Who we are

SEA Foundation is a residency-based contemporary art venue for artists, writers, curators, designers, and thinkers from around the world. Since 2013, SEA Foundation has brought exciting emerging and renowned artists to Tilburg to take part in its bespoke residency programme AIR-Tilburg and to present in solo and group exhibitions. As part of its international outreach SEA Foundation collaborates with like-minded organisations in Tilburg, across Europe and wider abroad.

In all our activities we are fuelled 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, SEA Foundation generates discussion, exposing and intervening within, as well as being part of networks that concentrate on eminent issues. SEA Foundation is an initiative of artists Jan Willem van Rijnberk and Riet van Gerven and is founded on the needs for agility that intertwines artistic work and daily life.

SEA Foundation is a registered charity with the mission to create awareness for contemporary art and to build cultural resilience by being a catalyst in the working lives of art professionals.

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.

Project Space
The curated art projects in the gallery concentrate on finding different ways of approaching ideas and questions. Showing solo, in duo’s, in groups, in uniformity or clash. 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 or an artist’s book they may be research-based, or a work in progress, We offer interaction with peers and local partners.

Why we do it

.“Imaginative power is our real power, artistry is our equity.”
At a time when the added value of the arts is 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 yet outgoing
  • Deepening
  • Connecting
  • International scope

Our core values

…..“We believe that artists offer extraordinary perspectives on 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 inspired by contemporary interdisciplinary and hybrid artistic practices across disciplines and cultures, in collaboration with a wide range of partners.”


SEA Foundation has its home base in the city of Tilburg at number twenty-two Tivolistraat. At Gust van Dijk’s former shophouse in Tilburg’s Cultural Quarter. The four-story Amsterdam School style building is located in the city centre of 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 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 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. The European Ceramics Work Centre (EKWC) is just a short bike ride away. Tilburg boasts a unique dance and music quarter and is home one of the best universities in the Netherlands.

Central in Northern Europe

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, Cologne and 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.

Arik Roper at SEA Foundation. Installation view of exhibition, Brilliant Shadows, at SEA Foundation.
Jens Standke, A tape runs on in silence, 2016. Solo exhibition at Project Space Tilburg, at SEA Foundation Tilburg, the Netherlands. 10.09.2016 until 23.10.2016.