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.