Apprentice Master project

Art talent never stops

The Apprentice Master project supports and motivates newly graduated artists at the start of their professional career. The selected talents, the apprentices, no longer have the guidance of the art academy to fall back on. During this project, they will be supported by renowned artists, the masters, in exploring their professional possibilities.

In their last year, Kunstpodium T works together with the affiliated art academies from the Netherlands, Belgium, Nordrhein-Westfalia and Nottingham to select promising young art talents. They are paired up with an experienced artist who has already proven himself or herself in the art world. Together with this master, the apprentices go into dialogue about their vision on art and all the aspects of being a professional artist. The result of this trajectory is a group exhibition on one of our five affiliated art locations across the Netherlands. In 2018-2019, around 40 apprentices are connected to 10 masters.
At the end of the season, an independent expert jury from Brabant will nominate the best candidates for the coveted Jan Naaijkens Prize. Four apprentices will exhibit their work for a second time during the summer; at the opening of this exhibition one of them will be announced at the winner.

The apprentices get the possibility to experiment, to learn and to try new things. New media can be explored, like creating installations, video and digital art. This can be created solo or in collaboration with other apprentices. With this project, Kunstpodium T offers them a place for research and experiment, where new paths can be explored, where new connections can be made and where new ideas can be materialised.

The Apprentice Master project started in 2007 as the ‘Leerling Meester’ program, initially only including the art academy from Tilburg and later other Dutch academies, before going international. In 2019/2020 the project is in its twelfth season. Over the previous eleven years, an organic network has originated consisting of apprentices, masters and partners. A network that creates the exchange of knowledge and stimulates cross-pollination of artistic inspiration, opinions and experiences. The young talents will find themselves in an inspiring international environment that will form the fundament of their professional career.


Due to the COVID-19 measures, our Apprentice Master exhibitions were presented online. All online presentations can be seen again on this webpage. 

Kunstpodium T is open again for the public from 17 July. From this date you can visit the Apprentice Master exhibition ‘Verborgen Verwantschappen’, with Marc Mulders, Jet Pronk, Christina de Korte and Pleun Moons. 

Yearmaster: Niek Hendrix

Every year, Kunstpodium T invites a year master that, like a curator, selects the list with masters for that season of the Apprentice Master project. This season, visual artist Niek Hendrix is the year master. Managing director Klaartje Esch and Niek have selected this year’s masters and paired them up with the apprentices. The groups are formed based on portfolios and presentations, keeping work ethic, working method and subject matter in mind. The groups challenge each other, question each others work in a constructing way and show the diversity of the visual arts.

Niek Hendrix considers the images of painting, iconic or not, as an open source. He activates them by repeating them and put in a different context. This appropriation is not to make an exact copy but to create a different image of it. He paints them with a different brushstroke, different paint, colours are let go of, appearing in shades of black and white, and also the sizes are different. He places them in front of works from different times or adds a work of his own hands. In unexpected constellations he puts the viewer to the test: they must not only look again but also give meaning again.
Niek Hendrix graduated in Fine Arts from Sint Joost (Breda, the Netherlands) and attended the post-graduate program at the Jan van Eyck (2014/2015, Maastricht, NL). He was artist in residence at Van Gogh House (2014, Zundert, NL) and in Antwerp (2016, AiR Antwerp, BE). 


Kunstpodium T recognises and supports art talent with exchange of knowledge and experiment.
Contact information

06 39 82 56 49


Postal and visiting address: 
Noordstraat 105
5038 EH Tilburg

Open Friday to Sunday
from 13.00 to 17.00