Since June 2011, Folkwang students in the Photography study course and the Illustration area of specialisation (in the Communication Design study course) have been able to work and as well as exhibit in the new studio rooms in Viehofer Straße 52. In addition, a gallery has been established, which will present works by outstanding Folkwang students in the future on a regular basis. It has been possible to rent the new rooms thanks to the generous support of the Marianne Ingenwerth Foundation.
The newly created studios provide working space for 35 Folkwang students. Following an application and selection procedure, the would-be photographers and illustrators will be able to work in the Viehofer Straße studios for a period of 6 months (for a small contribution towards costs). The studios are centrally located in a former office building and comprise a total area of 650 square metres (7,000 square feet). Students can also use these studios as a supplement to the Folkwang University of the Arts workshops and studios; this will be somewhere they can withdraw to well away from their routine studying hours and schedules, obtain some detachment to their own work, as well as making use of the space for reflection and discussion.
The three-year project support by the Marianne Ingenwerth Foundation also includes four annual Photography scholarships for particularly gifted students of 3,000 Euros each, besides the rental and maintenance budget.
The aim of Studio & Gallery 52 is to put Folkwang Photography to the test within the context of current design and artistic issues while continually presenting itself to the interested public. The Gallery concept also provides for students or graduates of other art colleges to be invited to display their works. In this manner, we envisage the initiation of a national and international exchange. The Viehofer Straße studios will assume a bridging role between the new home of the Folkwang Designers at Zollverein and the present premises of the Uni Duisburg-Essen as well as the city of Essen.