Interview with Nadine van den Bosch about the SHOWCASE initiative

Interview with Nadine van den Bosch, Curator at Heden about SHOWCASE, a new initiative at HEDEN promoting the work by young talents from the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague.

What exactly is SHOWCASE?

SHOWCASE is a series of exhibitions on show from 12 July to 31 August at Heden Art Centre in The Hague. Heden invited KABK students of all years and from all departments to submit work via an Open Call. From all entries, Heden will select 8 artworks.

The selected 8 works are matched with a work from the Heden collection. This creates a new diptych every week: a combination of up-and-coming talent with established names from the collection. To conclude the project, Heden will purchase one of the exhibited works by the KABK students for her own collection.

How does SHOWCASE fit within the concept of Heden?

Heden has a large art collection where we continuously programme temporary exhibitions of emerging artists. Central to these temporary exhibitions is offering a stage to young (The Hague based) talent. With SHOWCASE we connect the two: our own collection and showcasing young talent. Of course, it is also very interesting and refreshing to take a closer look at our own collection through the work of young artists: How can we facilitate a dialogue between two works?

The Open Call has only been issued to KABK students, what are your expectations?

I expect a very diverse range of entries. The Open Call is set up for all departments and all years in order to give the entire scope of talent a chance. We think it is important not to focus solely on, for example, Fine Arts, but are also interested in work of students of the Graphic Design or Textile & Fashion department. The diversity of students and disciplines is what makes the KABK so valuable and interesting.

Exhibition Zahar Bondar, HEDEN, 2019
Exhibition of KABK Fine Arts alumnus Zahar Bondar at HEDEN, 2019 - Photo: JW Kaldenbach

How important is it for you to show work of young talent?

One of today's spearheads is supporting young talent. We do this in different ways: for example, 6 years ago we created the annual Heden Startprijs, we regularly purchase work from KABK alumni for our collection, and we have an exhibition programme that focuses on showing emerging artists. With all these facets, Heden is a stepping-stone for recently graduated artists.

A jury has been put together to choose from all entries, what will be criteria during the selection period?

We hope to show a snapshot of what is going on among the students of the KABK. In the selection, we pay particular attention to originality, quality, craftsmanship, and distinctiveness.

8 works will be shown during 8 weeks, are the works for sale?

Sure! If people want to buy the work we contact the artist directly to mediate in the sale. Part of the artistic support we offer is giving business advice: From our expertise, we like to think along with the artist about, for example, determining the right price and presenting the work. In case of a sale, the proceeds go entirely to the artist. Supporting the artists who need it so badly, is very important to us, especially now.

In the end, one of the works is purchased by Heden, what does that mean exactly?

During the last weekend of SHOWCASE (August 31st), we will announce which of the 8 participating works we purchase for our collection. By acquiring a work for our collection we not only support the artist financially, but also generate attention for his or her work. By renting out our collection to companies and private individuals, each work from the collection has a huge potential range: Who knows, the work we have purchased may soon hang at a collector's home, or in the boardroom of a large company!

When does the first exhibition start and can I still register as a KABK student?

The exhibition starts on 12 July and lasts until 31 August. You can register until June 20th to participate, so be sure to send in your work!

KABK students can find information about the Open Call on the KABK Portal