Special report: Residential art spaces in eastern Holland
NEWS - Special Reports
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 11:49
In the second part of a new series of articles offering first-hand accounts of visits to residency programmes, Art Motile's Toni Subirà reports on two residential art spaces in the eastern region of Twente.

Image of Villa de Bank. Facade and main entrance

Villa de Bank.


Some weeks after my arrival in Amsterdam, Heidi Vogels, the coordinator of Trans Artists' Platform AIR NL, invited me to join her and Yasmine Ostendorf, coordinator of Trans Artists' On AIR project, to go to Enschede, where they were giving a workshop for young artists and graduating art students at the ArtEZ Institute of Arts. It was an opportunity for me to learn more about Trans Artists’ expertise and work methodologies outside of the office, as well as being the perfect chance for me to discover two Dutch art residencies located on the other side of the country, in eastern Holland.

The train journey out from Amsterdam, crossing the country from west to east, presented me with the splendorous panorama of the Dutch landscape, until we neared the German border. Enschede is the largest city in the province of Overijssel, in the eastern region of Twente. It has a strong industrial tradition, particularly with textiles, and over the years it’s become a kind of regional cosmopolitan cultural centre in East Netherlands.

Once at ArtEZ, the workshop offered an overview of what it means to be an artist-in-residence nowadays and presented some examples of different kinds of artists’ residencies from around the globe. After these interesting discussions, we visited Villa De Bank and B93, two artist initiatives that are contributing to the expansion of the AIR phenomenon far beyond the Dutch capital.

Image of Villa de Bank art gallery

Villa de Bank art gallery.


Villa De Bank is a three-storey villa located in a green area in the center of Enschede, which has been turned into an art exhibition and production space, with a gallery on the ground floor and studios upstairs. This artist initiative by Paul Silder, a former student at ArtEZ and the Royal Academy of Art in London in the 1970s, has a long history of exhibitions and projects, usually linked to other spaces and organisations from the region. Artists are invited with no application or open call, but portfolios are accepted in order to find and promote new talent.

Image of Villa de Bank Guest room accommodation.

Villa de Bank guest room accommodation.


Since 1993, B93 has offered opportunities to international artists for the development and exhibition of projects in and out of the region. The foundation is centered on a building that rents six studios for the ten artists and organisers, and features a digital lab and a presentation room available for exhibitions, workshops and projects, for both B93 artists and artists from outside the foundation.

Also in the same building are two bright, fully-equipped guest studios with comfortable living spaces for artists from abroad, provided by the City of Enschede and managed by Artist Residencies Enschede (ARE), a parallel organization to B93 in collaboration with the municipality. Residencies normally last three months but proposals for shorter or longer stays, up to six months, are accepted if agreed in advance. The residency programme includes the use of all facilities (private room, studio, computer equipment, wireless internet, kitchen, bathroom, washing machine/dryer, basic tools), and ARE provides resident artists with material and a modest budget for the final presentation or exhibition of work produced there, although they also advise artists to secure additional funding. Applications are considered by a selection committee that may occasionally invite artists from outside the open call.

Image of B93 Accommodation in guest studio 2

B93. Accommodation in guest studio 2.


B93 was closely involved in the creation of Atelier Overleg Enschede (AOE), a panel of discussion where five local AIR-related foundations in Enschede are represented: SKA; Stichting Ateliers Burgemeester van Veenlaan (BvV); Stichting Ateliers de Werkhaven; Villa de Bank Ateliers; and B93. Established in 2007, AOE's goals are to facilitate cooperation between the different AIR initiatives and the municipality.

So, beyond the confines of the building itself, B93 demonstrates its connections to the strong cultural networks both in and out of the region. The experience of its founder, Petra Groen, as an artist-in-residence at programmes around the world has been key to ensuring the project contributes to cultural exchanges between the local community of Enschede and the international art scene.

Image of B93. Guest studio 2. Talk by resident artist Mathew Tom (USA).

B93. Guest studio 2. Talk by resident artist Mathew Tom (USA).


The Carte Blanche project is one way B93 does this, offering ten exhibitions per year involving local and foreign art professionals. The artists have the opportunity of organising their own independent exhibition while making new contacts and reaching new audiences. B93 offers the space, produces and promotes the exhibition openings, and the exhibition itself is organised by the artist.

B93 is a place where artists can focus on their work, present pilot projects and works-in-progress, curate their own exhibition and engage in networking. Its bar is also a friendly and open space for discussion and socialising, and is where new arrivals are received with a welcome dinner to break the ice.

And what if you need to disconnect from your work routines at the residence? Enschede is a thriving city with about 170,000 inhabitants and has all kinds of culture and leisure on offer, with business and shopping areas, and the green, fertile farmland, crisscrossed by bicycle and hiking tracks, in the surrounding countryside.

Image of B93. Hall and exhibition space.

B93. Hall and exhibition space.

 
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Art Motile and Matadero Madrid present AIR ARRAY, a three-day event focused on artist in residence programmes and artist mobility. The event consists of two main activities: a two-day meeting for AIR programmes and a half-day mobility workshop for artists. The event will take place on the 9th, 10th and 11th of March 2015 at Matadero Madrid and Casa de Velázquez - Académie de France à Madrid.

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Art Motile is a platform providing information and resources on Spanish artist in residency (AIR) programmes, as well as information related to artist mobility in general. We are developing our services as we go and welcome any feedback we get from our users, so if you'd like to get in touch you can email us at info@artmorile.org.

In 2012, Art Motile received support from the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.

 

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