Digging For Art

Make it Art Worthy

Scavenger Hunt Rule #7: Always follow your instincts.

You stroll down the street and, for once, concentrate exclusively on your surroundings. See, there is the familiar canal that you keep passing by when you leave the city centre, and you follow it with your gaze. Strange, you think, such a well-known place, and yet I don’t know the other side at all. You set out on discovery. A large unusual yellow window appears just a few meters away. A guitarist sings with relish and smiles at you through the glass of this charmingly chaotic place. You can’t hear him, but you feel like you do. His expression left an impression.

When we remembered this situation, our instincts led us to that place, and luckily we discovered Make it Art Worthy (MiAW). This unique place is an open social work- and meeting space for freethinkers and creatives, located just outside the city centre. The non-profit foundation offers studio spaces to more than 20 artists who host exhibitions and initiate workshops, connecting art with the community.

Here we met Cis and Arti, the two people who initiated this unique art space. Over a coffee, they took us on the journey of how the initial mini MiAW developed to what it is today.

Although the mini MiAW had to move out within one week after opening up, something saved it. The demand from the community for creative spaces like this made it possible for MIAW to open as it is today.

This place’s philosophy is that together you can do more than on your own. Everyone is welcome to walk in, be inspired and express freely.

Where to find MiAW?

Noordwal 18, 2513 EB Den Haag

Digging For Art

Locatie Z

Scavenger Hunt Rule #5:

What would you do differently if you were starting from scratch?

What do we know until now? Okay, art spaces in The Hague exist, and if you dig for a bit, you can find gold. We met incredible artists and unique concepts. But where does inspiration come from? That’s when we realized what we had forgotten – The artists’ studios – the origin of the gold.

14 studios and 14 artists. Locatie Z brings artists, scientists and musicians together. The creative minds come here to dig for gold, find silver, throw away tin and rediscover value. This space mirrors their progress, achievements, and mistakes. It’s a constant rotation of ideas and experiences. Here is the place where people improve, grow and produce.

Why do you choose Locatie Z as your studio?

“Because of the space. It’s a very beautiful space. Because of the space but also because of the people, the collective is very nice. It (Locatie Z) hosts different sorts of events, talks, and presentations. It is also because I get very claustrophobic with the low ceilings. That’s really a problem. I can’t work in a space that has low ceilings. And there are big doors, which really helps with the bid structures I am making. Otherwise, it’s impossible to transport.” said Narges Mohammadi, an artist who has her studio at Locatie Z.

Since you are sharing one of the studios with 2 other artists, are there any challenges of working with other people in the same space?

Locatie Z is a space with studios and a project space that hosts different events open to the public. So, stay tuned and visit this beautiful place sooner than later!

Learn more about our featured artist Narges Mohammadi

Where to find Locatie Z?

Willem Dreespark 312, 2531 SX Den Haag

Digging For Art

Nest

Scavenger Hunt Rule #4: Listen to the crowd.

Whenever we encountered recommendations about art spaces- one was constantly mentioned. “Oh, it is my favourite!”, “This was actually the first art space I ever went to”, “It’s an extraordinary place.” This fed our curiosity. Would we understand what makes this space so beloved? 

Hidden outside the city centre next to an old electrical fabric, this space has an extraordinary feeling that is rare in The Hague.

It feels

open.

alive.

free.

The bright walls reflect the natural light and fill the room with a liberating spacious atmosphere. Contemporary art is facing you from the walls, and they carefully put together exhibitions deliver their stories to you. You breathe in and perceive how the power of culture reaches you and fills you with electricity. 

Welcome to Nest.

Nest is an exhibition space for contemporary art. Four times a year, they invite multidisciplinary artists, both local and international, to create exhibitions together.

“We (Nest) always link what is happening out there in the current society and pose questions. Then we link these issues to how artists reflect and give new visions on that as well,” the programme coordinator, Clara Ronsdorf, told us.

But no exhibition is alike. Different and new approaches to work fuel this place’s electricity.

“So, every time you visit, the space is transformed.” 

Collaboration is their second secret. Nest connects the city’s local art community. By working together with other spaces, they aim to link artists, art students and the audience. Currently, they are working with 1646 on an open call for art graduates. 

It is really nice to collaborate with other spaces in the city to do that together. Because it’s about stability for the artists. That might be sometimes stronger when you do it together. That’s something we are really convinced about.

The programme coordinator of Nest, Clara Ronsdorf

Where to find Nest?

De Constant Rebecqueplein 20, 2518 RA Den Haag

Digging For Art

Page Not Found

Scavenger Hunt Rule #3: Turn the map around.

To discover excellence, you sometimes need to adjust your perspective. 

Page Not Found’s vision is to turn the book around and create a place where people can get lost in pages that they cannot find anywhere else in The Hague. Its collection includes limited editions of hand-picked publications from Japan, the U.S., and Europe.

This space for artists’ unique publications, talks and exhibitions allows readers to dive into artworks in a vibrant environment or purchase books and keep reading at home at their own pace!

Page Not Found easily catches your attention with their fresh, playful and young interior design by Helgi Þórsson and Ola Vasiljeva.

We didn’t want to be a bookshop, in the sense of a shop. It’s more like a project space because it needs to be able to change shape. So we didn’t want to fall into categories, and we just wanted to have a unique identity. That’s why we have commissioned artists to make all the artworks around. Because it’s the same. It’s also creating an environment that is inviting to discover these things.

The founder and co-Director of Page Not Found, Sébastien Tien

Sebastien also points out how important the support from the Dutch government and other institutions is to Page Not Found and other art spaces.

Sometimes, people do not have the means to buy artistic publications, but Page Not Found has initiatives to …

I created this space because I was missing discovering artists’ books. There are places in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Berlin where you can easily spend a few hours looking at the books. There is no such space in the Hague.

Read Books. Support Artists. Buy Local.

Where to find Page Not Found?

Boekhorststraat 125, 2512 CN Den Haag

Digging For Art

Tiny Art Gallery

Scavenger Hunt Rule #2: Think simple.

What comes to mind when you hear “Art Gallery”? To us, an art gallery could be a pompous hall that is full of artworks by famous artists. Or, a minimalist white cube exhibiting bizarre modern art items. Or, it could be a marketplace that sells artworks for sky-high prices. But, Tiny Art Gallery, like a little world on its own, just brings our imagination of art galleries to another level.

In this gallery, the artworks are hidden right behind the windows in the heart of The Hague. The works of art are barely the size of a palm but as detailed and diverse as any fingerprint, ranging from sculptures to paintings to films. This little world brings together 63 unique patterns of whorls and lines by 63 artists’ fingertips.

Because of Covid-19, all my friends’ exhibitions were cancelled, and all the art spaces are not open; nothing is happening. So why not make it really tiny, and then we can still make a massive big show with all of us together, but it is very small,”

Marijn van der Leeuw, the creator of Tiny Art Gallery

Marijn is an artist and graphic designer from Amsterdam and is now based in The Hague. She loves small things and artworks.

If you make small things, you don’t have a budget; you are not limited by financial conditions. So you can think really big while doing small work. You can just make your work ideal because it is really small.

“It’s so public. It’s as if you are looking at the sculpture on the street. Everyone can look at it. Everyone can think about it. […] That’s the most important to me. You don’t feel any barriers of ‘oooh, I’m going to the museum’. You can just have a look and say whatever you want to say about it and think about whatever you want.”

Tiny Art Gallery plans to leave its fingerprints around The Hague and expand its trail. Maybe one day, you will find a small art gallery behind the window right next to your home!

Where to find Tiny Art Gallery?

Herderinnestraat 10, 2512 EA Den Haag

Digging For Art

1646

Scavenger hunt rule #6: Invite randomness.

Sight

Coming in, the red floor directly captions all your receptors. It signals our brain to prepare all other senses to get ready for stimulation. Slightly leaning forward, encircled by the white walls, we lurk and wait.

Smell

You can inhale the scent of the wooden canvases that combine fresh paint, an empty house and a red wine filled summer night as an image in your mind.

Taste

You lick your lips and feel the fantastic works on your taste buds. You immediately brighten up and know that you will encounter tastefully chosen art.

Touch

You rub your fingers together to bring your attention to your sense of touch. You can feel the warmth on your skin.

Hearing

The experience begins. You hear different voices talking, and it takes you some moments to realize where the connection comes from.

There are 5 solo shows every year. 1646 encourages interaction and participation through its interdisciplinary attitude. They present different kinds of work made by the artists and have different programs surrounding their artwork, such as a podcast, a video archive, an email conversation. Because they believe that it is essential to make the experiences “deeper than just a visit to an exhibition,” Jeroen van der Hulst, the PR manager from 1646, shares with us.

The goal of 1646 is not to show an exhibition of a conclusion to an idea, but more of an introduction to start a discussion around the idea.

1646 invites artists with different values, nationalities, and techniques to create a dialogue between artists, curators, and audiences.

“The work we show here is mainly towards conversations, so it’s not a specific medium or a specific type of artist we look for. We look for the type of view […] and curiosity to try out new things and […] to put things on the table and discuss them,” said Jeroen.

We believe that someone’s voice is relevant. That’s usually a very broad spectrum, a very broad scope of people that can contribute. I think you can contribute to a discussion in a fruitful way or start a whole new topic of thought we might not have thought about otherwise.”

The PR manager of 1646, Jeroen van der Hulst

Where to find 1646?

Boekhorststraat 125, 2512 CN Den Haag

Digging For Art

…ism Project Space

Scavenger Hunt Rule #1: Wander around.

Once upon a time, there were lots of isms: modernism, cubism, futurism. But along came the Ism to end all isms. Postmodernism chewed them all up, and spat them out. 

Today, we’re invited on a journey to think about a new ism. 

A few years ago, Frits walked into a shop in the Hague city center. He wanted to buy some board games. He looked around, purchased some games, and left. It was a brief encounter with a place that would one day become the home he loves. And a space for art and imagination.

…ism Project Space is his home, but it is also a space that he offers to artists, letting them exhibit their artwork there. 

He gives the same welcome to us who are looking for art spaces in the Hague. When he opens the door, he looks straight at us and laughs.

As we walk through the wood-panelled entrance, we enter a living room and a kitchen. But what catches our eye is a small atrium in the center of the house, visible through windows and a glass door. A hallway leads to another garden and a master bedroom, where it gets “more private,” Frits says. A flight of stairs leads down the basement. It’s not difficult to see how these quiet, domestic rooms can be transformed into public areas where artists can display their expressiveness and the wanderings of their minds. Artists have projected videos in the central atrium. Some have lived in the guest room for a few weeks while building their exhibition.

Here, the exhibition is never fixed. Where does the exhibition end? It’s always an interesting question for the audience because every time it’s different. Sometimes, you have to go to the cellar. Sometimes, you make a routine through the space. Sometimes, you just have to find the arts yourself.

Have you thought about the history of the building you are living? When Frits moved into …Ism, he rebuilt every corner of the place and in this process he discovers who lived here back in 1631 when the house was built.

Where to find …ism Project Space?

Westeinde 31a, 2512 GS Den Haag