After more than five years of work and preparation, the Hortensia Herrero Art Centre (CAHH) opens its doors with the aim of providing a new window on contemporary art and bringing it closer to those who live in or visit Valencia. Located in the heart of the city, the building, with 3,500 square metres of exhibition space, will house a selection from the private collection of Hortensia Herrero, vice president of Mercadona and president of the foundation that bears her name.
Well known for her commitment to art and culture, the president of the Hortensia Herrero Foundation has been the driving force behind this project, and her vision and dedication have been crucial in making it a reality.
“This is a wonderful day for me. Seven and a half years has been a long period of my life, a long period of work for the architects, for Carlos Campos, Carlos Barberá, the Mercadona team and my colleagues in the Hortensia Herrero Foundation, led by Alejandra Silvestre. At last this art centre is a reality”, began Hortensia Herrero. “One of the objectives of my foundation is to care for the city’s heritage, to bring to light the beauty of buildings that are our history and are in ruins. With this restoration I think that objective is being fulfilled. Add to that my art collection and I think we’re creating a cultural focus in Valencia for both residents and visitors to enjoy.”
On the building, Herrero wanted to express her gratitude for “the work of the team of architects, and especially my daughter Amparo for the loving care and the hours she has put into this project. They’ve managed to adapt the unique features of the building, its nooks and crannies, its passages… to house great works. This is a little jewel in the heart of Valencia and they’ve brought out the very best in it.”
She gave an account of how her relationship with art began. “I’ve always enjoyed painting, art in general, handicrafts. I visited galleries, museums… and bought the odd picture, becoming a collector without realising. One day, Elena Tejedor, my fantastic project initiator at the Foundation, introduced me to Javier Molins while visiting Andreu Alfaro’s studio. With Javier we arranged the purchases so that everything was harmonious and made sense. That’s how we got involved in the world of galleries, fairs like Arco, Basel, Frieze, biennials like Venice. What with all this, we have some 50 artists represented in this art centre, some of them bought in Valencia galleries, thanks to Abierto València. In addition, we have six site-specifics. We selected six artists to make us specific installations for this centre, so that they would develop their creativity by embellishing it.”
Herrero ended by thanking “my husband, because without the results he obtains from his company, it would not have been possible to make this happen. Thank you all from my heart. I hope you like it as much as I do.”