Open atelier route brings art closer to the people

POSTED: 03/9/15 6:33 PM

WILLEMSTAD – That visitors and artists engage in conversation with each other, that is the most important thing during the third Open Atelier Route in Curacao, Sofie Custers reports on Caribisch Netwerk. Visitors get the opportunity to pose all their questions about the inspiration behind the exhibited artworks to their creators. The artists get to know what it is in their work that appeals to the public.

The Atelier Route is held during two weekends. The past weekend artists with galleries to the west of the Juliana Bridge were allowed to exhibit their work. This upcoming weekend the artists at the island’s eastside are open for visitors. Most visitors are unable to hide their enthusiasm. There were many well-known artists such as Evelien Sipkes, father and son Zanolino and Yubi Kirindongo.

Local artists registered during the past couple of months for the route whereby they open their own atelier for the public. Between thirty and forty artists show their work and hope that this will inspire Curacao. In 2006, the first open atelier route was held; the second event took place in 2011.

Carlos Blaaker is one of the organizers of the event and he is exhibiting his work as well. “This weekend everything went like a breeze. Every artist has been busy and able to get their message in their art across. Hopefully, there will be as many visitors next weekend. I find it very important that managers and especially children are able to see how artists come up with different creative solutions – like working with recycled materials instead of normal functional articles.”

Philipe Zanolino arrived in Curacao when he was 26 and he is one of the few artists who is able to live of his art. “I think that only 5 percent of all artists in the world are able to live completely off their work. This weekend I have spoken with many people who are interested. They will almost certainly buy something in the future.”

His son Giovani finds the interaction important. “There were many children who had their first encounter with art. As far as attention for art in Curacao, that focuses more on music like tumba and Carnival. There should be more attention for the visual arts.”

Visitors Ria and Rina Devid are very enthusiast. “We have been on  the road since ten o’clock this morning and we have already visited six artists.” Ria Devid has several pieces of the participating artists at home. “The next time they organize this I would love to participate. As a former teacher of art and craft I would like to see improvements in creative education in Curacao.”

Celina Lewin says that education devotes little time to art. “I only have the course cultural artistry formation and within that course I chose drawing. I came to the route together with my teacher, the wife of Carlos Blaaker. This counts for the social hours I have to make for school.”

Yubi Kirindongo is one of the most well-known artists on the island. He says that he has already received 500 visitors. “People can always drop in at my place, but normally I charge an entry fee. I think there is not enough attention for art in Curacao. All my best customers are from Aruba. I would love to see it become livelier in Curacao.”

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