Open Call - New Images of Freedom

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The concept of ‘freedom’ is heavy with meaning. Everyone interprets it differently and it is informed by the world of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar wants to build a bridge between the past and the present. Alkmaar was the first Dutch city to successfully withstand a Spanish siege in the Eighty Years’ War. The Siege of Alkmaar was broken on 8 October 1573. Since then, the theme of ‘freedom’—a constant presence in the history of the city—has been visualized in countless ways down through the centuries. Many of its manifestations are held in the city collection.  

At a time when freedoms of many kinds are under threat, we ask ourselves how the existing image tradition could be expanded. Freedom 450 years ago, after all, meant something very different from freedom today. Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar is inviting artists to submit their image of freedom. What does freedom mean nowadays? Which freedoms are the most valuable? Can you only experience freedom if you have known its absence? What price are we prepared to pay for our freedom? And is freedom like this achieved at someone else’s expense?  

This Open Call invites artists to propose a work of art that gives a contemporary interpretation of the concept of ‘freedom’. We are looking for personal approaches, innovative perspectives and persuasive visions. The invitation is open to diverse disciplines and the form of the artwork is completely free of conditions. We will, though, give preference to ideas that include to some extent the input of residents of Alkmaar in the creation of the artwork or their involvement in some other way.  

Three artists will be commissioned to make a new work of art.  At the beginning of June, Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar will draw up a shortlist of a maximum of ten proposals on the basis of the responses to the Open Call announced here. The selected artists will be asked to submit a general outline of their proposal (sketch, miniature or prototype), which will be displayed in the museum’s small gallery in October this year. The artists will receive a fee of €1,000 and a production budget of €500 for their work. A vote by visitors to the museum will decide which three of the ideas that have been presented is the most appealing and will be realized next year. Curator/project leader Hélène Webers has been appointed by the museum to support the artists in developing the artworks. An initial budget is available, and in consultation with the artists, funds will be approached for additional financing.  

The three new works of art will be shown in the museum’s main gallery in the exhibition ‘New Images of Freedom’ during the celebrations of the 450th anniversary of the Siege of Alkmaar in 2023. The intention is to acquire one artwork for the museum’s collection.  
Deadline Open Call: 15 June 2022 


Deadline Open Call: 15 June 2022 

Shortlist (maximum 10 proposals): end of June 2022 

Display of initial designs and public vote: mid-September – early October 2022 

Result of vote and final selection: early October 2022 

Museum commissions 3 new works of art: end of October 2022 

Realization of the new artworks: November 2022 – September 2023

Exhibition ‘New Images of Freedom’ showing 3 artworks: October 2023 


Interested? Please send the information listed below as a PDF by 15 June at the latest: 

  • Applicant’s details: name, address, telephone number, email, website, date of birth, education/training and Chamber of Commerce number and VAT number if the applicant has them;
  • Description of the artwork (max 1 A4): What is the idea? What does your image of freedom look like? What do you want your work of art to convey? And how will residents of Alkmaar be involved? Include 1 or more sketches of the proposal;
  • Planning (max 1 A4): schedule, development, production and execution;
  • Budget; a rough indication of the cost, including your fee; consult the Fair Practice Code if appropriate;
  • Portfolio (max 6 A4): a selection of relevant work in the last 5 years;
  • CV including artist’s statement (max 2 A4).

Please send applications to Hélène Webers:  

If you have any questions, please contact Hélène Webers:

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