Johan Valcke studied archaeology and history of art at University of Ghent. He worked from 1975 until 2017 for the Belgian and Flemish government. In this position he organized many large and small events on Design and Contemporary Crafts, with an emphasis on the innovations within the genre.
In April 2018 he opened his gallery “Valcke Art Gallery” in his home town Ghent. Focus is on contemporary, witty, innovative and inspired (applied) art, national and international.
He was Director of Design Flanders from 1991 until 2017. Design Flanders organized talent scouting, developed and produced many design exhibitions, ran a gallery in the heart of Brussels, invited designers to participate at selected fairs (Köln, Milano, New York, Seoul, Tokyo, London, …), edited a quarterly magazine “Kwintessens” about design in Flanders and other publications, matched designers with companies and sensibilized SME’s and local authorities to use design and work with makers and designers.
Johan conceived the yearly Henry van de Velde Awards & Labels in 1994, which have become the most prestigious national design awards in Belgium. He also created the exciting serial “Triennial Exhibitions” on design.
He co-founded World Crafts Council Flanders in 1981 and organized in August 1989 the fifth European Conference of the World Crafts Council, which was a breakthrough for the contemporary crafts in Flanders. In 1992 he was elected member in the Board of World Crafts Council – Europe and was nominated Vice-President. This mandate ended in 2000. He became board member a second time from 2012 until 2014. Design Flanders joined BEDA (Bureau of European Design Associations) early 2000 and Johan became boardmember from 2004 until 2011. In both positions he collaborated with many international organizations and institutions in the field of design and contemporary crafts.
Eventually he curated “Hands on Design”, the 8th and last Triennial for Design, a major event which ran from November 2016 until March 2017 in Designmuseum Ghent. The theme was innovation through crafts thinking and working in design products. www.designmuseumgent.be/en/events/hands-on-design
Today he is member of the Advisory Board of the three major musea in Ghent: SMAK (Museum of contemporary Art), MSK (Museum for Fine arts) and Designmuseum Gent. He is member of the General Assembly of HISK (Post Master University College for Fine Arts). He is also board member of “Kunst in Huis” (organization for renting art to companies and individuals) and seats in the Acquisition Commission for DIVA, the museum for silver, jewellery and diamonds in Antwerp.