Meet Artrust, a Small Swiss Gallery With Big Global Ambitions

Artrust is currently planning an outdoor triennial of street art to open this fall.

Artrust Building Melano_NEVERCREW - Disposing machine @Nevercrew

In the small town of Melano in the canton of Ticino in Italian-speaking Switzerland, a small local gallery called Artrust has surprisingly global ambitions.

Amid the region’s famed medieval architecture and woodsy lakeside terrain, the gallery sets itself apart: one side of its building is covered in a mural of two metallic whales by Swiss street art duo Nevercrew

In some ways, the mural is a perfect metaphor for the gallery. The Nevercrew artists, Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni, are natives of Ticino canton but have earned international acclaim in the street-art scene. Along with Nevercrew, Artrust has collaborated with a number of local artists who it seeks to bring to a wider international audience.

A glimpse to the virtual exhibition @Artrust SA

A glimpse of the virtual exhibition Compositions. Line, Color, Shape.” Courtesy of Artrust.

“In our small way, we want to support the artists of our territory and at the same time help to bring art and its messages to all those who appreciate it, whether they are a few kilometers from us or from other parts of the world,” said Patrizia Cattaneo Moresi, Artrust’s director. “Art itself behaves in this way. It is born in a specific, historical-territorial context, but then opens up to the world, spreading messages that become universal.” 

Right now, the gallery is organizing an outdoor triennial of street art and is working to organize an exhibition of art to go on view in Asia. 

Patrizia Cattaneo Moresi.

Patrizia Cattaneo Moresi, director of Artrust.

In a sense, being as outwardly focused as it is inwardly focused has allowed the gallery to continue on successfully despite repeated lockdowns. Its current virtual exhibition “Compositions. Line, Color, Shape” is a far-reaching and playful mix of figurative, abstract, and color-focused compositions ranging from the early 1900s to today. Works on view include examples by Victor Vasarely, Italo Valenti, Serge Brignoni, the CoBrA Group, as well as contemporary street artists.

“If until now virtual tours had been a tool for us to extend our exhibitions beyond their time limit, in this historical moment the ‘virtual’ has become essential to bring our proposals to our audience,” noted Moresi. “A virtual exhibition has the capacity to break down physical boundaries, so we can potentially bring it to everyone, anywhere in the world.”


Compositions. Line, Color, Shape” is online with Artrust through April 30, 2021. 

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