Testimonials

Was einige unserer ehemaligen Teilnehmerinnen und Teilnehmer über ihren Aufenthalt am BERLIN ART INSTITUT sagen
“I am Magdalena, 21 years old, and just finished the Bachelor on Visual Arts in Argentina. I’ve wanted to spend the summer learning and working in my art so I decided to look a residence to do abroad. I had heard the best references of art in Berlin so I started looking for options in there. When I read the program of the BAI I really liked it and I wasn’t wrong about it. I arrived Berlin on the 29th of December of 2017 expending to start the Program on the second of January. The Program started and each day was better than the one before.

At the BAI I was pushed to rethink and rethink about what I was doing, why I was doing it, everything was questioned and I think that is very important while doing art so that you don’t finish producing to produce and that’s it. The proposals or the comments they’ve done about my work where always constructive, and I left Berlin with lots of ideas and concerns.

I think the program has a great combination between the advantage of having a working space for your own where you can manage your own times, go wherever you want and have a lot of time to produce and the “lectures” and talks with Stephanie and Ralf. Listening to others talk about what they do and also sharing what I was trying to say with my work was the other essential part of the program for me.

The other great part of the Program is the contact with lots of contemporary artist form there, how they work, what they are doing, visits to galleries and what’s really good is that they are very variated so that you can get to now lots of different ways of doing art nowadays.

I finished the stay at Berlin having learned so many things, I’ve got to know lots of people for all over the world, with different cultures, different ways of living than mine, and of course an enormous range of different pieces of works which was very very enriching for me.”

“My monthly residence in Berlin Art Institute was a great time of intensive self-development. I have spent there my time on creating and conversations with artists, who were willingly sharing their own experiences and conclusions. I really appreciate their engagement and openness. During my stay I could work on my documentation and website under the supervision of professionals. Personally, the most important and valuable element for me were the conversations about art. It was very interesting to observe other participants’s work during the progress and to discuss it together. I really enjoyed exchanging ideas and experiences with artists form different countries.

The studios of BAI are located in very inspiring post-industrial buildings. The spaciousness , bright rooms, shared for 3-4 artists were an ideal space to create and communicate. I enjoyed participating in a wide range of lectures and visits, which gave me the opportunity to explore the wealth of culture and art of Berlin. During my stay in BAI I saw my own work anew, from a different perspective. My experience in BAI gave me the energy and new ideas on how to continue my artistic path. I feel that the artists I met in BAI gave me a lot of motivation to develop my practice. I returned with new plans and a new strategy. Many thanks for Stephanie and Ralf, who are fully engaged, enthusiastic and professional in each aspect. I appreciate their work and also the atmosphere they have created . BAI is the place for dynamic growth for artists in different stages and interests.”

“Taking up residence at BAI was a very enriching experience. Being immersed in a large and delicious atelier made me create and be willing to step out of my comfort zone. All the accompaniments, conversations, talks, workshops and visits were extremely important to generate confidence in my personal work and in depth. Great thanks, Ralf and Stephanie, for the care in each participante, the struture of the institute and the rich and diverse schedule. Every day was so especial.”
“I think we are all looking for time and space, time to reflect on ourselves and understand what surrounds us; but for an artist these two notions are even more valuable. Without this space for the mind and for expression, the thoughts only float without ever clinging. When I came across the program of the Berlin Art Institute, I was very impressed by the importance given to exchanges between artists, mentors and founders.

Conversation is at the heart of the BAI philosophy, a conversation to learn, think and express. The rhythm is intense I would not hide it from you, but it is with this exercise that we are urged to extract the essence of our thoughts and our Art. I would liken my three months in BAI like three months of immersion in an artist accelerator. To be immersed in such an international group, with such different cultures and experiences is an extraordinary opportunity, not to mention the exceptional quality of the speakers who openly share their successes and failures.

I would also point out that such an environment would not work as well if the atmopshere was not the bienvaillance. Ralf and Stephanie opened their arms to help shape us.”

“For me, BAI was a truly unique opportunity to experiment and explore my interest in arts further while building a stronger body of work for a portfolio. Attending the studio program helped me gain more confidence and a deeper insight to my work and the process behind it.

The concept itself is quite interesting as it brings together a diverse group of people from different backgrounds. Participants are met as equals and they are all brought to work together rather than arranging them in groups based on skill or experience. In the end it’s this way of thinking that sets Stephanie and Ralf apart from many others and makes BAI special. I was able to learn a lot just by observing, discussing and sharing ideas with the others.

Most of all, Stephanie and Ralf put a lot of effort on planning each block to best suit the needs of the participants. I’m grateful for their kindness and support and glad to share the news that I’ve now been accepted without conditions to the 1st bachelor Basicyear of the four year full-time Bachelor’s degree programme Art & Design of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie.”

“I started my time at BAI with only one month booked and ended up staying for four. The space is something I probably won’t be able to have again for years and I can say with no doubt it was the most I have learned in any school or art university so far.

In the first month I didn’t use my studio space so much: I was busy going to all of the lectures and seminars…. It’s hard to keep up with all the references ! Ralf and Steph know so much about what’s on or what’s relevant to what’s just been said and so do the people you are working alongside. Because of this you tend to leave BAI with pages of things to research, remember or go and see and of course it’s not always possible to do all of it… but its a super exciting way to get to know a city.

Because there are new people coming in every week to talk to you about their work you never know what to expect… Apart from coffee which there is always lots of. Because the group is small it’s very intimate especially for the seminars, where you have 3 days in a row with one artist. I really don’t think it’s like anything else, some in particular have stuck with me. It is also a rare situation when the visitors review your work because they may never see you again, which brings an honesty. Of course some criticism you chose to ignore but it was so helpful for me to have this instead of it being tiptoed round like I have often found before with art. Small bits of important advice like how to deal with form and content which completely changed how I have been working ever since.

Once I started working I found myself in the studio all of the time… Often with a few projects on the go and the remaining the months went way too quickly! Ralf and Steph took so much time to help me with my portfolio.. They came in on extra days to look at it; with them I took it apart, re-ordered it, titled it. Steph sat on the floor with me one afternoon helping me measure paintings I had to mount, leaning on the ruler so I could try and cut in straight lines.

I cannot thank them enough for the 4 months I spent at BAI !! I miss it a lot and when I go back to Berlin I will absolutely definitely visit. I got an offer from my top choice, the Gerrit Reitveld Acadamie in Amsterdam where I will start in August and I have no doubt I wouldn’t have got it without my time spent in Berlin. Thank you, thank you, thank you!.”

“When I first arrived at the Berlin Art Institute I wasn’t confident in my abilities as an artist. My main objective was to build a portfolio fit for different art universities in Europe with the focus of Graphic Design. Caught between wanting to let loose and paint on a large scale and also trying to have the organisation and discipline of a designer, I was pretty much lost in concepts I knew did not maximise my full potential. Through the months I spent at the BAI, Stephanie and Ralf helped me clarify what I really wanted and what my strong points were. When I needed guidance on a project or just to talk about future courses, they were both there at any time pointing me in the right direction.

The weekly gallery visits and Artist talks put me in touch with different works and creators from around the world and gave me an insight into the art world of Berlin which helped to solidify my thoughts on my own style and how to build on the concepts I was just touching on.

With the 24 Hour access to the studios I was able to work on my own terms and on a time frame that suited my needs. The international element of the programme was and incredible experience and gave me the chance to interact and collaborate with artists from every corner of the globe. Many of which will remain close friends for years to come, creating a firm networking opportunity.

I have now been accepted into my first choice course at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands with the help of Stephanie and Ralf and all the support I received at the BAI.”

“Looking to change careers and making a return to formal education I chose to attend the studio programme at the BAI. The flexibility of the programme as well as the ethos was the initial attraction being unable to find anything similar in the UK. I wasn’t disappointed. My time there was instrumental in allowing me to develop a portfolio and secure a place at Chelsea College of Arts on the Grad. Dip fine art programme.

The studio programme at the BAI gave me the space and freedom to explore my artistic practice. With 24 hour access to studios I was able to create a schedule that worked for me rather than the other way around, this I found really conducive to my learning experience and creative production.

The international element of the programme creates a diverse and stimulating cohort. I have met people that have become firm friends and future collaborators. One of the most beneficial parts of the programme I found to be was the quality one-on-one time and access to a variety of creative practitioners. This was an invaluable experience and a wonderful opportunity to create networks outside of the BAI and form nurturing relationships beyond the programme. This something that I can look back on now that I am in formal art education in the UK and really appreciate.

What makes the BAI truly special though are Stephanie and Ralf. Inspiring, nurturing, supportive and engaging artists and educators. They really held my hand whilst I was learning to walk and my experience learning with them has had a monumental transformative impact on my practice. Giving me the much needed confidence to apply myself wholeheartedly to my future ambitions. Thank you BAI.”

“I had the most amazing experience at the BAI. The first thing that caught my attention was the institute itself- it is a zygote of anti-establishment, the fact that the founders are so open to inviting different types of artists from all over the world is radical in itself- it’s not elitist or stuck up, it feels grass roots but is located in an incredible industrial building surrounded by mechanics and industrial businesses, which is so useful when sourcing material! The studio was one of the best I’d ever had- huge, white and plenty of natural light. Ralf and Steffi were amazing at giving a real insight into the art world , connecting the participants with gallerists and artists in Berlin. This would never happen in London I can tell you that. Their ethos is free, they see beauty in all its forms, they encourage you to experiment and explore new ways of making. Our first project was public art – putting art into the world and public realm. This was a huge game changer for me. For once I felt really in tune with my own creativity, and I really questioned what art is to the ordinary man. I met some amazing artists sharing a studio which opened up space for collaboration and a lot of fun! Group discussions , seminars and private gallery visits were excellent- you have ample chance to discuss, speak your mind and debate with professionals , and most importantly your peers, new friends that you will probably always have in your new future.

I am so grateful to have been nurtured under the BAI, and now a few months later I really feel that I am reaping the rewards of my time in Berlin and under the guidance of Ralf and Steffi. My creativity and flourished and the BAI gave me the necessary in put to develop. It’s a rare and special place, and for those that are able to see and understand that will really come out a much stronger individual.”

“I booked the studio programme at BAI with the intention of putting together a Graphic Design portfolio. I had no idea what to expect and it is safe to say that the programme exceeded my expectations in every way. Not only did Stephanie and Ralf provide me with ongoing support, but the perfect balance between autonomous work and organised seminars, lectures and visits, inspired me to create work that I otherwise would not have produced.

The fact that we had the opportunity to discuss our work with artists coming from different fields was very enriching and was essential for me to progress in my art. The talks with other participants were equally as inspiring and by interacting with them and their skills, I was able to learn new techniques, such as screen printing and acrylic pouring.

The studios are based in a charming industrial area and are spacious, well-lit and perfect for documentation (I should know). The fact that I shared the studio with 4 other participants made it feel even more like home and it quickly became my favourite place to spend time in. I spent a total of 2 ½ months at the institute, during which I met amazing artists and people, leaving me with a load of works, I can now thankfully call my portfolio.”

“On August 6th 2017, I flew from Barcelona to Berlin expecting to find a place for myself in this crazy city and to discover something I was seeking for, not really knowing what it was. I immediately fell for Berlin. I fell for its never-ending shady parks, its cold silver lakes and naked swimmers, the trashy night clubs, majestic museums and abandoned but dignified buildings. I fell for its vibrating hidden energy and for its electrifying non-stopping life. I wanted to absorb all of it, to merge into it. And nothing of all of it would have been possible without BAI.

I enrolled at the Berlin Art Institute without really knowing what to expect. I knew that I wanted a place which would allow me to express myself, somewhere where I could make art, in a city that inspires and arouses all your passions and ideas. At BAI, I found what I needed at this time of my life. Not only did I meet incredible artists from all over the world, some of which have become really good friends, but I also learnt about all kinds of art and art works; I visited exhibitions I could never have heard of; and for the first time, I was able to figure out what I wanted to do and I learned to be able to show my work to other artists, talk about it and listen to the really interesting feedback.

The Berlin Art Institute is a paradise for artists. I had never been at a place like this, with its large factory chimneys, the wide windows and white walls waiting to be covered by new pieces. I enjoyed nights of crazy painting and mornings of never-ending coffee at the studio. Being there makes you want to work all the time, always with the good advice of Ralf and Stephanie and other fellow artists and seminar visitants, as a source of constant inspiration. I had to leave BAI three months ago, but I already miss it like crazy and I am looking for the opportunity to come back to it. I hope it’ll be really soon.”

“My time at the BAI was an essential part of my growth as an artist. Working among artists at varying stages in their career was a valuable learning experience and helped me to frame my own practice in a wider context. The studios themselves are beautiful, the other inhabitants of the building are insightful and the life in the city essential. I believe that without my time here, I would be a different artist today.

I’d like to use this opportunity to say a special thanks to Ralf and Stephanie, who have continued to maintain contact with me since my residency in 2016 – forwarding opportunities and maintaining a vested interest in my development. They always keep an open door for an alumni, I look forward to returning and seeing how the program has developed in the near future.”

“After travelling to Berlin in 2016 to visit some artist colleagues of mine, I decided to return the following year for a longer period to do some research and to develop some new aspects of my practice. While scoping out the residencies available in Berlin, the BAI really stood out with it’s program of seminars, artist talks and gallery visits. Lead by Ralf and Stephanie, who are themselves an amazing source of arts knowledge and wisdom, the program opened up new pathways of thinking through the discourse with the visiting artists and trips to galleries and studios. The ability to discuss aspects of arts practice with artist at varied stages of their careers was invaluable, and the intimate number of attendees to the BAI really made the time very special!

I left the BAI with an abundance of work, both developmental and finalised, and some great ideas to move forward with. I was really pleased with the outcome, and would highly recommend a stint at the Berlin Art Institute to any stage artist.”

“After graduating from a Bachelor of Fine Arts program, I was in search of a residency that would allow me to develop my practice in my own time. BAI was instrumental in doing so because the Studio Programme offered me the flexibility, freedom and space to investigate where I wanted to take my artistic practice next. Ralf and Stephanie share a vast knowledge of the art world, and are passionate to help you propel your practice. They spend one on one time with participants to help them grow, and provide constructive criticism that is useful in giving them new ideas and direction to apply to their work.

The program offers a diverse array of lectures, studio visits, and tours that expose participants to the vibrant art community in Berlin. Also this introduces participants to a range of driven professionals, which creates an opportunity for them to experience their diverse practices. The international presence of the program was a great quality as well because it enabled me to connect with inspiring artists from many countries, and build relationships that can lead to future collaborations. In the end, I found the Studio Programme quite successful in helping me give new direction to my practice. The program helped me explore ideas to implement into my future work, and allowed me to expand on my capabilities as an artist.”

“I stayed for a month at BAI from April to May in 2017. It was my first time in Berlin and I am more than happy that I chose to spend it with Ralf, Stephanie and the other participants in the studio program.Ralf and Stephanie are both great artists, helpful mentors and warm humans. Throughout the month they organized artists talks, studio and gallery visits, on top of numerous group and individual critiques. They, along with some visiting artists, have provided informative and constructive feedbacks to my projects and helped me develop my concepts further. They are also extremely friendly and simply enjoyable to talk to.

The fellow participants in the studio program are equally amazing. My group back in 2017 was a truly international mix. We were about 10 people from at least 6 different countries. Though we were from different parts of the world, art, Berlin and BAI bounded us together. We supported our peers’ work, gave others our honest feedbacks, and some of us even collaborated on projects. It was extremely delightful to be surrounded by like-minded, brilliant young artists from various art practices and cultural backgrounds. Together we made art and also had a lot of fun.

One of the highlights during my month of stay was when all the participants went out and helped artist duo Various & Gould with their public art project “City Skins”. We went to the Marx-Engels Forum for a day and worked with Various & Gould to apply paper onto the iconic Marx and Engels sculpture. The end goal was to peel off the paper and make a duplicate of the sculpture with paper. It was a fulfilling day for us and an exclusive way for a first-time Berlin visitor to experience the city.

The time at BAI was refreshing for me. There I adopted a completely different approach to making art. Usually I would plan my project first and carry out the plan step by step. At BAI, I learnt to let go of my control a little and be inspired by the world around me. The project I did there was a fun, weird and ambiguous video featuring a toy steamboat I found at one of Berlin’s many flea markets. It is a special project for me that will always remind me of the wonderful time I spent at BAI and the vibrant city of Berlin.”

“When I finished high school I ambitioned to begin my Fine Art studies in Germany and precisely because of this big desire I decided to attend the BAI for a period of 6 months.

While I was there I developed various portfolios for my applications and now, after what I consider a very short period of time, I am now part of the Freie Kunst program in the Art Academy of Düsseldorf.

The BAI provided the fertile atmosphere for me to develop my art practice. It was a platform that allowed myself to flourish individually, digging deeper into my own interests while promoting self-reflection thanks to the flexibility and freedom of the program, in addition to the open-minded attitude of Ralf and Steffi. They both understand the importance of discussing the artistic work – their constructive critiques and feedback is something that I definitely appreciated.

Being in the program, I got a small insight into the Berlin art world and was introduced to other interesting practicing artists during the seminars and talks. Being exposed to these factors, that aren’t always of easy access, was extremely stimulating.

All this pushed me to experiment and find out plenty of different creative possibilities while sharing amazing experiences and cooperating together with other artists attending the program. It was fun and productive times where I developed what I think as a strong, consistent portfolio.

The BAI was a good, enriching and very motivating starting point that helped me get one step closer to my future ambitions. Warm greetings to Ralf & Steffi and a sentimental thought to the amazing workplace that I was provided with.”

„During my stay at the BAI, I have experienced a worthwhile aspect of artist interaction and guidance from the team, staff, visiting lecturers and fellow artists. I was grateful for the availability of space and time to further explore my art and really question and analyze it. Sharing the studio with other artists was so fruitful on the artistic and personal level. The staff and owners were extremely helpful and always paved the way for us to have more art explorations and discussions. Field visits played a great role too in visualising Berlin art scene and community. The oportunity to be introduced to a new open and diverse part of the world as well as new friends and artists, was such a privilege.“

Das Team des BERLIN ART INSTITUTs sagt bye-bai zu allen ehemaligen Teilnehmerinnen und Teilnehmern!