The opening exhibitions of the Antalya Culture and Arts (AKS) center, the new culture and arts platform in the center of the southern province of Antalya, have been seen by more than 8,000 visitors in the first three months.
A Picasso exhibition, which displays original works, was organized under the theme “Women and Bulls” in collaboration with the Picasso House Museum and the Picasso Foundation in Spain. The other exhibition, “Light and History: Antalya Through the Eyes of Ara Güler,” features works gathered from Güler’s special archive.
Both exhibitions will remain open through Feb. 28, 2016, after which the culture center will host an Andy Warhol exhibition simultaneously with Expo 2016 Antalya, which will open on April 23, 2016.
The AKS center, which won the “Best Socio-Cultural Structure” category at the Sign of the City Awards in 2015, is located on the site of the former Antalya Trade and Industrial Chamber (ATSO) building. It has greatly altered the city’s center thanks to its rainbow-colored exterior and inner spaces including education and exhibition halls. The culture center was designated in collaboration with Suna-İnan Kıraç and the Pera Museum.
ATSO President Davut Çetin said after ATSO moved to its new building, there were many discussions on the future of the building. He said among the offerings were a private school and a business center but with the decision of the assembly in 2011, it was decided the building would serve as a culture and arts center.
He said the old building was demolished at the end of 2013 and completed in June 2014.
Çetin said with the two exhibitions, AKS was officially opened on Sept. 16.
He said that in the first three months, 10 percent of its 8,300 visitors were foreigners, 10 percent were ATSO members and the others were from Antalya. “Among these visitors, we have had 2,400 high school students. The ticket price is 15 Turkish Liras, but free for those under the age of 14, and we have a 50 percent reduction for ATSO members,” he said, adding that their purpose was not to earn large revenues.
“The purpose of the establishment of this structure is to boost Antalya’s culture, arts and education, and develop trade in the city center,” he added.
Çetin said one of the most complained about issues in Antalya was the lack of tourists in the city center, and thanks to the new AKS venue, the city center would now see more visitors.