Open Call for New Commissioners

Project management & research: Theo Tegelaers, Charlotte Bijl, Marlies van Hak

In 2020, TAAK is developing a pilot for an Open Call, with support from the Mondriaan Fonds. In this pilot, TAAK wants to bring together artists, governments, social partners, citizens, and mediators to investigate novel ways of commissioning art projects in public space. With this Open Call, we want to stimulate fresh perspectives on what it means to commission art today.   

TAAK has many years of experience with commissioning socially engaged art projects for the public domain. With the disappearance of SKOR (Stichting Kunst en Openbare Ruimte / Foundation for Art in the Public Space), as well as local policies around the percentage scheme, much knowledge and skills concerning commissioning art in public space was also lost. TAAK has seen how changes in local policy, procurement rules, and the politics of privatization make it increasingly more difficult to involve artists in questions of spatial planning. However, we believe that precisely in this public space, art that is socially significant and speaks to a diverse audience can become genuinely accessible.

Dutch municipalities are currently working on ‘environmental visions’ based on prevailing themes, to inform policies that support an appropriate and healthy living environment for everyone. TAAK sees this as an opportunity to visualize unconventional ways of commissioning and creating original forms of art in public space — art that responds to the societal challenges that we must face to realize the environmental visions. 

The first phase of the pilot comprises exploratory work- and studio sessions, which we will announce on our website. Foremost, TAAK wants to open up the conversation and collectively investigate which social issues are urgent in local communities. How do we formulate a question that may lead to interesting commissions, and how do we facilitate this process? Who owns the question, who will be the commissioner, and what is their role? What shape could art in public space take?

From the studio sessions, several Open Calls for artists and mediators will emerge, which TAAK will publish on the website at a later moment. 

Are you interested in an exploratory work-session to investigate, together with TAAK, how to shape new ways of commissioning art projects? Send an email to