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Saturday, May 5, 2018

Europe's biggest open-air sculpture exhibition


The larger-than-life snails on the promenades and in the parks in Bad Ragaz are difficult to miss – they are lemon yellow. And it is no coincidence that they can be found throughout the whole municipality – these snails are the trademark of the seventh Swiss Triennial Festival of Sculpture, also known as Bad RagARTz, which is being held this year. The sculpture event, which has now become the largest open-air exhibition of its kind in Europe – opens this Saturday, 5 May 2018, in Bad Ragaz. The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz will also have all kinds of curiosities and creations on display. For example, hotel room number 155 was quickly transformed into an art room by three young graphic artists, and an oversized nest was created by artist Lukas Hofkunst in front of IGNIV by Andreas Caminada. Sports enthusiasts will also find something to suit them. They can take a run around the works of art at Bad RagARTz Walk & Run by skinfit® at the Tamina Therme.


A Sculpture made by the artist Riccardo Cordero




More than 500,000 visitors came to the last Swiss Triennial Festival of Sculpture in 2015 to see the numerous fascinating works of art at the spa resort in Eastern Switzerland. As always, the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is in the midst of it all – this year in the truest sense of the word, because the room which bears the number 155 in the Grand Hotel Quellenhof is a sculpture room and will be open for special guided tours. In this room, Rebekka Good, Mona Deplazes and Gwendolyn Wetli, three young graphic designers, have given free rein to their creativity. "Art is a matter of opinion", they say describing the project. "We want each person to be able to interpret what they see in our room in their own way, be it an artwork or a simple piece of furniture, or whatever it is", Rebekka Good says. And they want to show how something with a striking effect can be created with just a few materials.

Marco R. Zanolari, General Manager of the Grand Hotels, is proud of the fact that the hotel has been a sponsor of the Swiss Triennial Festival of Sculpture from the beginning – and that international artists, visitors and guests also meet on the grounds of Grand Resort Bad Ragaz. "In this unique ambiance we can offer our guests art, nature and indulgence", he says.

The initiators and patrons of the exhibition are Esther and Rolf Hohmeister, who first launched the event around 20 years ago. Rolf Hohmeister is a rheumatologist at the Medical Centre Bad Ragaz, as well as being a passionate art collector and connoisseur. This year, a total of 76 artists from 17 countries will display 450 artworks. That amounts to 2,400 tonnes of art. In one place. It was not easy to select the artworks, Hohmeister explains, as he had viewed more than 1,500 applications for the exhibition, which only takes place every three years.

The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is involved in many ways. Artist Lukas Hofkunst has created another nest for the IGNIV (Rhaeto-Romanic for "nest") restaurant – in front of the Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz. The open-air nest is open from Friday to Sunday, 11.30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and refreshments will be offered by Silvio Germann, the GaultMillau Discovery of the Year 2017 in German-speaking Switzerland. Francesco Benvenuto, the GaultMillau Sommelier of the Year 2018, will delight guests with a first-class regional wine. "We feel it is important to accompany the period of the exhibition with a programme that appeals to all the senses and where new treasures can be found around every corner", says Zanolari.

The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz has laid out various offers for art enthusiasts and lovers of the great outdoors during the Swiss Triennial Festival of Sculpture. From May to the beginning of November, there is the Impressions of Bad RagARTz offer, which can be booked from

CHF 630.- per room, per night, in a double room. This includes three nights' accommodation and a generous breakfast buffet, and access to the resort's entire spa area (including Tamina Therme). In addition to the welcome drink at the bar that is offered on arrival, there is an exclusive Bad RagARTz brochure with background stories about the artists and their works. The package also includes a daily 4-course lunch or dinner in the Restaurant Bel-Air (15 GaultMillau points) or in the Restaurant Olives d'Or, and a farewell gift.

Those who would like to explore Bad RagARTz in a sporty way can join the Bad RagARTz Walk & Run by skinfit® at the Tamina Therme. The route runs through the sculpture exhibition for four or eight kilometres, and participants are accompanied by an official guide. Afterwards they can relax their tired muscles in the thermal water – admission to the Tamina Therme is included in the price of CHF 40.00.

Art and culinary skills – these are not only offered at IGNIV by Andreas Caminada. The traditional Grand Resort Bad Ragaz barbecue can again be booked this year in combination with an exclusive guided tour through the Bad RagARTz exhibition. For guests who want to enjoy the art and the beautiful weather in the resort's park, the kitchen team will pack a picnic basket on request. Those who decide to dine in the great outdoors can choose between the standard, superior and deluxe variants (CHF 58, CHF 78, and CHF 105 per basket, respectively) – all of which come with tasty specialities. And a blanket.

More information about the events offered by the Grand Resort during Bad RagARTz 2018 can be found at https://www.resortragaz.ch/grand-hotels/kunst-musik-kultur/bad-ragartz.html.

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