The George Verberg Scholarship was created by the city council of Groningen in 2004, on the occasion of George Verberg’s retirement as chairman of Dutch Gas Union. Students and recent graduates of the Bachelor course Autonomous Visual Art and the FMI Master course of Minerva Art Academy, a department of Hanze University of Groningen, are welcome to participate.
Eleanor Kathleen Grootoonk
The jury has nominated Eleanor Kathleen Grootoonk (1983) as the laureate for 2010. The itinerary that she submitted for the scholarship concerns Sweden. She plans to carry out two months of research in Stockholm in preparation for her journey to the polar circle. She aims to make a stop-motion* film about the Aurora Borealis (northern lights) with the help of the latest HD techniques. Once in every eleven years the northern lights are particularly strong, and the next time this happens will be in 2011. ‘The idea is to draw inspiration from conversations that I am planning to have with the local population, and which should result in a modernistic translation of the folklore of the region. What I also have in mind is to write a scenario for an art film with the help of materials that I come across on the spot. The film will be set against the background of the northern lights.’
Presentation of Exoticism by Mina Minov, winner of the prize in 2009
In 2009 Mina Minov was awarded the fifth George Verberg Scholarship. He explored the Finnish urban landscape and the islands, visited cities south of Helsinki as well as the Midnight Sun Film Festival, concluding his travels in St Petersburg. The outcome of his stay in Northern Europe will be on display in the CBK Groningen (Visual Art Centre) in the form of his presentation Exoticism, from 19 January to 27 February. The exhibition will be open to the public directly after the presentation of the George Verberg Scholarship 2010. Opening times of the CBK: Wednesday to Friday : 09.00 – 17.00 h.; Saturday and Sunday : 13.00 – 17.00 h. Admission is free.
The jury of the George Verberg Scholarship 2010 was made up of George Verberg himself, Dorothea van der Meulen (dean of the Minerva Art Academy and chairwoman), Ruud Akse (lecturer FMI Master course), Bernadet ten Hove (lecturer Autonomous Visual Art) and Robin Punt (head of the Autonomous Visual Art course and the FMI Master course). Out of the nine applications received by the jury, four were eventually nominated.
Talent development young artists
There is a great number of professional artists in Groningen, but it is only granted to the truly gifted to surpass the level of the motley crowd of colleagues. To achieve this, however, the artists will have to take the initiative, and make themselves heard and seen. In addition, the city council seeks to play a role in spotting and encouraging talented artists. To this end, the municipal cultural memorandum ‘Groningen: Cultural City – simply special’ involves the so-called New Policy, which aims to support young talents and stimulate a healthy competitive atmosphere. The George Verberg Scholarship is part of this, as well as the Hendrik de Vries Scholarship for literary and visual artists, and the Andrea Elkenbrach Fund for talented musicians.
Click here to see a short item about Eleanor Kathleen Grootoonk on YouTube!