In the six years I managed the ABC Treehouse (2006-2011), a culturally oriented meeting venue located in the heart of Amsterdam, with 3 rooms (4-80 capacity) and a gallery, I hosted and/or mentored over 50 exhibitions, eventually curating or co-curating 17 of them. The visual arts were a new field for me – my background is in the performing arts – so I learned ‘on the job’, as it were. I was particularly pleased with the exhibitions which highlighted street art, the cross-over between “urban art” and the “handmade” movement, and the annual gay pride exhibits. I feel very honored to have worked with so many fine artists and curators, and lucky to have been in a position to offer so many a platform for their work.
Below is a selection of exhibitions I curated, co-curated, or for which I served as an integral creative adviser; I offered organizational assistance to all exhibits during my tenure. The list is a work in progress, as I work through my files – more information about curators and participants will be added as I go. In the meantime, you can also see images, as I upload them to my Flickr photostream.
For a complete list of all the exhibits I hosted while at the Treehouse, including the names of participating artists and curators, click here: EXHIBITIONS 2006-2011
ANOTHER HANDMADE HOLIDAY
A special exhibition/event at the ABC Treehouse, celebrating the winter holidays and the return of the popularity of handmade gift-giving.
Participants: Katja Berkenboschwww.katjaberkenbosch.nl/; Sara Naumann www.saranaumann.com; Pipapiep www.pipapiep.etsy.nl; Chantz Perkins www.chantzperkins.com; Anny Rose www.annyrose.com; Harald Seiwert www.seiwert.nl; Hanneke van Wijk; René Zuiderveld www.renezuiderveld.com. Curated by Donna DuCarme and the artists.
Oct 2011 to Nov 2011
With stone and bronze, photography and street art, these artists explored the concept of beauty, as it reveals itself in the human form.
Participants: Gert Kist – www.malemodel.nl; Peter Kruse – www.lichtreich-foto.com; Elias Mohd – www.elceramic.com; Monyart – www.moneyart.com; Jan-Kees Nagelkerke – www.jankees-art.com; Chantz Perkins – www.chantzperkins.com; Patricia Ribas – www.patricaribas.com; Harald Seiwert – www.seiwert.nl; René Zuiderveld – www.renezuiderveld.com; and Skatin Chinchilla. Curated by Donna DuCarme.
PRIDE AND UNPREJUDICED
Aug 2011 to Sep 2011
Pride & Unprejudiced was the 6th edition of the annual Gay Pride exhibition at the ABC Treehouse in Amsterdam. Launched in 2006, it was the largest exhibition of gay and lesbian art in the Netherlands, and earned a reputation as an exciting, sometimes challenging showcase of high quality work that defied and played with stereotypes. In 2011 the artists exhibited a wide range of styles- from painting to photography, sculpture to jewelry … and even landscape architecture!
Participants: Pieter Voogt www.pietervoogt.com; Johan van Walsem www.johanfotografie.nl; Jan-Kees Nagelkerke www.jankees-art.com; Elias Mohd www.elceramic.com; Jos Karis – www.josephtailor.com; Patrick Bus www.suicideinstyle.com; Peter Meeuwisse www.petermeeuwisse.nl; René Zuiderveld www.renezuiderveld.com; Peter Kruse www.lichtreich-foto.com; Sebastian Moreno www.sebastianmoreno.com; Gert Kist www.malemodel.nl; Mark Kino. Curated by Rene Zuiderveld , Harald Seiwert in consult with Donna DuCarme.
AMS*DIY – celebrating Urban Art and Crafts
DIY stands for Do It Yourself, and AMS*DIY was the Amsterdam handmade happening with a double dose of attitude. Accessible art and urban crafts, street-influenced fashion, old stuff made new by you, and knitted stuff your grandmother could only dream of. At AMS*DIY, artists were creating, demonstrating, and helping you DIY your life: there was art for sale, workshops where you could make your own art, and fun for young people too.
Participants: Straat Papier Holland Klik (papercrafting) www.3eyedbear.com; Henrietta Thompson, (author) former design editor of Wallpaper Magazine; Sara Naumann (multi-media collage art): www.saranaumann.com; Josine Nolet (tapestries from recycled fabric) www.geensteek.nl; DIY Textile School / Ginni Fleck (mixed media and surface design) www.diytextileschool.nl; Project ASA / Amsterdam Street Art(street artist collective) www.amsterdamstreetart.com; Crafty Me (yarn arts); Pipapiep (plush creatures) www.zooart.nl; Kitty Darkness Designs (Plush creatures and mixed media items) ww.etsy.com/shop/kittydarknessdesigns; Gustavo Ramirez Cruz (Papier Mâché) www.gustavoramirezcruz.com; Stella Siu Lie Ang /’Stellamation’ (www.stellamation.tv); José Alvarado (Origami); Penelope Craft (Yarn Arts) www.penelopecraft.com;The American Book Center (www.abc.nl). Curated by Donna DuCarme.
PATRICIA RIBAS – SOLO WORKS
Patricia Ribas was a regular contributor to the exhibition program at the ABC Treehouse, where she also teaches photography classes. In this solo exhibition, we finally gave her the undivided attention her work deserves. Curated by Donna DuCarme and Patricia Ribas www.patriciaribas.com
A HANDMADE HOLIDAY
A special exhibition event at the ABC Treehouse, celebrating the winter holidays and the return of the popularity of handmade gift-giving. Participating artists: Belinda Parten, Chantz Perkins www.chantzperkins.com; Gabrielle Gordeau www.gabriellegordeau.com; Gunilla Andersson, Laura Amiss www.lauraamiss.com; Lotte Klaver www.lotteklaver.nl; MAOMA http://www.maomaland.com; Pipapiep www.zooart.nl; Sara Naumann www.saranaumann.com; and StoryPeople / Brian Andres http://www.storypeople.com. Curated by Donna DuCarme and Gunilla Andersson.
René ZUIDERVELD PHOTOGRAPHY
Nov 2010 to Dec 2010
René Zuiderveld (www.renezuiderveld.com) was no stranger to the ABC Treehouse. For years, he was responsible (with Harald Seiwert) for the annual Gay Pride exhibit. In this exhibition, we were able to explore the wide range of René’s suggestive, playful and erotic images. Curated by Donna DuCarme and René Zuiderveld.
MULTICULTI – PHOTOGRAPHIC POINTS OF VIEW
Our modern Dutch culture is a result of hundreds of years of intermingling with many cultures here and abroad. But in 2010, much of the prevalent mood was anti-immigrant – anti “other”. In response, the ABC Treehouse presented MultiCulti: photographic images from our multicultural community.
Participating artists: AmsterSam (EU/NL) www.amstersam.com; Patricia Ribas (BR/NL) www.patriciaribas.com; Monyart/Monica Martino (IT) www.monyart.com; Melissa Scholten (NL) www.melissascholten.com. MultiCulti is sponsored in part by Archichef, a creative studio focused on a mix of architecture, design and creative cooking”. www.archichef.nl. And is part of GRID 2010, 4th International Photography Biennial. Curated by Donna DuCarme and the artists.
NAUGHTY BUT NICE
Aug 2010 to Sep 2010
Naughty but Nice was the follow-up to the groundbreaking Happy exhibits, which began in 2006 as the largest exhibition of gay and lesbian artists in the Netherlands, and by its fourth edition (2009) had grown enough to question its own premise: what, actually, is ‘gay’ art? Are we helping – or stereotyping – the artist by promoting him/her in a ‘gay’ exhibition? The 2009 edition of Happy was a particularly good example of this conundrum: pieces like “Symphonic Red Chairs” by Etienne Go – a brilliant photographic study of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion – could be seen as ‘gay art’ only when the viewer was informed of the sexuality of the artist. Exploring this question, the curators of Happy (Harald Seiwert and Rene Zuiderveld) and the director of the ABC Treehouse (Donna DuCarme) invited some ‘straight’ friends to join some of our favorite artists from the annual Gay Pride exhibits in an exploration of erotic art. Togther, these artists have created a beautiful, sexy exhibit that challenges us to look at our own ideas of what ‘gay’ art is. Is eroticism, or the artistic appreciation of erotic art, defined by our sexual preferences?
Participants: Harald Seiwert; Ropemarks; Rico Esquivel; Richard Fairbrother; Pieter Voogt; Skatin’ Chinchilla; Patricia Ribas; Nadine Reef; Joseph Tailor; Johan van Walsem; Gerard de Bruin; Dave Koster; Chantz Perkins; Darren Sullivan; Rene Zuiderveld. Curated by Harald Seiwert , Rene Zuiderveldt , Donna DuCarme
CHANTZ PERKINS – “50/50” SOLO EXHIBITION OF STONE AND BRONZE SCULPTURES.
Apr 2010 to May 2010
“Chantz Perkins (www.chantzperkins.com) has been called “the mistress of the female form”. Her sculptures- light filled alabaster- are taut with energy and alive with sense. In both her materials and her subject matter she draws from the great world of the classical past yet the work she produces is undeniably modern in vision and effect”. Curated by Donna DuCarme and Chantz Perkins
HARALD SEIWERT, A RETROSPECTIVE
Feb 2010 to Mar 2010
Artist Harald Seiwert (www.seiwert.nl) has been working digitally since the first days of “Bryce” (3D software) in 1995, challenging the then-held conceit that ‘computer art’ wasn’t art at all. Through his work, and the work of other artists like him, the keyboard and mouse are now accepted as legitimate tools alongside the traditional brush or pen. In this retrospective, we were offered a tour through this multi-sided artist’s personal favorites, representing the broad spectrum of his work. Curated by Harald Seiwert and Donna DuCarme
AMS * NYC * AMS
Oct 2009 to Nov 2009
With AMS * NYC * AMS, the ABC Treehouse invited a group of Dutch and American photographers to take an look at the 400th anniversary of U.S./Netherlands relations. During the two months the exhibition was in residence at the ABC Treehouse, we also presented special events, including a Book Launch: “Dutch Culinary Art – 400 Years of Festive Cooking”; and a Conversation with the U.S. Consulate: 400 Years of Shared Dutch American History, Where Do We Go From Here?
Participating artists: AmsterS@m,Dave Koster, Etienne Go, Jan Doense, Rachel James and Rene Zuiderveld. Curated by Rachel James and Donna DuCarme
Four artists whose work challenges and entertains us in very different manners. A street poet, two photographers and an American “folk” artist: this eclectic mix of artists speak with different voices, in different mediums, to ultimately create a sense of unity. Participating artists: Laser 3.14, Harald Seiwert, Tia Ryan, StoryPeople/Brian Andreas. Curated by Donna DuCarme
Apr 2009 to May 2009
The question of what is and isn’t art has been argued in universities and cafes for hundreds of years. Today, the boundaries are even less clear, with advances in technology creating new areas for expression and argument. In Bron, these questions were examined in four ways by: Repromasters, Harald Seiwert, Tia Ryan and Laser 3.14 2009 Curated by Donna DuCarme and Repromasters.
ABC GIVES: BUILDING A ROOM TO READ
A mixed media exhibition of the works of Brian Andreas, to benefit the Room to Read organization (www.roomtoread.org), which partners with local communities throughout the developing world to establish schools, libraries, and other educational infrastructure. Through the opportunities that only an education can provide, they strive to break the cycle of poverty, one child at a time.
Exhibition related programming: “Become a Story Person” an art workshop for young people. In this drawing workshop, led by Nick Walker and Stephanie Rodriguez, we used StoryPeople (www.storypeople.com) as inspiration to help children (aged 8-16) create works of art based on their very own ‘favorite’ things. Curated by Donna DuCarme
KADO – A SPECIAL EXHIBITION TO BENEFIT WAR CHILD
Nov 2007 to Jan 2008
A light-hearted mixed media exhibition bringing warmth to the winter months. Paintings, photography, ceramics and more! All works were priced to sell, and were chosen for both quality and suitability as holiday gifts, and all sales were donated to War Child www.warchild.nl. Participating artists: Jack Allick, Gunilla Andersson, Pascale Bazille, Marjet Wessels Boer, Lillian von Dobschutz, Marlijn Franken, Victoria Jacob, Meta Joanknecht, Kristian Klok, Laser 3.14, Michel Lemaire, Marquis Palmer, Belinda Parten, Patricia Ribas, Harald Seiwert, StoryPeople, Constance Thio, Peter Vlot, Nick Walker, Rene Zuiderveld. Curators: Gunilla Andersson and Donna DuCarme
Our wish is that other people experience this amazing world we live in as a world of imagination & possibility & healing. We believe our stories do that. (& that’s not just StoryPeople stories, but all our stories…) We believe (fiercely) in the power of stories, not because they’re our stories, but because it is valuable & right to protect the precious connections between people. Curated by Storypeople: www.storypeople.com
US ON THE U.S.
Jun 2006 to Jul 2006
The world’s citizens often have very strong opinions about the policies and politics of the U.S. With this exhibition, the ABC Treehouse turned the tables by inviting American artists to share their own visions of the U.S. The artists, many of them now living and working in The Netherlands, used photographs, ceramics, collages and paintings to tell us what America means to them, and to share their thoughts about events “back home”. Opening remarks by Heidi Arola, Vice Consul & American Citizen Services Chief from the U.S. Consulate General, Amsterdam.
Participating artists: Adrienne Norman, Audrey Breed, Belinda Parten, Cappy Jack, Darren Sullivan, David Davis, Dennis Menard, Donna DuCarme, George Dubose, Jimmy Sellars, Marilyn Muller, Marquis Palmer, Molly Eastling, Nadine Buller, Patty Crotty, Perry Wade, Rachel James, Victoria Jacob. Curated by Donna DuCarme (article link)