Saloua Sfar has now opened another venue. | Phoenix Media Mallorca

Already a well known face in Santa Catalina for her French/Tunisian food served at her restaurant A Ma Maison, Saloua Sfar has now opened another venue, but this time in the up-and-coming Foners neighbourhood where she lives in Palma. On the night of the inauguration in September she is joined by more than a hundred guests to launch the unique urban space. Vicki caught up with her recently to find out more about Saloua’s dreams for her new venture.

George and Saloua

Tell us about Muse

The idea behind it is to promote art. But when I say “Art” I mean ALL arts, and all kinds of art. For me, art is not just artists painting, it’s culture, it’s dance, it’s music. I’m an artist, because of what I do in the kitchen. I want to change our perception of art, and give artists an opportunity to have a space where they can show their work. For some artists to have an exhibition or a show, it is a dream, it costs a lot of money to stage something like that. So what my business partner George and I decided was that we wouldn’t charge a lot of money to rent the space and that would give people a better opportunity to show their work. With the network that we have we think that we can also support the shows and help to promote them as well. We will be having events, such as jazz nights, and other events which will combine different artist disciplines together.

How has the idea been received?
There’s a lot of people who are interested. We will hold an event in the beginning of December to show what we are really hoping to do, with a wide range of artists.

Why did you choose to open in Foners?
It’s an area that has been completely forgotten by Palma, but it has a lot of potential. Muse was originally a mechanic’s garage, and it’s literally next door to where I live. I can see it from my garden. When we took on the building we had to wait for a year to get the license changed and to make some adaptations to the building, we had to add accessible toilets for example. I’ve always loved the space, and I wanted to bring people into it. But I think the area is coming up, it’s on the move. People are investing in the area, not just me. There are a lot of artists working in Foners, they have small little “tallers”, and now they are coming to see me so excited to have something local to get involved with! The galleries in Palma are all in fancy bits of the city, not around here!

What’s the point of Art? What’s appealing about art to the locals of Foners?
It’s for their eyes! I mean, there are locals who will come to see the exhibitions and they really enjoyed them, but they probably wouldn’t have the money to buy a piece, but then you would never see them even think they would be able to walk into a private gallery in the fancy parts of Palma. They would feel intimidated.

How would you describe Muse, it’s not a gallery so…?
It’s a blank canvas, you can paint it however you want to. It’s an open space for everyone to use. I say that we can make your dreams come true!

What about your business partner, does he have a background in the arts?
George loves art, and he collects it. He’s originally from Amsterdam, but he lives in Mallorca now.

What are your long term plans for Muse?
We know it will take some time to establish ourselves. But so far I am pretty happy with it! It’s bringing something to an area, and it is bringing joy to people. It’s bringing joy to me also because I love organising events, and I’ve got my catering business, which is doing really well. I like to be creative, to be innovative.

Are there criteria to have an event at Muse?
Well, first you get in touch with us and tell us your idea, or what date you want to book. Then I can come back with a plan and a price. We recently had a yoga teacher rent the space for the day and do a workshop there which was really lovely as well. We have had enquiries about private birthday parties as well as exhibitions and events, so we are very flexible. You can bring your own catering or hire me for that as well.

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You’ve had a business in Mallorca for several years now. What advice would you give to someone thinking of opening their own business?
You have to believe in what you’re doing, and give it all of your heart, all of your energy and believe in yourself. Deliver on what you’re doing. When we did the inauguration, there were so many people that were there, some of them are millionaires, but they had never been to the area before. So I believe in it, and what we are doing.

What is coming up next for Muse?
We have an exhibition scheduled from November 23 until the end of November with David Dagaro and Emili Parejo who will present avant-garde sculpture and paintings together.