Dik Kusters comes from behind the clouds

Do you want to write a book about me?” That’s the question Varik artist Dik Kuster asked Fred Eggink at the beginning of this year. Fred knew Dik, knew he was a man who could make a good book and didn’t have to think twice. Thus began a process that Fred, Dik and designer Marie-Jan Ousen enjoyed a lot with a result that they can rightly be proud of. On Saturday 22 October, Tjeerd Vrij, chairman of the Blommeland Foundation, handed over the first copy to Dik in a packed room in the Stroomhuis in Neerijnen. Fred Eggink on the creative process: “This book was not a work, but a nice walk with a nice person who also makes beautiful things”.

Photo album below the text.

In the book ‘Behind the clouds’ with the subtitle ‘Dik Kusters, a lifelong love of the landscape’ the emphasis is on the beautiful watercolors that Dik makes of the river area. The environment where he grew up with its varied landscape, water, dykes, clouds and flood plains was an important source of inspiration for his works. But you will also find beautiful cityscapes in the book. Dik’s work is very accessible and is also appreciated outside the river area. His work hangs in many places outside Betuwe. Dik is a member of IWS, the International Watercolor Society, a select group of the best watercolor painters in the world and of course a member of the regional artist association Werkplek. His level is also evident from the long series of exhibitions he participated in. That list starts in 1983 and has so far counted 49 exhibitions, eight of which consisted exclusively of his work. In the beginning, they were all exhibitions in their own region, but later on, you see his exhibition horizons expand. How about Bologna, New Delhi Fabriano (Italye), where his works were exhibited. The list also shows that Dik is also happy to make his art available to promote the region. His love for the landscape is also evident here.

More than just watercolor paint

Thick is a versatile man. In addition to painting watercolors of landscapes and cityscapes, he also creates abstract art, still life and other spatial works. He is also known as a designer of parade floats. Zoelen, Culemborg and Varik, later corsoclub Neerijnen, were very successful with Dik’s designs. Hans Kool, the chairman of corsoclub Culemborg, says in the book about the first meeting with Dik: “As a board, we sat in the hall, and that’s where Dik comes in. He showed us some designs, we fell off our seats. He could paint with products. We weren’t used to that. We made great progress then. I look back on it with satisfaction.”

In the book you will find a number of pages with photos by Jan Bouwhuis of parade floats designed by Dik and other subjects in which Dik played a role. In addition, a number of guest authors and friends of Dik supplement the picture Fred Eggink paints with personal experiences and descriptions of special activities. Among them, well-known names such as the former mayor and cultural councilor of Neerijnen, Ton Jansen, very involved river land; organizer, stimulator and journalist, Cees Hoogteijling; art historian and curator Lisette le Blanc, Dik’s brother and the informal mayor of Ophemert Aart Kusters; Marianne and Peter Wennekes from Communications and Marketing Company M&P; Chairman of the Artists Association Workspace Mieke van de Besselaar; involved art lover Kees Vreugdenhil and Josje Knobbout, speech therapist at Lingecollege. All this, together with the eminent main author, Fred Eggink, has led to a description of the life and work of a man who has more than earned his mark in and for the region and still has great importance. Three main aspects of his life: education, art and the parade come into their own.

The book is beautifully done

It only remains for us to mention that the emjee designers, Marie-Jan Ousen and her team have made it a particularly beautiful and attractive book in all respects. Of which – perhaps Dik is not happy with this suggestion – you should actually buy two. One to read, to show to your friends and acquaintances and to consult later and another to frame one or more of the beautiful full screen reproductions or pictures and hang on the wall.

The beautiful bookmark in the book is surprising, with a beautiful poem by the book’s versatile author, Fred Eggink, to match the book.

The book is on sale for 29.95 euros at, among others, Boekhandel Arentsen in Tiel and Gerard Tomey in Culemborg. It can also be ordered via the emjee-uitgevers.com website or picked up during office hours at emjee, Grotestraat 24, 4064 EC Varik.

Photo album. Click on an image to enlarge and ‘swipe’

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