Jan van Eyck Academie

The Jan van Eyck Academie is a catalyst in the process of talent development. It activates talent in open relationships with the world. The Jan van Eyck Academie is an innovative and outward-looking post-academic institution. It is international and interdisciplinary. 

Its quality labs, national and international partnerships and plural institutional structure form the connecting conditions for its development of young and proven talent. It considers it important that doing and thinking are inextricably linked together in its daily practice. In the In-Labs – the workshop for this interaction between the classical vita activa and vita contemplativa – young and established talents are encouraged to further develop their individual and ‘adopted’ project proposals in a critical and reciprocal relationship with each other and the world – and so make a contribution to the development of art and its significance for society. 

The Jan van Eyck Academie engages its JVE participants; it connects world and art, practice and project. It is an innovative, dynamic institute that does not lose sight of its objective: the development and fostering of young talent at a high level in an ever-changing world and art world. 

In line with its previously described international profile and history, it operates in changing national and international partnerships. It has an international composition, which means the Jan van Eyck Academie does justice to the constituent parts of the word, inter and national – with proportionate involvement of participants from the Netherlands and abroad and of JVE advisers and JVE guest advisers (on a 50/50 basis). It also means that it focuses on and mirrors itself in the worlds around it: from regional to international levels. After all, talent and research develop amid a plurality of backgrounds, perspectives and views. This links in with the international ambition of Maastricht University to give precedence to quality and internationalisation. Teaching and research concentrate on themes which are relevant to society, studied in an international context. It also fits in with Maastricht’s ambition of promoting cultural careers: the city in which talent can develop in all phases of a career. 

The Jan van Eyck Academie is interdisciplinary: fine art, design and reflection make up the institute’s DNA. They are the building blocks of the Jan van Eyck Academie, even if they will be constantly stacked differently, as in this policy plan. Fine art gains its significance in a context of design and reflection. The one broadens the other and in that new fertile space the exceptional can arise. It is the concrete space of the In-Lab. In the daily practice of the Jan van Eyck Academie, the term ‘artist’ is taken in a broad sense, analogous to developments in art; it involves an attitude that manifests itself in thinking, creation and reflection. Reflection is the continuation of Theory with other aims: it is not isolated, but a mirror in which art gains significance from the world and from itself. It is also the way in which the artist communicates his work and seeks to understand it from different perspectives: sociological, philosophical, psychological, art historical and anthropological reflection is thus an essential component of the new curriculum of the Jan van Eyck Academie (see In-Labs and the Mirror). 

The JVE participants are enterprising, creative researchers; they are characterised by their open attitude and free spirit, the desire to be in the world with their work. In their work, they seek out the limits of their ability and their field; experimenting comes to them naturally. They are also especially keen to work in the In-Labs and address the questions and assignments supplied by the Van Eyck Cultuurwinkel. They understand that talent development takes place along the unpredictable lines, now running in parallel, now crossing each other and overlapping, of critical self-study, the critical study of the world and of the other. Those are the three axes along which the participants’ time at the Jan van Eyck Academie will develop and which shape the programme.

The starting point and the initial stake is the project of the JVE participant. The plan, development and completion of the project as presented in the project proposal and the practical project ‘adopted’ through the Cultuurwinkel must be relevant to society: in a practical, theoretical and ideal sense. It is the task of the Jan van Eyck Academie to continually make this clear in its communication and presentations, so that the world is reflected in the projects in many different ways and wants to enter into their images and concepts. 

The Jan van Eyck Academie is multiform in nature and structure: a place for interdisciplinary project development (Jan van Eyck Academie), for facilitating teaching (the Hubert van Eyck Academie), for making (the vita activa of the Labs), for contemplating (the vita contemplativa of the studio), for working together (the In-Labs), for enterprise (the Van Eyck Cultuurwinkel) and for presentation (the Van Eyck One-on-One). See page 29 for the connections between them.