Bad RagARTz - Triennal 2021
Time & Location
About the event
Guests from around the world are familiar with Bad Ragaz and The old Bad Pfäfers Baths. From May to November 2018, about 400 sculptures are permanent guests in public areas. The 8th Swiss Triennial Festival of Sculpture, called Bad RagARTz, is an international cultural highlight for the Sargans region.
In May 2021 the 8th Swiss Triennial Festival of Sculpture, called Bad RagARTz, returns to the St. Gallen Rhine Valley. For six months, the Bad Ragaz health resort takes on a new face, shaped by art. This internationally renowned exhibition was already hosted in Bad Ragaz in 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018. There are about 400 sculptures, which makes this outdoor show one of the largest of its kind in Europe. The 6th Triennial Festival of Sculpture is meant to add social value directly to the residential area in a time when values are being destroyed left and right. Art intrudes as a reliable diversion into the daily routine in Bad Ragaz. Art comes at no charge and is presented to the viewer on a silver platter and unfiltered; the financial issues which currently predominate become less of a priority.
Europe’s Largest Sculpture Park Many artists from different countries are part of a unique encounter in the midst of nature. There is no entry free. There is also no fear of contact. The special feelings one has when strolling through a landscape transformed by art are part of the secret of success behind Bad RagARTz. The experience of traveling into an emotional conversation with art in a small town has a special charm. This is particularly true as nature changes from summer to autumn. Color and light suddenly unfold within the mountain world and have a very special effect on the sculptures. 400,000 visitors experienced this for themselves three years ago. This is the only way to collect enough funds from around the world for the budget of 2.5 million swiss francs.
No Doors, No Entry Fee Rolf Hohmeister, who is organizing the Swiss Triennial Festival of Sculpture along with his wife, Esther, a tightly-knit family group and numerous friends and assistants, says, “This is no museum. There are no doors and no entry fee. You only need the willingness to encounter art wherever you go.” Esther Hohmeister adds an anecdote to reinforce the idea about this willingness to encounter art: “I remember a young man who was asked if he had gone to Bad RagARTz. His answer: ‘I went to it – it came to me”. What makes Rolf Hohmeister particularly happy “is the tangible joy that people get from it. What we get back isn’t francs but feelings.”
Each time the Triennial Festival of Sculpture is gaining not only in size but also appreciation in the arts scene. The two locations involved benefit because they gain priceless public relations exposure through the international attention of the media. Popular perception has also changed as a result. And with a budget of approximately CHF 2.5 million and CHF 0 (zero!) as the cost of admission, it goes without saying that no one is expected to become rich from this exhibition.
On opening day, May 8, 2021, a large artist festival is organized at the Bad Ragaz baths plaza.