Since the first edition of the Groot Rotterdams Atelier Weekend in 2020, the event has grown to become the city’s most comprehensive studio route. As attendance continues to increase, so does the enthusiasm among Rotterdam’s artists. This year, there are over 890 participants (of whom at least 400 are participating for the first time), spread across more than 100 locations.

Artists within a wide variety of disciplines are working at many different locations, often in beautiful former school buildings. Since these locations are spread throughout the city, every Rotterdammer has at least one studio they can visit in their own neighbourhood. The diversity of studios, artists and artworks reflects that of the city: from graduating students to well­ established artists, and featuring a wide range of art forms, techniques and media.

Though the Groot Rotterdams Atelier Weekend guides visitors to interesting locations with charming studios, it also exposes the extremely unsuitable conditions in which many artists must work, or the fact that they are often unable to afford a proper studio. Some Rotterdam artists working in anti­squat locations pay as much in service costs as tenants of SKAR locations, yet theycan be evicted within two months. On June 28, De Keilewerf was tragically destroyed by a fire. As a result, more than 40 makers and artists lost not only their workplace but also their works, tools and materials. Some of them will be showing new work in the Oranjeboomstraat studio complex.

Rotterdam presents itself as a ‘working city’, but often fails to acknowledge the degree to which artists in fact contribute to the local economy. Artists also play a crucial role in the social fabric of a city: they provide colour and meaning to the urban structure, and they ask questions that are sometimes uncomfortable but always relevant.

We wish all visitors a pleasant adventure as they explore the diversity of Rotterdam’s artist studios. Finally, we wish to express our heartfelt thanks to the many artists for their enthusiastic cooperation, and to acknowledge the support of Stichting Droom en Daad in once again making possible the Groot Rotterdams Atelier Weekend, with free access to the public and financial compensation for all participating artists.