Rachel Peddersen at ARE

Enschede: a small Dutch city right on the border of Germany. Local snack bars with sausage everything! Newly developing area, Roombeek with contemporary art space, Rozendaal 21 and Natural History museum, Twentewelle

I am currently entering my third month of a 3-month residency in eastern Netherlands. Before arriving I had little time to financially prepare and without assistance from the residency host, I was left to my own devices... I hosted a fundraiser in my home city and sold friends and my own artwork and asked for donations from friends and family. It's amazing how manypeople were supportive of my time here. However, with more money and time it would have been great tospend some weekends traveling. Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht are only 1-2 hour train rides west and Berlin is only a four hour train ride east of Enschede. Before coming I was looking for help to try and budget my time here and there was little information like this provided by the host. All in all, I have been really happy here.

When I first arrived the previous residents still lingered and I was able to make immediate friends with some wonderful people. The weather was beautiful (1st of July )and with the bikes provided by ARE, I could ride to the nearby lakes in 20 minutes. I quickly learned the city, as it is a small Dutch city right on the border of Germany. For this reasonthere are many Germans here and gallery connections to cities like Dusseldorf and Munster. The AREHolland residency is a city government funded residency for International artist to comefor 3 months to make work. It should not be expected that you will have an exhibition during your time of residency, however, I was able to show my work three times while here. The city is small and the art community is very close and supportiveof one another. Many of the artists are graduate from the local art school, AKI.

I applied to this residency based on what I could find on their website, www.areholland.com. This site is pretty accurate in regards to explaining and illustrating what it will be like when you get here. I have learned many things about residencies while here and perhaps the most important thing I think is to have a clearidea of what you are looking for during your stay.

The building is an old school that has been updated. There is a main area that is used as an ad hoc gallery space for other artists in the building and sometimes the artist-in-residence.

The living space is a equipped with most living need; sheets, linens, towels, cleaning supplies, etc. It is very clean and theneighborhood is quiet. There are two living options, one is a live/work space with a kitchen and bathroom in the space as well as a very nice media set-up with a Mac, HD Video camera, tripod, and projectors. (If you want to come and work on a video, this is the place to do it.) The second living space is a bit bigger but the kitchen and bathroom are separate. This space is better for an installation artist, painter, etc. There is also a Mac computer for use in this studio and all of the equipment is shared with everyone in the building.

Bonuses...

Bikes are provided (new Dutch style bikes)WIFI in buildingCamera, computer equipment provided (Canon digital SLR, Mac, Sony HD Handicam)Clean spaceLarge work space (bedroom is separate from working space, couch and comfortable living room area as well)Easy to live in city, center of city is 2 min. bike ride, grocery store across the street, art stores (however, expensive), fabric store, media store

Drawbacks...

The residency does not inherently come with an exhibitionSomewhat difficult communication with host, sometimes it takes a while to get answers regarding your project ideas and needs, etc. There is little access to a car so transporting work can be trickyThe city is small with few contemporary art spaces and galleries

People...

There are about 8 other artists working (but not living) in the building as well. Most of these artists are here during the day and sometimes at night but I was here during the summer so it was mostly quiet. The people that are here have a tight community which is an extension of graduates from the local art school (AKI). Everyone is really friendly and supportiveif you need help finding something or if you are looking to make new friends.

Rachel Peddersen (Portland, Oregon, USA)

www.rpeddersen.com

Rachel's residency blog