TRAC2018: The Representational Art Conference
May 1–4, 2018
Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Having successfully completed its fourth edition this past November in Miami, The Representational Art Conference (TRAC) is revving up for its fifth edition in the Netherlands this May. TRAC2018 is set to occur in Leeuwarden, capital of the northern Dutch province of Friesland and currently one of Europe’s two Capitals of Culture (along with the city of Valletta, Malta).
TRAC will again bring together a range of colleagues from around the world — including artists, art educators, museum curators, collectors, and critics — to discuss topics of mutual concern. High on the agenda is the urgent need to form an international alliance of ateliers and academies that teach classical figuration, to be called the International League of Fine Art Schools. This initiative will be explored during two wide-ranging discussions involving all delegates and guided by TRAC2018’s energetic on-the-ground coordinator, Tom S. Hageman (Klassieke Akademie, Groningen).
But there is much more. TRAC2018 will encompass presentations by the renowned artists Odd Nerdrum (Norway) and Henk Helmantel (Netherlands); TRAC’s founder, California Lutheran University professor Michael Pearce PhD; the Dutch art historian Ernst van de Wetering, who will emerge from retirement to address the delegates; Rockford University professor Stephen Hicks PhD; University of Exeter professor Corinna Wagner; the Texas-based museum adviser Joseph Bravo; Art Renewal Center director of operations Kara Ross; Da Vinci Initiative director Mandy Theis; Dutch artist Gezien van der Riet; and myself.
Still another talk will be delivered by Andreas Blühm, who directs the nearby Groninger Museum, one of the regional institutions to be visited by delegates on the conference’s final day. The Groninger Museum is currently exhibiting paintings by 19th-century artists who worked in the Northern Romantic tradition, including J.M.W. Turner and Caspar David Friedrich.
The other institutions to be visited include the Fries Museum, which is presenting an exhibition devoted to the Dutch artist M.C. Escher; and the Drents Museum (Assen, Netherlands) and Kunsthalle Emden (Germany), which are sharing the exhibition The American Dream: American Realism 1945–2017. At the Graphic Centre Friesland, the artists Minno Banning, Siemen Dijkstra, and Reinder Homan will demonstrate their printmaking techniques. There will be several opportunities for delegates to paint outdoors (in Leeuwarden and on the sea nearby), and to see the temporary exhibition Northern Dutch Realism and the Classical Academy of Fine Arts (May 1 – June 24).
TRAC2018 will be held at the WTC/Westcord Hotel, a modern conference facility in Leeuwarden. The city is easily reached from Amsterdam or Schipol Airport by a 25-euro train journey lasting just over two hours. Until February 1, registration for TRAC2018 is available for 370 euros (rather than the usual 420 euros).