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Lieuwke Loth outside Galería Luz de la Vida in Cómpeta. SUR
Celebrating a decade of art and cultural connections in the Axarquía
In the frame

Celebrating a decade of art and cultural connections in the Axarquía

Lieuwke Loth decided to open Galería Luz de la Vida after a visit to a friend in Arenas and organising the town's first Art Walk in 2014

Friday, 26 April 2024

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Cómpeta has a long history of attracting artists and many have settled here, making it an international cultural melting pot. "The town is known for its attraction to artists, poets, writers and musicians, I think because the energy is special," says Lieuwke Loth, owner of Galería Luz de la Vida which this year is celebrating its tenth anniversary.

Lieuwke, who is originally from Holland, is organising special events at the gallery in May to celebrate the milestone. On Saturday 4 May from 11am to 5pm and Sunday 5 May from 1 to 5pm Lieuwke will be creating drawings with live music by Roberto Bellatalla on double bass and didgeridoo.

At 7pm on Saturday 4 May there will be a celebration toast with tapas to mark the anniversary and on Sunday 5 May the gallery will be offering meditation, a sound bath and a concert by Neeltje Donkers and Roberto Bellatalla from 10.30am to 12pm.

The anniversary events continue on Sunday 19 May with live music by Eric Peachy on percussion, Roberto Bellatalla on double bass and Mark Hewins on guitar. Doors open at 4.45pm.

Lieuwke, 46, says that she decided to open a gallery in Cómpeta when visiting a friend in nearby Arenas: "I just loved the experience here in Andalucía, the sun, the peaceful life, the inspiration, the nature, the sea, the friendly people, the easy flow. I felt my life could change so much if I dared to take the step to Costa del Sol."

Her first step to becoming a gallery owner was when she set up Cómpeta Art Walk in 2014. However, she had no space to show her own art. She was offered a space for a month and was told that if she liked it, she could continue to rent it. "This made me start with the gallery," Lieuwke explains.

She went on to run the Art Walk for five more years and the last one she was behind took place in 2019. However, after the pandemic she handed the reigns to other artists in the town who have taken over.

Lieuwke also set up the International Art Symposia Luz to which she would have between 10 to 12 artists coming from all over the world for just over a week to "create their own art work and gain inspiration from others". The event would culminate in an art exhibition "with the gallery full of oil paint smells and the artist group as one tribe", Lieuwke recalls.

The pandemic changed a lot for Lieuwke and with the uncertainty of how long the gallery would be closed to the public for, she had time "for contemplation". After some trial and error, she eventually decided to give the gallery "new life" and invest her energy, talents and skills "to make it a special place again". She has kept the name of the gallery, 'Luz de la Vida' (light of life) as she says "it's still a place where the light has an important role".

As well as an art space, the gallery has been Lieuwke's office and the place where volunteers got together to plan the Art Walks and Symposia. "All posters and flyers have been distributed from here, interviews have been given from here, and from here many collaborations started. With each art event we've had great exhibitions in the gallery as well."

In 2023 Lieuwke set up Cómpeta Cultural Hub along with a team of people, bringing together local businesses, residents, artists, B&Bs, hotels, the tourist office and the town hall. "People who are interested in art and culture can receive information about what's happening in the cultural field, but can then also support projects and events," explains Lieuwke.

The gallery owner is "thankful" to all the people who have helped organise the various events she has been involved in and "grateful for the support and help I have received to be able to continue with the gallery", which she hopes to do for the next 10 years.

Further information

  • www.galerialuzdelavida.com Fb:galerialuzdelavida Instagram:galerialuzdelavida AnniversaryEvent bookings: galerialuzdelavida@gmail.com

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