The Kunsthal is increasingly collaborating with young makers and artists, for instance for All you can Art, Kunsthal Light and in the programming of Kunsthal LIVE. We realise how difficult it must be for this group to find the ‘main entrance’ of the large institutions. In citywide discussions this subject, the gap between professional art education and presentation venues, keeps coming up. One of the results is the collaboration concerning a series of Masterclasses that the Kunsthal started a number of years ago.
ALL YOU CAN ART
This year, the Kunsthal Rotterdam presented the third edition of All you can Art (AYCA) in collaboration with Instituto Buena Bista (IBB). AYCA is a studio, exhibition and Summer School all rolled into one, where everyone – and we literally mean everyone – has an opportunity to create, learn and discover. The key figures of the project are IBB founding fathers and artists David Bade and Tirzo Martha who, together with social practice artists Liesbeth Labeur, Rieneke de Vries and IBB alumni Elvis Chen, Roxette Capriles and Johanna Franco Zapata, manned a studio at the Kunsthal. The unsuspecting Kunsthal visitors were actively invited to become involved in the creation of artworks together with the artists and Summer School students. Sitting at a central table – together or in turns –, visitors were unable to miss IBB staff members Omar Martha and Crystal Boomgaart.
AYCA was not confined to the Kunsthal building itself. With the help of an SRV supermarket van, ThinkTanks and various partners such as Stichting Laurens (geriatric care), Antes (homeless and addiction care) and the Zuiderpark College (VMBO school), AYCA sought connections with the residents of Rotterdam neighbourhoods who would not come into contact with each other, or with art and culture, under normal circumstances. For each of the three partners, the artists realised an additional studio where they could work with the residents, students or patients on a site-specific artwork. The Summer School students were also closely involved in this, gaining some experience of their own while working in a social context at the different locations. In turn, the participants of the various partners also came to the Kunsthal. Realising these connections between people by means of creativity and social commitment, had a huge impact on the participants. Inclusivity is the magic word at AYCA and throughout the project it is a clearly identifiable aspect. To spread the message that art is for everyone, OPEN Rotterdam followed the AYCA artists in the Kunsthal, at our partners and through the streets of Rotterdam last year.
All you can Art will continue in 2019! This project is now an indispensable part of the Rotterdam cultural landscape. In the summer of 2019, under the inspired leadership of the artists David Bade and Tirzo Martha, AYCA will come to the Kunsthal again and travel into the city more than ever, with two locations of its own in the South Rotterdam area: the Pumping Station and 272-274 Groene Hilledijk. See for more informatie kunsthal.nl/allyoucanart4. OPEN Rotterdam will follow AYCA, this year again. Images can be viewed at: www.openrotterdam.nl
Against the backdrop of the gap between professional art education and presentation venues, the directors of the Kunsthal and the Willem de Kooning Academy came up with an idea to switch seats in order to approach this problem from the perspective of the other party. Another important goal was to further strengthen the long-standing relationship between the two institutions.
By personally experiencing how an art academy operates, and listening to the students’ feedback with regard to this subject, the director of the Kunsthal came to a better understanding of the challenges faced by a professional art school. Vice-versa, the director of the Willem de Kooning Academy also gained a much better insight into how a large institution like the Kunsthal functions, how we arrive at our programming and how we compile our range of educational, ‘life-long learning’ programmes. The fact that this did not concern a short-term traineeship, but rather a longer period of time during which the two directors literally switched seats and took over all responsibilities from each other, was a deliberate choice. The mutual observations and experiences were publicly shared in Rotterdam and again with staff members from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.