First published: Fall 2005
The atelier Kunst und Kultur (Art and Culture), in the small Austrian town of Linz, was established in 1995 by artists, Johanna Gebetsroither and Pölzl Otto, under the auspices of 'Pro Mente'. Rather than teaching art, Kunst und Kultur offers materials and space for untrained artists to work.
Edwin Schimpl was forced to move, with his mother, into an old people's residence following years of mental illness. He discovered there would be no space for two decades of work, and was poised to destroy it. Towers of boxes filled with cardboard sculptures and layers of handmade portfolios bursting with paintings were stacked up in an office near his home. The Kunst und Kultur project rescued the art and gave Schimpl the opportunity to continue working.