Chapter 4 The Art Kiosk

Early in May, two distinct groups were formed in the fused village of Kunstgemeinde Pampsee : a group dealing with tourism and a sun umbrella group. The tourism group was and still is concerned with, despite a lack of infrastructure for guests, considering the fact that bicycle tourists travelling along the Oder-Neisse bicycle path, how to offer a welcoming place where people want to spend time, including small gastronomic offerings. A modest selection of regional and locally-made products was made expressly for the purpose: countless cakes were baked, coffee served, and sausages made of game animals which was then eaten in the process and enjoyed by all.

The KunstKiosk (art kiosk) is a refurbished construction trailer from the GDR, with biographical quotes from (discussions with) the residents on it. During the summer, residents opened the kiosk every day for 8 hours, manned in two 4 hour-long shifts. In addition to the function of offering sustenance such as locally-baked goods, locally-made sausages and apple juice, it facilitates communication between residents and visitors.

> Entry in the guestbook

On May 1 the Art Kiosk has opened his second season underneath the Robinia in front of the local community center of Blankensee.


KuKi

A local description of the art kiosk by the writers of the tourism group

KUKI

What does the Art Kiosk mean to us?

During the "Kunst fürs Dorf - Dörfer für Kunst" (art for a village-villages for art) project, we decided to co-operate with the artist Barbara Caveng. Our community, Blankensee, consists of two formerly independent villages, Blankensee and Pampow / Freienstein.

At first, Barbara Caveng sought contact to each household to get to know residents and what they do as well as to listen to their individual stories.

Very soon, it became clear that both districts in our community were able to offer a wide range of activities for their own group, but that very little was being undertaken to encourage both populations to work together. That's why we decided to present the statements that Barbara Caveng collected when talking to residents along the road connecting both places. Unfortunately, traffic safety regulations made it impossible to carry that version of the idea out.

Was it a stroke of luck or destiny? This change of approach gave us the idea to transform an old construction trailer into an art kiosk. It once belonged to a state-run company, the AGRAR co-operative a long time ago. Considerable repairs had to be carried out to make the plan happen. The outside of the shed was cleaned and the statements that had already been collected written on it. One quote was given pride of place: MI KRICHT HIER KEENER MEHR WECH (nobody's gonna get me outta here). This became the motto of the cultural activities there. (The interior was furnished with furniture on loan from residents)

In the process, an ugly duckling became a swan, a salon.

Then, we could finally begin. The idea was to offer tourists on bicycles travelling along the Oder - Neiße bike route a chance to take a break while also taking in our art project, and indeed, the area itself. We began to offer local products for sale to visitors at the construction trailer. Not only honey but also homemade jam, venison sausages as well as sandwiches, potato salad and meatballs, jacket potatoes and quark were and are on sale. Homemade cakes, coffee and fresh drinks are also available as are little souvenirs, postcards, our own cookbook, as well as pieces made by our sewing group

Everyone involved, everyone who contributed in some way shape or form to the art kiosk was surprised at the tourists' enthusiasm. Many visitors expressed gratitude by making a little sketch in out visitors' book. While chatting with people, even while selling them something, or while evaluating the entries in our visitors' book, we found out that tourists came to bicycle here from all corners of the world. None of us was aware of that until then.