ArtVIPs is a small-scale yet diverse program designed to enable adolescents aged 14 to 18 to discover the current field of contemporary visual art in their free time, outside of a school environment. Participants will encounter different artistic practices, positions and projects which will challenge them to experience art and the art world in a variety of ways. During the ArtVIPs program, questions will naturally arise and be investigated by the group, questions such as: why and how does art come into existence? Who is involved? What does an art institution do? How does one assemble an exhibition? Who defines art? How does an artist work? The aim is to collectively find answers to these questions (or perhaps raise more questions) thus allowing the participants to create their own vision of the art world.

ArtVIPs starts on 3 March 2007 with a viewing of the current exhibitions (Jesper Just and Chloe Piene) and a behind-the-scenes introduction to Witte de With. Following this, the participants will take part in weekly Saturday visits to art institutions or studios in Rotterdam and beyond, accompanied by two group leaders and a changing guest, for example an artist, curator or other art professional. The ArtVIPs will thus see art together, take part in workshops and collaborate with various people from the art field.

ArtVIPs will be documented in both words and images by the participants, to be published through a weblog or profile site connected to Witte de With’s website. Each participant can thus elaborate his or her own point of view and share it with others. The outcome and working process of ArtVIPs will be presented at the end of the project by means of an official “finnisage” on 25 May 2007, held at Witte de With.

The next step: the ongoing role of the ArtVIPs
Witte de With aims to use the institution’s expertise to stimulate young people’s experience and knowledge of art. We are creating a set of innovative educational projects of which ArtVIPs is the first. WdW Education knows from experience that projects and events developed by peers of the same target audience is an inspiring and useful experience. The planned publication series will thus also be developed and produced according to the peer-education principal. The input of the participants will form the basis of a series of publications about contemporary art by young people for young people.

To allow the young people to have a responsible and constructive part in both the process and end result, they are first introduced to contemporary art practice in order to gain sufficient background knowledge. ArtVIPs is specially developed to provide this knowledge. The program is an “encircling analytic movement” not only made for a specific group, but to eventually reach a wider audience of young people, with the ArtVIPs as a reference point. Through this project and the regular contact between the ArtVIPs and members of staff, Witte de With hopes to gain additional insight in the viewing behaviour, experiences, thinking frameworks and wishes of this new generation towards visual art.

Take a look at We will upload new pictures every week, made by the ArtVIPs themselves. You can read (in Dutch) new interviews and texts at

—With Thanks To:

Pieter Kers (Amsterdam); Bianca Boer (Rotterdam); Anke Bangma, Mirjana Boba Stojadinovic, Terje Overas (Piet Zwart Instituut, Rotterdam); Marleen van Wijngaarden, David Maroto, Barbara Witteveen (Duende Studio’s, Rotterdam); Jet van Overeem (Gemeentemuseum Den Haag); Muhka (Antwerpen); Siebe Thissen (CBK, Rotterdam); Urban Arts (Rotterdam); Anouk Laverge (Montevideo, Amsterdam); Jesper Just (Kopenhagen); Ilsa Colsell (Londen); William Hunt (Londen); Tris Vonna-Michell (Londen, Frankfurt am Main).

—Supported by

Dienst Kunst en Cultuur, Rotterdam & VSBfonds.