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A weekly look at creativity, arts, and culture in southwest Michigan, hosted by Zinta Aistars.Fridays in Morning Edition at 7:50am and at 4:20pm during All Things Considered.

Art Beat: Art of earth

Worlds within worlds.jpg
Courtesy of the artist
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"Worlds Within Worlds" by Doet Boersma

Netherlands artist Doet Boersma gets up-close and personal with earth in her paintings. Her new book of art reproductions is titled Fertile Soil (Bekking & Blitz, 2021). To see her work is to be among the wild plants and grasses and roots of nature, at eye level with the earth. Boersma is the first artist-in-residence at Ninth Wave Studio in downtown Kalamazoo.

A conversation with artist Doet Boersma

“My father and mother, they were aware of what was around us,” Boersma says, recalling her childhood on a farm in the Netherlands. “Imagine that you live on a farm and the first neighbor is kilometers away. You have to be on your own a lot, along with my brothers. My father and mother had a great awareness of soil and birds—they showed us, look at this, look at that, this is this name and that is that. It was very natural that I know the names of the birds and the plants.”

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Annemarie Hoogwoud
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Doet Boersma

Boersma says Fertile Soil tells the story of the earth beneath us in art. “You can look at the plants and flowers and be happy. The soil brings all this. You’re not aware of soil, so I thought—how can I paint soil? I can only paint the awareness. I can paint the roots, and the connections of plants on the surface and under the surface. I hope the awareness goes further when people see the art.”

Boersma holds degrees in art education, drawing, and painting from the University of Applied Sciences in Leeuwarden and Hanze University in Groningen. Her solo exhibitions include Gallery Asia Fine Art in Hong Kong; the Burren College of Art in Ireland, along with her solo exhibitions in The Netherlands. They include shows at the Museum it Coopmanshus and the Museum Martena in Franeker; and museums in Wijchen/Nijmegen, Workum, and Hindeloopen.

Boersma has participated in two-person and group exhibitions, and an artist residency at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Hastings, Michigan, in 2012. She has taught workshops in China and throughout Europe.

Boersma will be working from Ninth Wave Studio at 213 West Walnut Street in downtown Kalamazoo her latest month-long residency. A presentation and demonstration will be held at the studio on Saturday, April 30, from 2 to 5 p.m. She will have an open studio as part of the Kalamazoo Art Hop on Friday, May 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. and a series of drawing and printing workshops throughout May 2022. Visit the Ninth Wave Studio website for a list of events.

Listen to WMUK's Art Beat every Friday at 7:50 a.m. and 4:20 p.m.

Zinta Aistars is our resident book expert. She started interviewing authors and artists for our Arts & More program in 2011.
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