Jeanette van Rossum is an established ceramic sculpture artist. She restyled an old 1878 police station and turned it into her home, atelier and a gallery called 12WYK (wijk meaning district and number 12 because it was the police station’s district number). It’s been a creative hub which has been photographed for various magazines but above all it was a magnificent place to showcase ceramic treasures and it was wonderful to see how their shapes added to the interior.
Ceramic artists of fame passed the gallery as well as young and talented graduates from the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts. The gallery moved from the police station to a new location in Antwerp, on the Lange Koepoortstraat but recently closed.
The gallery continues to live through the online gallery, art fairs and an annual summer festival in Ostuni, Puglia (Italy). Jeanette is devoting her time to representing her artists, mentoring young artists, organising residencies, the online gallery and creating more of her own art.
What tips would you give to a collector who wishes to start collecting contemporary design?
Jeanette van Rossum: "Ceramics is a niche in the art world. People often link it to craftsmanship. Making pots and pans. You know, household utensils. Archaeology learns us that from the very prehistoric ages, mankind has been making clay objects. Not just out of a functional necessity, but also for an aesthetic purpose. What I would like to show the world and art collectors, is this artistic aspect along with the variety of artists who have been generating art through baking clay. With my gallery, I want to put an end to the underestimation of ceramics as an art form, a status ceramics still can’t seem to get rid of."
A place you recently visited and inspired you?
Jeanette van Rossum: "I usually visit The Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven and the art academy’s graduation projects every year. I get a lot of energy and inspiration from discovering young artists and offering them the opportunity to showcase their creations. I also find a visit to the Voorlinden Museum and its adjacent Gardens by Piet Oudoff very enriching."