SEA Foundation is a Dutch not-for-profit, artist-led organisation in Tilburg the Netherlands established in 2011. Over the past few years, SEA Foundation became known as an umbrella label for, support, exhibitions, art projects, exchanges, and publications. From 2013 we also run an Artist in Residence programme – AiR Tilburg – which attracts artists, curators, and writers to residencies that include bespoke mentoring.
In all our activities we are fueled by visual arts. Transgressing the boundaries between disciplines and always putting the context and the idea before the medium. By working in different cultural contexts, the foundation generates discussion, exposing and intervening within, as well as being part of networks that concentrate on eminent issues. SEA Foundation aims to be a cultural catalyst in the working lives of art professionals.
SEA Foundation is a charity, a voluntary-based organization that does not employ personnel. It doesn’t adhere to the logic of an institution. It is an accelerated, agile, network environment that intertwines artistic work and daily life.
What we do
In response to individual needs, SEA Foundation offers hospitality in art and operates as an alternative model of working; to reflect, to debate and to make. We welcome art professionals at all stages of their careers to develop their practice further.
The curated art projects in the gallery concentrate on finding different ways to approaching ideas and questions. Showing solo or in duo’s, in uniformity or clash and always creating a cumulative experience for our visitors, peers and public alike. The artists we work with range from Venice Biennial participants to emerging artists and recent graduates. Our related events include artist talks, screenings, creative workshops and knowledge exchange such as peer critique and write-ups.
SEA Foundation provides residency programmes for artists, curators, and writers that are committed to reflection, experimentation, and production. We offer our residents, focus, dedicated time and an extension of their network. Residencies may result in producing a show, be research-based, a work in progress, and artist’s book. We offer interaction with peers and local partners.
Learn / courseware
Besides programmes for artistic practices, courseware for those with a natural curiosity for the visual arts. SEA Foundation offers on-line courseware, that aims to broaden knowledge about experiencing and collecting art, curating exhibitions or writing about art.
Why we do it
“Imaginative power is our real power, artistry is our equity.”
At a time when the added value of the arts are still under scrutiny, when professional artists mainly operate in loose structures of networks and self-organisation, SEA Foundation makes an effort to visualise the added value that imagination brings to society as well as bringing research and innovation in visual art to the attention of a wider audience.
Smarter by experimenting
Imagination with an eye to the future makes us smarter, brings us prosperity and connects us. Without imagination, our life on earth is over; after all, we won’t be able to think or discover anything new anymore. In order to receive an unknown outcome, one has to go down unthreaded paths. This type of creativity now extends far beyond the mere scope of the arts.
Our core values in keywords
Hospitable, homely and professional, deepening, connecting and international scope.
Our core values
“We believe that contemporary artists offer extraordinary perspectives on contemporary society. Visual arts are necessary to push the boundaries, encouraging new ways of thinking, to celebrate or to lament the human condition.”
“We are pioneers and visionaries in our work and we are committed to excellence, experimentation, ambition, and innovation in contemporary art and in our own organisation.”
“We believe that curiosity, openness, and dialogue are the most important tools for engaging with art. We are curious, involved and inclusive. In our approach, we are attentive, open and encouraging and SEA Foundation’s work is based on the conviction that contemporary art thrives best in practice.”
“We value regional, cultural and structural differences and respect identity and individual choices. We emphasize the power of ‘together’ and the establishment of network lines that permanently connect people to the organisation: ‘together we are more'”
“We promote the research, exchange, and dissemination of ideas that inspired by contemporary interdisciplinary and hybrid artistic practices across disciplines and cultures, in collaboration with a wide range of partners.”
SEA Foundation has its homebase at number twenty-two Tivolistraat. It’s Gust van Dijk’s former shophouse in Tilburg’s Cultural Quarter. The four-story Amsterdam School style building is located in heart of Tilburg, a bustling town in the south of the Netherlands. The shophouse has been converted into an Artist in Residence, gallery-project space, plus a 4-star Bed and Breakfast. All this is set in a lush garden.
Tilburg is a lively city with a rich interdisciplinary cultural climate. Museum de Pont for contemporary art, the Textile Museum with its labs, and the Nature Museum are in close proximity, as are the cinema’s, theatres, and live music venues. Shops, supermarkets and cafes at your finger tips. The European Ceramics Work Centre (EKWC) is just a short bike ride away.
Tilburg once was the wool capital of the Netherlands. In 1881 there were as many as 145 wool mills. In the 1960s the industry collapsed and by the 1980s the number of wool mills could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Present-day Tilburg boasts one of the best universities in the Netherlands and a unique dance and music quarter. Tilburg’s location is very central in Northern Europe. Within a one hours’ drive, you can reach Utrecht, Maastricht, Antwerp and Dusseldorf. In little over an hour, Brussels, Amsterdam, and Cologne Frankfurt, Paris and Berlin are within easy reach too. And to top it off, low-cost carrier Airport Eindhoven is just 30 minutes by public transport.