November 29, 2021

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Dronning Sonja under åpningen av kunstsenteret K.U.K. i Trondheim

The Kjøpmannsgata Young Art Center opened in Trondheim on Friday. – NRK Trondolac

Artist Kjell Erik Killi-Olsen is behind the Kjøpmannsgata ung kunst or KUK art center.

In the beginning was Rani Sonja, who made the audience laugh when she uttered the chin name of the art center.

“You’re hard on an old lady,” Sonja said, to the great excitement of the audience.

Funding from your own pocket

Gilly-Olsen has long dreamed of creating a living art house centered on young artists.

– It touches. Gilly-Olson tells NRK on opening day that it was a long journey, four years.

The inaugural exhibition features works by 29 young artists from different countries. In addition, the center has approximately 1,000 of Gilly-Olson’s own works of art, which he donated to Trondheim.

The artist funds the center from his own pocket and has so far spent NOK 200 million.

– I have generations of sober parents and ancestors who did not spend money. Then I had good years, says Gilly-Olson.

Artist Kjell Erik Killi-Olsen is behind the Kjøpmannsgata ung kunst center in Trondheim.

Photo: Morton Anderson / NRK

Tribute to friends

Kubalari Restaurant is also located in the Art Center.

It was inspired by Ingrid Espelid Hovig, who for 30 years taught the Norwegians to cook through the television show “Fjernsynskjøkkenet”. Split Howick died in 2018 and was a close friend of Gilly-Olson.

The word “Kupalari” was often used by Esplit Hovic, which caused surprise, and it created full concentration and anticipation.

– Ingrid is here all the time. She is here in spirit. She thinks this is the perfect “cupcake”, as Gilly-Olson previously said about the NRK restaurant.

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