Art in Spaarndam (June 10, 11 and 12) has become a rich and varied festival. With 74 artists in 26 locations, music, poems and introduction

This is the fourth edition of KIS. The event fits into the inspiring village on the water. There are quite a few people who earn their living in art, music or media. Others work on the road next to a steady job. Spaarndam is a great place to visit for the general public.

living village

“Some villages like Volendam have become models,” says Johanna van Steen, co-organizer. Spaarndam is still a vibrant village. It is only possible if there are things to do, and not just for tourists. ”

It started as a study route, where amateur artists could also participate, and has grown into a varied cultural happening. For the first time with a poetry festival and a meeting with residents from other cultures. An estimated 100 refugee families live in Spaarndam.

The theme of this KIS is ‘connection’. Not only to get to know new residents who have fled here, but also for native Dutch togetherness. “Haarlemmers really enjoy going into the Spaarndam houses,” says Johanna van Steen. “It is attractive to have an art route. You can suddenly look into a garden where it is not otherwise allowed, or into a living room. ”

car garage

You can see paintings and sculptures in the Rijnlandhuis, Gemaal, the harbor building, the eel smokehouse, the car garage, at the house painter, the hairdresser, in the café, the restaurants, the sailmaker’s workshop and the Adalbertus church.

Experience shows that Spaarndam during KIS is visited by more than a thousand people who see beautiful things with a map in hand.

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Charcoal drawing ‘Parasite’, by Enny Majoor.

Works by 74 visual artists are exhibited, most of whom live in Spaarndam and a few from Haarlem or Bergen. There are 26 places where audiences can go for works of art.


Art route visitors can orientate themselves in the Rijnlandhuis. There you can see a work by each artist with a reference to the home or work address. Places to visit can be identified on a banner with the KIS logo. Two boats, chartered by the Spaarndam catering industry, transport visitors every half hour to art venues, such as to De Laars, where Mark King’s studio is located.


The art in Spaarndam starts on Friday evening, June 10, with a modest intercultural festival. In the Oude Kerk you can listen to world music from 20.30 by the highly acclaimed refugee orchestra Orchester Partout. In the church garden there is an intro market on Saturday and Sunday (12-16). Paper pyramids painted by students are for sale there.

Mayor Jos Wienen opens KIS on Saturday around 13.00, after which the audience can visit Westkolk (terraces, Japanese percussion), Oude Kerk (musical theater, women’s choir and African songs), Spaarneskolen (African dance), Fort-Zuid (poets and terrace) and Dorpshuis (light music and photography).


Six poets and musicians recite poems at Fort-Zuid on Saturday from 6 p.m. 14.00. This new KIS squadron is called ‘Closer to Spaarne’. It takes place in the amphitheater just behind the fortress with Erik Jan Harmens, John Schoorl, Lucas Hirsch, Joshua Baumgarten, Joshua Baumgarten, Bas Belleman and Fred Papenhoven. Rocker Frank Kraaijeveld (Bintangs) reads from Be Frank, a book written by him about his life with Bintangs, during the poetry festival. He also plays some songs. The Haarlem band The Stomp Brothers is also heard.

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Frank Kraaijeveld, the founder of Bintangs, performs at Fort Zuid.

Frank Kraaijeveld, the founder of Bintangs, performs at Fort Zuid. Photo JJPhoto / Dick Breddels

Water is lacking in the picturesque Westkolk. The restoration of the quay is still in progress. Only in July will water enter it again, but according to the organizers, the drybed is not a bummer for KIS.

On Sunday 12 June, KIS concludes with an open stage for young and old in the Oude Kerk (13.00-14.00), followed by a performance in this church by Gerard Alderliefste and Maria Eldering (15.00). Register via Kunstcentrum De Kolk (for open stage) and at Vrienden van de Oude Kerk (concert). On the closing day, the band Brother Flower will perform in the Rijnlandhuis (14-16).

Pieternel van Kempen

Former physician Pieternel van Kempen (1958) exhibits bronze sculptures and paintings in the Rijnlandhuis. “The old Afghan man crawling on a boulder was the first person I saw.”

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Squatting Afghans in Bronze, by Pieternel van Kempen.

Squatting Afghans in Bronze, by Pieternel van Kempen. Photo by J. Dijkstra

Pieternel van Kempen was employed in the Air Force and was sent on missions to Afghanistan and Ukraine for a long time. When asked, she talks about her first experience with Afghanistan. “I remember so well that we landed on the Hercules transport plane. It was smoking hot. The lid of the device opened. The first thing I saw was a desolate environment and a wrecked plane. Nearby, an old Afghan man was squatting. He looked at me as if to say, ‘Help us!’. But I thought for a moment: I want to get out of here as soon as possible. But of course I stayed. I helped build the medical care chain. We were able to do a good job there. When we left, the chain was intact. I do not know how it is now. I think there are still Dutch people active in Afghanistan who are involved in the health chain. “Van Kempen immortalized the sitting Afghan in bronze. He became for Pieternel the symbol of the situation in his country.

Black swan

Enny Majoor and Mathilde Renes also exhibit in Rijnlandhuis. Majoor has been doing charcoal work lately, including an impressive drawing inspired by the movie Parasite. Also from her hand is a black swan and a motorcycle. Mathilde Renes exhibits textile work. She made a name for herself with embroidery works and her drawn and embroidered diaries.

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