Drap-Art was born in 1995, in Barcelona, as a platform for artists who recover the concept of the objet trouvé and reflect on their environment and its concerns.
Drap-Art has been present in more than 16 countries and in its 22 years of activity the project was extended to the Americas, with an annual event in Barcelona, Montevideo, Pittsburgh, and since 2017 also in Buenos Aires, spreading the work of more than 780 artists and conducting awareness-raising activities for all audiences.
Drap-Art has become a network of the emerging sector of Catalan artists, designers, artisans and other creative professionals who work with trash and encourages the exchange with artists from Europe and other parts of the world.
From these premises, it works on the one hand as a springboard for young artists to the professional world of art, creates job opportunities and encourages the exchange with experienced artists and on the other hand it acts as an awareness raising campaign that echoes and disseminates the reflections of its artists, inviting the public to consume more responsibly and respect the slogan of the three Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle).
The philosophy of Drap-Art is spreading to other fields of social and cultural action as a premise to survive in the current times of economic, social and environmental crisis, promoting art as a tool for experimentation and transformation. The habits of using and dumping have to be redirected towards the awareness that nothing disappears, everything is transformed.
– To promote the emerging sector of artists who work with discarded materials, using creative recycling as a tool to support the transformation in art, the environment and society.
– To lead a network for the recognition of artists and entrepreneurs that take into account the concept of the 3Rs: to reduce, reuse and recycle.
– To incorporate the fundamental themes of sustainable development into teaching and learning through artistic experimentation, such as climate change, sustainable consumption, reuse and prevention of waste.
– To conceive participatory methods through art oriented towards differentiated publics giving them autonomy, in order to change their behavior and facilitate the adoption of measures in favor of sustainable development.
– To give the works of artists who reuse discarded materials an opportunity, preventing them from ending up in the trash and encouraging a new green and circular creative cultural industry.
Drap-Art began organizing its annual festival 22 years ago. The Marathon of Creative Recycling in Barcelona was held in 1996 and 1997 and received some 30,000 visitors in these two years.
In 1997, Drap-Art also organized the Recykl Art Fest, an exchange between Montenegran and Catalan artists at the Biennial of Cetinje, in Montenegro. This experience inspired two exchange workshops Tell me what you dump and I’ll tell you who you are, conceived by Flo Guerin, in Jerusalem, in 1998 and in Barcelona in 1999. From this experience the traveling exhibition Evil Empire was born, with photographs by Consuelo Bautista.
Since 2004, Drap-Art has its own center of operations, Espai Drap-Art, where it has its headquarters, office, exhibition space and documentation center. The same year Drap-Art returns to the format of an annual event, with the International Festival of Recycling Art of Catalonia, which was held at the CCCB until 2016 and continues at the Maritime Museum of Barcelona, in 2017 as the International Festival of Sustainable Art of Catalonia, focusing on the theme of marine pollution.
Since 2010, Drap-Art organizes various markets for recycling art and sustainable consumption, especially in the Plaza Real, where it has Spring, Autumn and Christmas editions. The markts are always accompanied by workshops and activities organized jointly with the Association of Friends and Merchants of Plaza Real within the framework of the La Reial es mou project.
Since 2011 Drap-Art also organizes various international traveling exhibitions such as Drap-Art and Recycling Art. Nothing disappears, everything is transformed, which could be seen in Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo and From Waste to Resource. Recovering Sustainable Atitudes, which traveled to Germany, Hungary, Italy and France.
In 2015 Drap-Art wins the Bonart Prize awarded by the Magazine of the same name. In 2016 the first Drap-Art was held in Montevideo, Uruguay, from April 13 to 17 and had its North American debut in the United States, in Pittsburgh, from September 9 to October 9. In 2017 Drap-Art was held for the first time in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2018 the Mar de Fuga, Mar de cura project with unsupervised migrant youths, won the Art for Change Grant of the Fundació La Caixa.