Opening new location Herenplaats

On Friday 15 April, the new location of Galerie Atelier Herenplaats on Schietbaanstraat was festively opened by alderman Hugo de Jonge. The reopening is not only the story of a very successful move. Since last year, Herenplaats has been part of a unique partnership with the rotterdamscentrumvoortheater (rcth) and Theater Maatwerk. This collaboration also means that the studio focuses explicitly on the local public.

The current changes in healthcare do require a different positioning and operational management of projects such as Herenplaats. This fits well with Pameijer’s objectives. Participating in society requires more involvement with regular local institutions. And partly in view of all the cutbacks, we simply have to think and act in a more businesslike way. The concrete result is that Galerie Atelier Herenplaats entered into a partnership in 2015 with the rotterdam center for theater (rcth) and Theater Maatwerk, also part of Pameijer. Together they want to become a new cultural institution for people with and without disabilities. This is laid down in a covenant. The parties have already jointly submitted a grant application for the Arts Plan 2017-2020.

In connection with the repositioning, Herenplaats has also moved from the Schiedamse Vest to a new location on the Schietbaanstraat. At the official opening on 15 April, initial doubts about the move have given way to great enthusiasm. The new building offers the artists more studio and workshop space, is more suitable for exhibitions and the sale of articles in the gallery shop, and is also on the ground floor instead of being divided over a number of floors. This provides a better overview and also makes it easier to step in if necessary.

The approximately 250 guests were able to see everything with their own eyes during the opening. The artists present were happy to explain a few things. And in interviews with some of those involved – including Joke Ellenkamp on behalf of Pameijer and Paul Röttger on behalf of rcth – the beautiful connection between art and care was discussed. Alderman Hugo de Jonge was invited to the official ceremony. Together with artist Hans Hartman, who symbolically donned a new jacket, he opened the location in an appropriate manner. The catering – in the hands of Klus en Werk Cool-Oude Westen – provided everyone with a drink to toast to.


As mentioned, Herenplaats focuses much more on the local, Rotterdam environment in the new building than before. For example, the joint grant application 2017-2020 for the municipality states that 40 workshops per year will be given at the new location, mainly to local students. Employee Richard Bennaars says that several workshops have already been organized in collaboration with the artists. ‘They really enjoy doing it, we are now mainly learning how to structure and dose it all properly. It shouldn’t be too much of course. Good coordination with teachers also deserves attention, secondary school students sometimes react unfamiliar to our people. We also participated in the Wired Festival for young people, last week at the Schouwburgplein.’ The young people could do speed dating with artists from Herenplaats.


Manager Vincent Koens points out that with these (paid) workshops not only part of the self-maintenance is provided, but that inclusion is also being worked on very concretely. “It’s a two-way street. The municipality would like more attention for art education in schools and for getting to know special target groups. We can make an excellent contribution to that.’ The fact that Herenplaats has been very warmly received in the new neighborhood in Rotterdam-West reinforces his optimism. ‘It is a ‘creative’ neighborhood here, with about four more galleries in the vicinity and an audience that does have an affinity with art. That is a good basis for connection with the neighbourhood.’

Top year
Although 2016 is not yet halfway, Richard’s year can’t go wrong. “2016 is already a great year for us. Apart from the move and all the new plans, we’ve been getting a lot of great publicity lately. Think of the ‘Museum of Everything’ in the Kunsthal, which also houses nine works by our artist Paulus de Groot. Or at the new wing with Outsider Art in the Hermitage. Interest in this form of art has grown enormously in recent times. All the major newspapers have also written about it. And last year we had a share in the broadcast of nine portraits ‘Ik ben Rotterdammer’ on TV. In other words, we are well on the map and are now harvesting in all kinds of ways. We also sold very well last year, by the way.”

Of course, no one knows what the future will bring. Herenplaats currently has a lease for three years and scenarios have also been worked out