The Friends of S.M.A.K. have a new president: Bruno Matthys (48) will succeed current president Jan Op de Beeck (72) from 1 July.
A native of Ghent, Bruno Matthys studied Tourism and Languages at the Erasmushogeschool in Brussels and works in the catering industry. He has been active for years on the board of Friends of S.M.A.K. and at AGB Kunsten & Design, an umbrella governing body of Ghent museums.
With his chairmanship, Bruno Matthys follows in the footsteps of his grandfather Roger Matthys, known for the Matthys-Colle Foundation, with which S.M.A.K. has a long-term loan agreement in cooperation with the Flemish Community.
Bruno Matthys: "I am extremely grateful to outgoing chairman Jan Op de Beeck for the brilliant work he has done in such a short time. I am delighted that Jan remains a supporting member and that we will continue to be able to count on him in the future."
As for the future of the Friends, Matthys is clear: "As an independent organisation, we must continue to focus on what we have been good at since our inception in 1957: promoting our own museum S.M.A.K., publishing art editions and organising trips and excursions, where contact with the artist is central. On top of that, we are facing a new challenge: working towards a new and bigger museum!"