiec district, by the Zillmann brothers.
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It'a good idea to combine a trip to the Gallery with a visit to the Nikiszowiec area - it is only three kilometers away from Galeria Szyb Wilson.
To get there, you can take a bus 30 or 109, stop "Nikiszowiec Szyb Wilson," or by bus 920, stop "Janów Lwowska Szkoła."
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hi, nice to meet you! I'm Sasha, a “free spirit” and a world citizen at heart who was born in the country that does not exist: Transnistria. I am on my adventurous journey to discover alternative, quirky, unique and unusual things to do and to visit in cool cities around the world. Join me and try something new! I write in Globish, since English is not my native language, so feel free to correct me or to make fun of me :).