The name of this award loosely translates to “the maker behind the maker.” There are several awards, grants and opportunities for visual artists. The “Maker achter de Maker” Award is, instead, an occasion for visual artists to nominate the people whose craft and expertise has helped them materialize their ideas. This new award honors a craftsperson engaged by a visual artist in order to best materialize an idea into form. The awardee is selected through an annual Open Call for nominations, which is reviewed by an external jury convened by our institution, formerly known as Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam. The awardee receives a cash prize of €5,000. This award is created in partnership with the Mondriaan Fund, the public fund for visual art and cultural heritage in the Netherlands.

Open Call

Visual artists with an experience of more than five years creating artwork and projects are invited to nominate one or more people to this award. Nominations can only be made for a craftsperson living in The Netherlands. The nomination form consists of presenting the craftsperson nominated, by writing a brief statement explaining why or how that person was important in the development of one or several artworks or projects.

Here is the nomination form:

For the purpose of this award, craft can range from manual to intellectual expertise: a craftsperson for a visual artist can be, for example, a fabricator, a technician, an interpreter, an editor, or someone with such kind of labor or a given expertise that helps make an artwork or project come into fruition. The nominated person can either work independently or in a company/institution; the person may also be a visual artist; the person may be a one-time hire or a long-standing collaborator. Nominators can present more than one nominee; each nomination has to be presented in an individual form.

Selection Process

The jury evaluating nominations and selecting the awardee will consider candidates based on what makes the case compelling to honor the nominee. The nominations review and recipient selection are made by a three-member external jury, convened in January 2021 by our institution. The names of the jury members will be made public after the awardee has been selected. The jury is chaired by Sofìa Hernández Chong Cuy (director) and the process is facilitated by Angélique Kool (executive assistant). The recipient of this award will be honored in our institution’s benefit dinner, scheduled for April 2021.


Our institution, formerly known as Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, opened to the public in 1990. “The Maker achter de Maker Award” is part of a new awards program designed to celebrate our institution’s 30th anniversary this year. This 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. The recipients of these three awards will be honored in our institution’s benefit dinner, scheduled for April 2021.
Our new name, Kunstinstituut Melly, will come into effect on our upcoming anniversary, on 27 January 2021. With our new name, we see the beginning of a new institutional phase. An ecosystem-based framework is central to our activities, where artistic innovation and public engagement is at the heart of what we do.