Kunst Maakt de MensOutreach project

It’s 2 pm and I’m sitting among seven elderly ladies who are diligently working on a still life. We’re taking part in the workshop ‘Kunst maakt de mens’, an outreach project of the Van Gogh Museum, Kröller-Müller Museum and Van Gogh Brabant. The Van Gogh Museum has already completed the first year of the project and is teaching us the fine points of the workshop.

still lifes of vincent van gogh

While enjoying many cups of tea and coffee, we scratch with charcoal, think up poetic titles for abstract drawings, and admire each other’s creations. We laugh out loud and listen intently to the story of Van Gogh. For the last half hour we’ve been attempting a still life. Lemons, sunflowers, bottles and coffee pots. The table is strewn with them. The workshop leader Brigida walks around offering advice: ‘If you use a dark colour, like purple, the shadow becomes even more intense’. It’s still pretty tough, but after 1.5 hours everyone has made a still life. The drawings are hung on a clothesline and comprehensively admired. Finally, the participants proudly pose for a photograph together. ‘I’ve had a lovely day, thank you!’

workshop Kunst Maakt de Mensworkshops for senior citizens 

The participants’ enthusiasm is contagious. I’m already looking forward to our first workshop and eagerly await my discussions with healthcare facilities and welfare institutions to fix the dates for the workshops. We can provide 6 workshops in our region this year and 12 next year. A wonderful opportunity to introduce senior citizens to Vincent van Gogh and allow them to discover their hidden talents. To be continued!

Sandra BoksSandra Boks
Kröller-Müller Museum, education

September 2015

Images: Matthea Versteeg and Hélène de Koekkoek