Shopping malls are evolving into much more than just places to buy and have fun. They are increasingly opening their doors to artists, and experience shows that works of art connect beautifully with onlookers even in that relatively unexpected setting.
With the goal of integrating art into everyday life for the citizens of Belgrade and all its visitors, Belgrade Waterfront organized a special art competition called Become the Part of KvArt within its KvArt initiative. The aim was to permanently enrich our capital by displaying the best installations, sculptures, and modern urban furniture in open and enclosed public places across this neighborhood, and the largest shopping mall in the region – Galerija – was chosen as the location for the first artworks.
The first awarded piece from the competition – The Hearth of Belgrade sculpture – was installed in the wide Galerija street in the largest shopping mall in the region and has already become a popular photo location. Thus, the artist Jelena Stepanov's dream that her work would become one of Belgrade's new visual emblems and a meeting point in the new city center became a reality.
In addition to their aesthetic appeal, sculptures, murals, installations and other forms of artistic expression in public spaces have the power to engage, provoke and inspire. They encourage people to reflect, express an opinion and start a conversation, strengthening the sense of connection within the community. People's responses to the hanging art installations Talasi on Main Street, Lipa on City Street, and Leptiri on Kula Square, which have further improved the Galerija’s space, provide evidence of this. Visitors are compelled to stop in front of them as they gracefully descend from the soaring vault, creating a fascinating and magnificent spectacle.
Public artwork also plays an important role in preserving a community's cultural identity and heritage. It often serves as a visual representation of history, tradition, and values, acting as a tangible link to the past. As an important reminder of the moment that changed the course of history – Armistice Day in the First World War – a sculpture by Mladen Đurović, Ramonde Flowers, will be installed between the largest regional shopping destination Galerija and Kula Belgrade.
Art in malls is not just décor, it has a much bigger purpose. It has the power to transform a space and provide visitors with a unique, unexpected experience. So, the next time you visit the Galerija, pay attention to the beauty that surrounds you, and we will continue to support talented authors as we work together to develop an artistic destination that visitors will want to return to again and again.