< ARTCEB home



ARTCEB general history

Welcome to Botopasi
Welcome to Botopasi Suriname

Isidoor WensBotopasi Suriname
Carribean South America

"At one of my visits in my hometown Botopasi I had to notice that a tree which I as a child called "THE GIANT" had become victim of the chainsaw era. It lay on its back. Crying and swearing I walked on it. My mother admonished me not to say anything about the tree being cut down because I cannot help the tree. My mother did not want me to make a big deal of it. So for the fifth time I was summoned to come and eat. With food she wanted to comfort me and keep me calm. I studied the trunk. That evening I searched the alleged owner of the tree and paid for the trunk. I made a sculpture out of it (title Bhèma) to celebrate the one hundred year anniversary of the village. This moment turned out to be the beginning of Art Center Botopasi (ARTCEB)." Isidoor Wens


bhema Slepen
Bhèma,Botopasi 2000. Bhèma was the first sculpture I made in Botopasi. Some villagers helped
me move the sculpture to its final position at the riverbank overlooking the Suriname river.
This sculpture was made for the centennial celebration of my hometown Botopasi to commemorate
all mothers.

ARTCEB was founded in 2010 by Isidoor Wens. He was born in Botopasi and lived there until age 16. In 1995 he graduated from the School of the Arts Utrecht (NL), division autonomous art, specialisation sculpture and performance. He lives and works as an artist in The Netherlands. In 2000 Isidoor founded artist platform ARTOTS in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (NL). He has been the manager since and was chairman until 2009. To start ARTCEB he got trained by Trans Artists and attended several general meetings of Res Artis such as the congresses in Warsaw (Poland) and in Montréal and Québec City (Canada) and various seminars. Prior to ARTCEB he ran the Artots South Park Studios project, where he rented 14-studio spaces to artists. This was the ARTCEB pilot. At South Park Studios he also realised several succesfull projects. More info about this at ARTCEB history 2010. See for his experience prior to ARTCEB http://www.artots.nl

ARTOTS South Park Studio's
ARTOTS South Park Studio's 2009-2011

John Leerdam
Lecture John Leerdam, member of Parliament PvdA 2003-2010, he sketched a vision of artist residencies from the perspective of the national government.

ARTOTS 's-Hertogenbosch (NL)

Lecture Bas Maassen, director of the Zayaz housing corporation 's-Hertogenbosch, started the afternoon by opening the South Park Studios Project, Lichting 2010 and a lecture about cultural patronage.

ARTCEB is an Art Centre in Botopasi. In this small village in the interior of Suriname ARTCEB hosts an International Residency Program (AIRP) to demonstrate its commitment to enhancing artistic production through cultural exchange. ARTCEB is a member of Res Artis, the worldwide network of artist-residencies and residential art centers.

Supported by the Sepù Foundation ARTCEB realizes the art and cultural goals of Sepù. ARTCEB works in partnership with ARTOTS, a platform and studio project for artists in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. Through ARTOTS, ARTCEB is sponsored by Zayaz Building Corporation and also receives project funding from the civic municipality of 's-Hertogenbosch. The success of our cultural exchange projects is reliant upon the active participation of independently funded or commercially sponsored artists.

In 2011-2012 eight artists had a residency period at ARTCEB followed by an exhibition at the Suriname Museum Paramaribo. The participants of AIRP2011-12 also had an exhibition in The Netherlands. There were several publications in Suriname and The Netherlands.

map Suriname

ARTCEB, an artist residency in one of the African diaspora villages in the expansive habitation of the Saramaccan population in the interior of Suriname, one of the Caribbean countries in South America. ARTCEB is located in the center of Botopasi, a village founded in 1895 at the Suriname river at the edge of the Amazon tropical rainforest, a natural beautiful scenery with adventurous landscapes.

Two rivers and countless creeks collect Amazonian forest rains bringing it down to give birth to the Suriname river which starts where the Grand Rio and Pikin Rio join together. A natural stony barrier connecting both riverbanks of the Grand Rio marks the end of that river and the start of the Suriname river. Water engulfs in stages through the rocks several meters down forming natural intimate jacuzzies. During the ARTCEB residency period we take a day off to submerge in this wonder of nature. Click here to see movie Origin Suriname river(1 min.)

There are approximately 2000 inhabitants, 3 small shops, a school and a church. The village is only accessible by boat or airplane Along the riverside there are many similar villages. An opportunity to encounter this inspiring environment in all its essence and experience working in primeval forests.

ARTCEB headquarter. In front of the building an installation is being made on
top of the remains of the family home, which was burned by the military in 1986.

Midwinternight in Botopasi

ARTCEB Compound. Looking out from the outdoor workspace.