Kunst Route Leiden (Art walk)

Wow, today’s “Kunst Route Leiden” (Art Route Leiden) was pretty amazing. The posters and flyers and balloons all featured giant black or neon orange letter K’s. I am a big fan of neon ink, so this was great fun. I am not sure who designed all these materials… but they did a good job, and I am very impressed at their mad organizational skills. The production levels were high on everything, and all the pieces worked so well together!

But the fun did not stop there. I got to discover amazing work by not one, but TWO incredible artists working in a huge old brick building called the Kunstcentrum Haagweg. This crazy place was full of art studios and creative companies – the artists and companies pay some rent, but some of the building’s upkeep costs are subsidized by Leiden, as I understand it. The city picked a good thing to invest in – there was a terrific creative energy inside the space.

The first wonderful studio I saw belonged to painter Bunny Soeters, who made beautiful abstract portraits with watercolors and other media. Nothing I can find on the internet does justice to the work I saw in person, so I’m not going to put up a link.

The second wonderful studio I visited belonged to photographer and filmmaker Jan van Ijken, who generously talked about his work and showed a few clips from his upcoming animal-themed documentary / art film. His photographs were just incredible – watching them displayed on a big screen in a dark room was an emotional experience. I was so happy to be exposed to such great talent – it was almost too much for one day! Well done to the city of Leiden for supporting the arts – I am very proud to live here.

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