We are pleased to announce that we are celebrating our institution’s 30th anniversary this year by launching an awards program. This new annual awards program especially recognizes people whose image-making, craft, and advocacy has been central for the creation, presentation, and appreciation of contemporary art. The program is made possible through anniversary gifts in the form of awards funds by Mrs. Berry Koedam of the ramfoundation, Mondriaan Fund, and the Droom en Daad Foundation. Three unique awards have been collaboratively tailored with our supporters, and each of the three selected awardees receives a cash award of €5,000. These are the awards:

The Berry Koedam Award

This award recognizes image-makers whose visual documentation of art events, artworks, exhibitions, and artistic communities have captured a sense of our times and helped give visibility to the work of artists, art scenes, and art institutions. It also recognizes the important role that visual documentation—often published and circulating without proper credit—has in significantly promoting an understanding of contemporary art. The awardee is selected through a nomination process, whereby an inter-generational group of art professionals nominates candidates who apply with a portfolio. This award is created in partnership with Mrs. Berry Koedam of the ramfoundation. (This award has just been granted; read the full press release here.

The Maker achter de Maker Award

Loosely translated to the-maker-behind-the-maker, this award recognizes a craftsperson engaged by a visual artist in order to best materialize an idea into form. For the purpose of this award, craft can range from manual to intellectual expertise. In this regard, a craftsperson for a visual artist can be a fabricator, a technician, an interpreter, an editor, or such kind of labor. The awardee is selected through an Open Call, whereby visual artists are invited to present one or more people whose craftsmanship has made a positive contribution to their work, and whose labor made a meaningful difference in their practice. This award is created in partnership with the Mondriaan Fund, the public fund for visual art and cultural heritage in the Netherlands.

The Visionary Award

This award recognizes a person whose vision is shaping the contemporary cultural landscape of Rotterdam. Through the work they have been developing, whether from within an institution or independently, this person fosters dialogue, generates opportunities, and advances the visual arts sector in order to make Rotterdam more culturally vibrant. An active force with a kindred spirit and great mind, the awardee is an advocate and worker benefiting the artistic community for at least five years. The awardee is selected through a nomination-process, whereby cultural workers and influential voices from Rotterdam present candidates that a jury deems merits recognition at this time. This award is created in partnership with the Droom en Daad Foundation.

The nomination and selection process of this new awards program is overseen by our institution. The nomination review and recipient selection are carried out by an external jury, convened for each award. The juries are chaired by Sofìa Hernández Chong Cuy (director); the process is facilitated by Angélique Kool (executive assistant). The recipients of these three awards will be honored in our institution’s benefit dinner, scheduled for Spring 2021. Details of this event will be announced in time.

This new awards program was designed to celebrate our institution’s anniversary by honoring the contributions of those who make our cultural ecosystem vibrant. “On this jubilee, we focus on people working behind the scenes”, says director Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy. In different ways, the three awards launched today will acknowledge people whose work helps contemporary art reach a broader public, helping convey and materialize an idea beyond the artist’s studio or art institution.