As part of the incubation track, In4Art invests in the career development of talented artists. We are not alone in this and are always looking to establish strong partnerships with institutions, organisations and other parties. In the Netherlands, since 2006, De Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Prijs has the mission to acknowledge the potential and experimentation thrive of young talented artists below the age of 35. It is an annual award, organized by the national newspaper de Volkskrant, television broadcasting organisation AVROTROS and the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam. It is accompanied by a group exhibition of the nominees of the Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Prijs in the museum.

This year In4Art decided to join the partnership for the price by sponsoring the award. However, we believe that it takes a lot more to support the career which has led us to expanding our contribution to the partnership with a new format that is part of the building block signalling: smARTdates.

smARTdates is based on proven principles from the business world, where speed dating is often applied to facilitate initial connections in a very different environment with pre-selected candidates. This ‘different’ environment is important, because it opens the view of both parties. For smARTdates, this environment will be the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam.

During the smARTdates we create a network arena, where at least 10 privileged collectors/curators will get the chance to speed date with 30 artists. In rounds of 10 minutes, they are able to start a conversation that guides curiosity and triggers interest in further collaboration. Employing a speed dating model will give the artists the possibility to practice with a variety of perspectives in a short amount of time. The collectors and curators will show their upfront interest and will be matched according to interest and serendipity. Through the arranged smARTdates, we stimulate learning and create an active, collaborative and engaging relationship.

Therefore, the core principles and focus of smARTdates are developing a referral base and engaging in relationships that might lead to new insights and chances. Out of serendipity new ideas and links may arise. Due to the shared interest and knowledge base in the art world, referral and introductions are of importance, also if they appear to be in-direct.

Nonetheless, the smARTdates is just the start in a trajectory to create visibility and start building relationships. It is a catalyst event. However, we do want to spur long term results and relationships. Therefore, we will work with special ‘Follow up’ cards, which will mark steps of progress. We will both monitor the collectors/curators as the artists on what next steps they intend to make.

To prepare the artists for smARTdates, they are able to get upfront coaching and will get a masterclass on the In4Art career development building blocks. Also, the Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Prijs nominees will get a year access to the In4Art coaching from the incubation track.

More information on smARTdates and how to participate.