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MUA's 20th anniversary, a pioneer among Spanish university museums


Translated by Annabel Alcaide Carmona

The University of Alicante Museum (MUA) was founded in December 1999. On Saturday, this pioneer project celebrates its 20th anniversary with more than half a million visitors, 400 exhibitions and 180,000 participants in different activities at the MUA’s educational area.

In recent years, MUA has managed to set up its own collection with more than 2,000 contemporary artistic works by authors like Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Eduardo Chillida and Eusebio Sempere.

UA organises an institutional ceremony, which takes place next 23 January and its central motif will be the presentation of the book “20 años del MUA” (20 years of MUA).




Alicante. Thursday, 12 December 2019

MUA was opened by the University of Alicante on 14 December 1999.  After two decades, this pioneer project in its field celebrates its 20th anniversary coinciding with it’s the 400 exhibition with half a million visitors and 180,000 participants in the workshops and competitions of its educational area. In these years, MUA has managed to set up its own collection with more than 2,000 contemporary artistic works by authors like Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Eduardo Chillida and Eusebio Sempere. Besides, this museum has become a platform and a voice for artistic reflection, dialogue and research around the latest plastic creations. “Mulier Mulieris” and “Pluri-Identitats” visual arts contests show their commitment to diverse and multidisciplinary contemporary artistic creation and UA’s engagement with gender quality and the promotion of respect for sexual affective diversity. MUA has also produced more than 50 travelling exhibitions, which take place at national university venues, town halls, culture centres, councils, associations and high schools. From 2007 to 2019, 400 transfers of those exhibitions have been managed

The commemoration of this 20th anniversary will be held by the UA with an institutional ceremony that will take place on 23 January and the central motif will be the presentation of the book “20 años del MUA” (20 years of MUA). Professor José Piqueras is completing this book with a look at the evolution of MUA, its history, directors, own and hosted exhibitions, curators, artists, collection, etc, including numerous historical photographs. This event will gather the MUA presidents who started this museum, culture vice presidents and its three heads, Antonio Ramos (2001-2005); Mauro S. Hernández (2005-2012); and Faust Ripoll (2012-present), as well as the MUA usual collaborating institutions, representatives of Alicante's museums, artists, curators and a long list of academic and cultural figures.

MUA has already opened to the public an exhibition on the 20 years of the MUA collection, at the Arcadi Blasco exhibition hall. This shows 20 representative pieces of its most famous collections, which can be visited until 29th July 2020.

The MUA was a pioneer project due to its innovative architecture and its different temporary exhibitions based on science, art and heritage. It is effective in terms of promoting a personal development through initiatives that enhance their sensitivity and provide a more reflexive knowledge of our nature, society and history. After two decades, the main purpose of the MUA nowadays is to be a promoter of culture, learning, encounter and confrontation which aims to bring closer the innovation and experience of the university and contemporary art to the whole society. Apart from its collections, the MUA presents more than 20 temporary exhibitions every season, including contemporary art pieces, university research dissemination and institutional projects involving the whole of Alicante society. Thus, this university museum becomes an open space for cultural promotion, where art, music, cinema, architecture and research of different fields converge.

The MUA educational area has managed to attract the interest of 180,000 people in these years and has become a landmark for the educatiors of our geographical area, who participate in the didactic workshops and visits to the permanent and temporary exhibitions.  The great challenge of the MUA educational area is to promote — through its activities — a cognitive and emotional approach to the work of art while encouraging participation, creativity, experimentation and respect for any type of artistic representation so that the public could feel closer to contemporary art.

As a multi-purpose centre for cultural dissemination, the MUA has been the framework where courses and workshops have been organised related to the conservation of contemporary art, the recovery of women’s historical memory and to free software and hardware tools to create interactive environments in any field of knowledge. Similarly, every year the museum facilities are the scene of various academic and and training activities which are organised from different university areas. Opening ceremonies, hosting international conferencesand seminars, graduation ceremonies, panel discussions, national meetings, book presentations, documentary screenings, training sessions, innovation forums, technology workshops and meetings of university presidents.


Exhibition “20 años” (20 years of MUA). MUA collection

From 18 November 2019 to 29 July 2020. Arcadi Blasco exhibition hall

On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, the MUA proposes to renew its collection with an extraordinary exhibition that includes 20 representative pieces of its most famous works. The MUA collection is made up by around 2,000 works where engraving, photography, work on paper, video, sculpture, installation and painting come together to create a rich and varied compilation. Therefore, it has been hard to choose only 20 works. There were two main criteria why we chose these pieces: they must represent the different stages in which the collection has been built up; and they must have a clear educational value, since this exhibition is the basis of the 19/20 educational workshops. Thus, the exhibition reveals a variety of techniques and themes of contemporary art, taking the dichotomy as its guiding thread as well as the dialogue between the language of imagination and abstraction.

The exhibition on the 20 years of the MUA collection is a display of works where imagination and abstraction are two sides of the same coin.



VEU - Cultural Magazine of the University of Alicante

VEU Revista Cultural de la Universidad de Alicante
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