Nothing's quiet on the Western front - Dortmund's creative scene continues to thrive in the shadow of the U
2010LAB.tv continues to observe Dortmund’s Westend district - in the vicinity of the U building, the reconstruction/conversion of the quarter around the Rheinische Strasse slowly advances, adding some new creative spots here and there.
Actually, we have to announce a new facet has been attached to the local creative scene: Das Kunstatelier (the art studio). At the corner of Lange Straße / Paulinenstraße, the shutters of that vacant store are finally up again after one year, revealing a studio. Uh-oh. Paintings –a lot of them. Paint galore. A plethora of brushes. That looks like a workshop and studio indeed.
Osman Xani escaped from Kosovo about twelve years ago and has set up his business as a painter. Since the beginning of this year, he works in his own studio, paints, plans, designs, and teaches painting classes.
How did you end up in the Westend?
I’ve known this district for several years, and it was just the right time to rent a studio here. I’ve been looking for a space here – after all, there are a lot of vacant salesrooms. I wouldn’t have been able to afford a studio of that size elsewhere, and I didn’t want to work in the suburbs or the Nordstadt. So, I’ve focused on this district and found a place pretty soon. As far as I’m concerned, the district has a lot to offer: it’s very close to downtown, the Westpark, and it has become very quiet, compared to the years before. Now, my residence and my studio are just a few steps away from each other.
Will the Westend become Dortmund’s new creative quarter?
That’s possible – after all, many creative people obviously do think as I do. And the conditions aren’t bad either: at the moment, there are enough vacancies which are very affordable. Who knows for how long? Anyway, you can observe the scene hustling and bustling. But I’m still new to it, I don’t know which artists also work in this district, I still have to contact them.
Is that an impulse caused by the U building?
I think the U has a magnetic effect on creative people indeed. Honestly: if someone asks you where you live and work, you answer „around the U“. In the meantime, people have gotten to know the building, even those living beyond Dortmund, and it’s a good area for someone working in the creative scene. But to be honest, nobody from the U has approached me and ordered a painting. Certainly, it’s more important for the development of the district as a creative quarter what the resident artists themselves do organise and achieve here. Maybe one day we’ll succeed in luring the visitors from the U into the district, and they will have a look into the small galleries and studios here, too.