NOW THE GOOD NEWS
No, it is not all doom and gloom in the art-world. You might have gotten this impression after reading some of my former blogs, but nevertheless I want to be as objective as possible and also bring you good news, if and when available. And that is the case with the initiative ‘Zomerexpo 2017’. This exhibition will be held May 20 until August 20 at two locations: Museum De Fundatie in Zwolle and Kasteel Het Nijenhuis, located in Wijhe (in The Netherlands).
The theme for this 6th Zomerexpo (after five time in Het Gemeentemuseum in The Hague) is WATER.
What I like about this initiative is that it is open for every artist. You can subscribe, pay 30 euros for the entry and your work will be looked at in five preliminary rounds by a jury. I am not so fond of jury’s when they contain the usual suspects, but at Zomerexpo you can also apply for a seat in one of these jury’s. Anybody who is interested in art can be a jury-member. More open, inviting and transparent is not possible.
From all the entries (maximum 3.000) 250 works will be selected and exhibited. This means that not all the entries can be shown. That’s ok. We don’t want ambitious housewives with charming, yet pathetic embroidery to get a foot between the door, although the organization claims to accept everything, even macramé. Well-meaning amateurs should also be banned from occasions like this. Nevertheless this Zomerexpo creates a friendly opportunity for artists to join in. It is a bit like a lottery, but so what. There is a practical limitation that should be respected. And if you as an artist are not selected with the work you suggested, you might scratch behind your ears wondering what the reason could be. If you intend to take a chance you will have to do so before March 7. Go to www.zomerexpo.nl and fill in the entry-form.
I am not surprised the Zomerexpo has been hosted five times in De Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, because I know the managing-director Benno Tempel to be a pleasant, accessible and open-minded person. It is no surprise that he handed the baton to his colleague in Zwolle, Ralph Keuning, because he intends to show how versatile art can be and how much impact it can have.
The initiative and the organization stems from the foundation ArtWorlds in Amsterdam. Their mission: building bridges between art, the makers, the podia and the public. A noble goal, thought it is restricted to the target-group: artists just below the top-segment. This top-segment seems to be the domain of the art-establishment, the small incestuous group, to which I like to refer to as the artistocrats.
Here a comparison imposes with the football-sport, also divided in different leagues. The difference is that players in the premier league have to prove to best of the best, which is definitely not the case with the visual artists in the ‘premier league’ of the art-world. There the capricious preference of the few conservators (in my opinion conspirators) determine who will be upgraded to first class.
Nevertheless Zomerexpo 2017 is a worthy art-showcase, allowing lots of artists the opportunity to be seen in a museum, which would otherwise not be impossible due to the erratic thresholds of the artistocrats.
The works will be for sale, which is also unique in a museum, so I salute Ralph Keuning from museum De Fundatie and Carlien Andes from ArtWorlds for opening up this crack in the art-bastion.