A quiet place for art
TEXT: EVA MENGER
Art lovers from around the world travel to the Netherlands for Amsterdam’s famous Museum Square, but that’s not where the country’s cultural potential ends. Take the east, for example, where you’ll find endless stretches of luscious greenery including national park ‘De Hoge Veluwe’, which also houses the wonderful Kröller-Müller Museum, home to as many Van Gogh paintings as the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. And then, on a quiet street in the nearby village of Velp, there’s Art Gallery O-68, a charming gallery exhibiting an interesting mixture of work.
“It’s an exciting time for us,” gallery owner Anne-Mie Emons tells us. “In the street we’re currently on, there’s a beautiful, little white church. It was built as a gym in the 1880s before it eventually turned into a church. We’ve always talked about how amazing it would be if we could move in there one day, and now it’s finally happening.”
The move marks a new era for the gallery – one where they’re hoping to take things up a notch. “Every year, I try to take things a little further,” Emons states. “A large number of artists get in touch with me, so I’ve had to become stricter. The most important criterion is, of course, whether I’m personally drawn to someone’s work. But I also look at where an artist can take us. The better the art we exhibit, the higher the chance we’ll be invited to prestigious art fairs.”
That’s not to say that the gallery only works with established artists. They aim to create a fine balance between known and new work, offering young talent great exposure and the more established a different, refreshing platform. “Someone I’m working with closely is Simone Albers, who first hosted her graduation show in our gallery, and then joined us at the London Art Fair in January this year,” Emons says proudly. “The recognition she received there was tremendous.”
An eye for detail
Visitors of Gallery O-68 can expect a broad selection of work. “My husband and I have been keen art collectors since the 1970s,” Emons explains. “We’ve always enjoyed work that sits in between the abstract and figurative, though since the opening of this gallery in 2011, our exhibitions have become increasingly abstract. It might have something to do with my academic background. I used to be a cell biologist with Wageningen University, so analysing shapes and looking into details is part of my DNA. ”
Gallery O-68 organises around six to seven exhibitions a year, and they’re open from Thursday to Sunday afternoon. Check out their website to see what’s on.
Left: Front view of the new location of Art Gallery O-68 (opens Sept/Oct 2019), before renovation. Photo: Anne-Mie Emons | Middle: Simone Albers, Substance IX, 2018, acrylic on canvas. Photo: Simone Albers | Right: Gallery owner Anne-Mie Emons in front of There Where the Ants Live, a painting by Theo Kuijpers. Photo : July Leesberg