It all started with Willy Gilissen considering the future after his retirement. He was a successful international businessman for more than fifty years. Born in Maastricht in the south of the Netherlands, he relocated to a Belgian municipality just across the border in the Valley of the Meuse, a beautiful region where tourism and business can flourish in an exciting pace, with promise and prosperity to look forward to.
Both Willy and his wife Madeleine love traveling. Art has always piqued their curiosity. Combining business trips with pleasure brought them to far away places and unexpected treasures, each journey sparked new ideas and new insights in life. Whenever they came home, their hearts were full of impressions and warm memories of the cultures and people they encountered.
It's this understanding of the world at large, what lies beyond one's own horizon, that prompted the idea to bring the world to their own doorstep, by the means of Fine Arts. What better way to spend your retirement helping gifted artists in their ambition to share their art with the world?