Due to a lack of studios, artists in Eindhoven are often left behind: ‘But I have something to offer’ | Eindhoven

EINDHOVEN – Eindhoven has too few affordable studios for artists and designers. Many of them rely on temporary shelter in empty schools or business premises. Ad van Aart, for example, has to pack in two months.

Geert van Elten EIndhoven The gymnasium for the former Mgr. Bekkersschool in Jacob Oppenheimstraat is a wonderful breeding ground for art and almost unrestrained imagination. Artist Ad van Aart (69) works there on his sound objects and other works of art, which are often a combination of different techniques.

He also teaches other artists, some of whom have a disability. Besides him, eight other artists have a studio in the school building. They rent it from VPS Nederland, which manages all vacant municipal property in Eindhoven. Now the rent has been terminated.

Days are numbered

First they heard that they had to leave the building at the end of January, later there was a two-month respite. But Van Aart realizes that his days in the gym are numbered. At that location, the municipality will create studios and shared workplaces for designers and other creative people in the city.

It is no accident that Van Aart was able to find his niche in that part of the school. The artist needs space for his own wonderful works. For example, he is now working on a sound object in which he incorporates a vacuum cleaner and organ pipes.

Van Aart certainly enjoys mentoring others who also want to indulge in art. These are often people with disabilities. “I am a trained ceramicist and sculptor. It was not a fat pot in the first years. So I worked in healthcare two days a week so I had a basic income. That’s how I got to know people with disabilities.” Visual impairment, MS or spasms, which Yvette den Brok-Rouwendal has suffered from since birth.

Drawing with cap and pencil

Since then, Van Aart has combined his creative work with guiding amateurs who often have a disability. Den Brok is a children’s coach, writes children’s books and likes to draw. Center for the Arts CKE is not an option for her, she says in Van Aart’s high school. “They have a standard program that doesn’t suit me. Due to my disability, I cannot use my hands. I put a cap on my head. A pencil sticks out. By moving my head I can draw. It’s not easy, but Ad taught me to persevere and that’s how I learned to develop my own style.”

Van Aart says he enjoys training budding artists. “I have something to offer them. It’s important that they get to move and gain confidence that they can make something beautiful. It doesn’t mean that I immediately like everything. I also want to show them what alternatives are, teach them to look different. Then they can grow.” But it may be over in two months.Van Aart still has no idea what awaits him.


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We hope that we can offer Van Aart a new place in good time. Existing tenants are given priority

Julien Backx, Renter VPS

Den Brok hopes that a new place will become available in time. Preferably in Eindhoven so she can get there in a wheelchair. “I write at home, in peace. But I prefer to draw with others. It gives me inspiration.”

When asked, VPS says that the artists must deliver the building cost clean on March 23. Property coordinator Julien Backx: ,,We are dependent on the properties that our customers assign us, but we hope that we can offer Van Aart a new place in good time. Existing tenants are given priority over new users.”

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