LOCHEM – Four enthusiastic art lovers have put their heads together to raise the art exhibitions in Het Stadshuus to a higher level. The art committee wants to present exciting exhibitions. They can untie their tongues. From now on, the open space on the top floor of Het Stadshuus will be the place of action.
By Henry Bruntink
As a test, a temporary exhibition with art by the local artists Willy Alferink and Wim Leussink has been set up right now. This has shown that the space is ideal for exhibiting art. Lots of space on the wall, but also space to display pictures, sculptures or installations.
Stadshuus used to have an art committee, but it fell apart. Only Finette Bönkers was left. She looked for ‘supporters’ and found them in the persons of Hanneke Gouma, Louis Spoelstra and Henk Smits. They all have their own extensive network, from different backgrounds such as film and interior design. Of course, everyone has an affinity with art.
The large room on the first floor is always available. “Until now, exhibitions were often held downstairs in the Molenzaal. But that space is also used for other purposes. As a result, only the walls were accessible. Nothing was allowed on the floor. Upstairs, we can create beautiful combinations with paintings and sculptures,” says Finette Bönkers. Henk Smits adds: “We would like to use both the walls and the floor. This is sometimes possible with work by one and the same artist, but sometimes combinations will be made to make optimal use of the space.
The idea is primarily to offer budding artists from the Achterhoek opportunities to exhibit, even if the geographical boundaries are not too strict. A good level is sought. And for special art. “Art must surprise. And that might loosen tongues,” says Henk Smits. It is also intended to make the context of the displayed art clear to the visitors. With a brief explanation of each work, but also via videos shown on the big screen. Louis Spoelstra is a professional filmmaker and can produce such videos. “I’m retired. I can sit on the couch with a puzzle book, but it’s a lot more fun to make myself useful this way,” he says.
Henk Smits is an interior designer and has worked for galleries, among other things. He therefore has contacts in the art world. Among other things, through the Keep an Eye Foundation, which offers a stage for young artists. They often fall into a black hole after their art education. Keep an eye is also a deliberate ‘anglicisation’ of the chicken and the egg.
Make a difference
Hanneke Gouma has been active in Gudula Kultur for some time and is good at communicating. Together, the four believe that they can make a difference in Het Stadshuus in the near future in terms of art. Cooperation with other parties, such as Stichting Kunst in Lochem (SKIL), is also sought. This foundation is known, among other things, for the annual Kunstroute. It is intended that every four to six weeks a different exhibition can be seen in Het Stadshuus.
Lochem is home to many talents, which the committee discovers again and again. For example, an exhibition is being prepared with works by Cor van Wees. He lives in Lochem and is the designer of many posters of the famous Pinkpop festival. An exhibition by Lochem photographer Lex van Drooge is also planned. But first there is room for works by artists with a non-congenital brain defect (see box).
Art by people with brain abnormalities
NAH stands for acquired brain injury. It does not stand in the way of creativity, as demonstrated by people involved in NAH Atelier, which is part of Aktivitetscenter Zutphen. Under the title ‘Art with a story’, works by 20 participants from February are presented. This leads to an exhibition of very different works.
These are people who have suffered brain damage at a later age. Many had never practiced any art form before being struck by it. For them, painting is a means of discovering their personal possibilities. It helps in the process of processing and acceptance and in regaining self-confidence.
The context becomes clear through stories that the artists write with their works. Picture and text complement each other and together they tell the story of life after a brain injury.
The exhibition can be seen from the beginning of February and is available during Het Stadshuu’s opening hours. For more information, visit stadhuuslochem.nl.