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On the 22nd June 1990, the late Gabriel Caruana together with Mary Rose Caruana, launched the first contemporary art centre at Ta’ Ganu/Tal-Maħlut Mill in Naxxar Road Birkirkara. Gabriel Caruana had been working on establishing a centre where contemporary art was to be appreciated for a while and it was only after his retirement as a Ceramics Instructor at Tarġa Gap that he could focus on this dream. In one of his interviews Caruana mentions that ‘My wish was for our Country to stay abreast with the International Contemporary Art World’. In 1990, he was entrusted by the Government with The Mill to be used for contemporary art and cultural purposes.

My wish was for our country to stay abreast with the international contemporary art world

Gabriel Caruana

The opening of The Mill as an Art, Culture and Crafts centre was received with great enthusiasm by all of Gabriel’s students, friends, artists and visitors and has so far received thousands of visitors over the past thirty years! Since 2016, The Mill has been safeguarded and managed by the Gabriel Caruana Foundation (GCF), set up by Gabriel Caruana himself together with Mary Rose Caruana, Richard England, Umberto Buttigieg, Raffaella Zammit and Gabriella Caruana Box. The current Administrative Board is composed of Raffaella Zammit, Elyse Tonna and Gabriella Caruana Box entrusted with the Strategic Planning of the Foundation. The GCF has since been engaging and implementing a varied creative and contemporary artistic programme together with various contemporary artists, organisations and communities. Its efforts have recently been recognised by Arts Council Malta, which has been supporting the Foundation through the Investment for Cultural Organisations Fund 2020-2022.

Photo showing people gathered for the launch of The Mill - Art, Culture and Crafts Centre on the 22nd of June 1990
Opening of The Mill - Art, Culture and Crafts Centre, 22nd of June 1990

The Mill, a scheduled Grade 1 building dating back to 1724, boasts itself as a community art space, hosting numerous and various types of events and activities. From its launch, 30 years ago, it has hosted over 70 distinct events, 24 of which have been held over the past three years! These include exhibitions, workshops, book launches and other activities. It also holds a permanent exhibition of contemporary artworks donated to Gabriel Caruana and the Foundation of Maltese and International artists.

Photo showing the front of the Mill, with a large banner with the words 'Welcome to the Exhibition 1990' written on it. Gabriel Caruana stands below the banner next to the door. A white car is parked adjacent.
Gabriel Caruana at the entrance of The Mill.

As part of the 30th anniversary, the Gabriel Caruana Foundation is currently working on a number of projects to mark this special year. 30@20 – The Mill, funded through the Voluntary Organisations Project Scheme managed by the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector on behalf of Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sports and Voluntary Organisations within the Ministry for Education and Employment. . Through this project the Foundation has engaged Dr Nikki Petroni to research the 30 years of activity of The Mill – Art, Culture and Crafts Centre. The Foundation has issued a community call that will enable anyone to share their memories (including stories, photos and videos) of their  visits and experiences of The Mill.

Photo of four people standing inside The Mill. Three are in a group on the left hand side of the photo, these are Richard England and Mary Rose Caruana and another woman. The Woman is holding a painting with peace symbols, the painting is held by Gabriel Caruana who is on the right hand side of the Photo. The photo was taken during the Colour and Form for Peace happening at The Mill.
Colour and Form for Peace happening at The MIll , 17th February 1991

Last March, the Foundation launched a call for illustrators, The Many Faces of the Mill. Ten illustrations have been selected and will be launched in the coming days as limited edition prints.

Blue text on yellow background, right hand side aligned and centred. text reads Thank you. The Many Faces of The Mill. Gabriel Caruana Foundation Logo at the bottom right hand side corner.

The Gabriel Caruana Foundation would like to thank all those who have supported The Mill and its artistic programme over the past 30 years and looks forward to welcoming everyone when it re-opens!

People gathered at The Mill opening on the 22nd of June 1990. At the bottom left hand corner text in yellow 'Thank you for 30 Years'.
Thank you for supporting The Mill for the past 30 years!