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Level Up

This spring, hundreds of visual artists, designers, and other creatives graduate from Dutch art academies. Over the four years you’ve studied, you have developed your artistic signature, and in the final year, you’ve worked towards a final presentation, showcasing your work to the outside world for the first time. However, what often receives little to no attention is the entrepreneurship that comes with being an artist. Therefore, on Saturday, November 9, 2024, Stichting Art Projects (known for initiatives like the Young Collectors Circle) and Kunstmest (consultancy focused at art in the public domain) are dedicating an entire day to help graduating artists like yourself level up upon leaving the academy.


Date & time: Saturday, November 9, 11-17u

Location: Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam

Cost: €10 including coffee/tea and lunch, excl. service charges

(Preliminary) Program

11:15 Introduction & welcome

11:30 The art market explained 

In this presentation the graduates will be introduced to the different actors in the art world and the specific actors in the art market. We will delve into the roles of critics and curators, and of those selling and buying on the art market: galleries, dealers and the different types of collectors. We will share examples of the status quo but also of artists who are taking a different route and taking control of the art market in their own manner: by offering their new body of work at auction or by developing alternative pricing strategies. 

12:00 Break

12:15 Artist talk by Niek Hendrix

Niek Hendrix has been working on an innovative oeuvre in a menacing pace, constantly seeking images that should be understood to understand ourselves. His distinctive style of photographic black and white paintings and bold colour interpretations of 17th century Dutch paintings, are shown in thoughtful constellations that challenge the viewer. Hendrix has exhibited at prestigious places as the Royal Palace Amsterdam, Dordrechts Museum, Amsterdams Museum and exhibited in Basel, New York, Moscow and San Francisco.

12:45 Introduction Round Tables

13:00 Lunch & Round Tables 

  • Table 1: Art world, critics & curators with a.o. curator Rosa de Graaf from Melly & art critic Lucette ter Borg from NRC

  • Table 2: Art market, buyers & sellers with a.o. Sheila Verdegaal from Ron Mandos Gallery/Young Blood Foundation and Nieuwe Instituut Agency for Architecture, Design and Digital Culture 

  • Table 3: Entrepreneurial Skills with a.o. Pictoright and Kees de Boekhouder

  • Table 5: Funding with a.o. Cultuur & Ondernemen, Amarte Fonds and Mondriaan Fonds

15:30 Break

15:45 Talk by Sietske van Zanten, LAM

Sietske van Zanten is director of the LAM museum, part of the VandenBroek Foundation. She developed and realized the innovative museum concept for the LAM and has built the largest food art collection in the world. Sietske previously worked for the company collections of ING and Rabobank.

16:15 Level Up 

In this practical presentation, the graduates will get all the tips and tricks for an optimal preparation for your final presentation. This is after all the first moment you will share your work with the world. You will learn how to stand out with your work and your story, which marketing tools to have in place, and how to start building your network. Included in the presentation are suggestions and pointers from each of the experts participating in the Round Table Talks. 

16:45 Round Up

About Level Up

Level Up is a project by Kunstmest Consulting en Stichting Art Projects in partnership with Nieuwe Instituut. Level Up is supported by VandenEnde Foundation, Droom en Daad, and Pictoright Fonds.

About Nieuwe Instituut

Nieuwe Instituut is the Dutch national museum and institute for architecture, design and digital culture. Through exhibitions, public programs, research and other national and international initiatives, the institute engages thinkers, designers, makers and various audiences to think critically about pressing issues of the past, present and future. In addition to the National Collection for Dutch Architecture and Urban Planning, which Nieuwe Instituut manages, it is also responsible for the Sonneveld House Museum villa from 1933 on its own campus in Rotterdam's Museumpark.


Nieuwe Instituut's Agency department connects the design field with questions from the outside world, both regionally and internationally. The exchange and development of knowledge, international cooperation and the expansion of networks are paramount. Dutch designers are presented through various trajectories, projects and programs on various international stages and are given the opportunity to meet international curators, designers and researchers. So-called crossovers are also organised to facilitate the exchange of knowledge. At the regional level, Nieuwe Instituut collaborates with local authorities and organizations on specific social issues.

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