It all started at the Paris Salon in 2001 where it was
decided to have another Dutch Salon …preferable at the
date of 2006. That meant we had five years to prepare a
Salon. Initially we indeed thought to have enough time……
In 2003 we unfolded the plans during the Salon in Brugge
in detail. The real planning and organization was
already on the go. In 2005 the NIMETO was heavily
involved on daily basis with the Salon.
Many branches in the organization were having their own
responsibilities and all students had an assignment or
at least were touched by the Salon. It came to a
crescendo after the Salon 2005. Fall 2005 all
departments were heavily involved up to March 21. On
this day the whole NIMETO-school was refurnished and
transformed into the Salon-location. And that was only
meant for about three days. Because also as a first: the
whole Salon and their members would be transported (as a
tour) to another city called
The Hague is the residence of the
Queen and in one of their palaces nowadays a renowned
Dutch artist has it’s own museum: the Escher-museum. All
possibilities came together in the plan as a perfect
In advance the school made a new website for the Salon.
Never before the internet meant more for the Salon.
Communication was mainly done by e-mail as where the
Salonforever-website gave the latest news. This Salon
was the first concept-Salon. Each and every member was
asked to achieve a theme done in unity. Because the
craft is heavily into ornaments and their meaning as
image-language Salon 2006 had a sparkling theme:
The latter because decorative painters are the fools in
is a country with a solid foundation in the monarchy.
And also Jokers are crucial figures in the deck of
cards, that holds a lot of mysteries and stories. These
were the ingredients that made the Salon
2006 a colourful event. And all
members did their up most………some had a wardrobe for each
day totally within the concept. It was one big party.
they all came to
Holland. Most members flew in
At arrival there was a receive by students and teachers
who led the members to trains to
where the second party helped them on the
The school was filling up all nationalities and the
painters and friends installed their panels with that
fantastic assignment they all indeed fulfilled.
Everybody received the typical yellow goody-bag with the
red Salon-logo on it. Obviously the
(well-sought-after-)goodie-bag was available for all
participants. Those who were a member of the Salon were
very recognizable by the strong, chrome-yellow bag with
the red logo on it Filled with paints, canvas
and Utrecht-Salon-info. We called them the yellow-army!!
But: already for a week Mr. Patrick Kirwin was preparing
the Community Painting in a secluded room.
Unspoken instinct drove all painters individually to
produce an original work where you could find the magic
of Kings, Queens and
Jokers. It was an explosion of big talents, they all had
entwined the concept into their speciality: whether it
was a huge wall-mural or a table-top: it said Kings,
Queens and Jokers all over.
The first installation-day reached the evening as where
the NIMETO offered some light dinner snacks and drinks.
That was also the moment that Cornelius Scheer and Jan
Berghuis as initiators and organizers welcomed all
members in an unofficial way. That moment was also spend
to inform everybody about the whole event in detail.
This was a short introduction about what was going to
happen the next four days.
And after this the musical painters ( and even a
Salon-band) started to play music. Memorable were
Patrick Laheyne, Pascal Amblard and Michael Hern.
At the end of the evening people went to the Mitland
Hotel….only a few steps away from the NIMETO.
Thursday March 23,
early in the morning , all members attended at 09.00
The official opening of the Salon by the Fosag,
Mr. Kruiderink spoke his wise welcome words to all
international visitors. Mr. Verschoor did his speech in
a flamboyant way and Cornelius Scheer and Jan Berghuis
both ended with:
“the Salon is ON!!!!!”
From then on all painters went to their easels in all
three rooms on the first floor and started their
demonstration. Sure…..there was a beautiful programme
book printed with a day-to-day programme by hours and
who was about to do what. But this is the Salon………they
came to paint and paint……ALL. Special Salon music in the
demonstration-rooms that enhanced the Magic-atmosphere,
special Salonpaint was made by the
old-time-loyal-sponsors Golden Acrylics. This acrylic
paint was developed to have a long open-time and still
work with a full bodied paint.
Biggest secret surprise of this Salon was the always
present Joker. A lifelike Joker that entertained
everybody and showed visitors their way to
demonstrations and lectures.
It was a full hectic programme…..the first lecture was
from George Zaffle who is a renowned travelling
painter. And later on the day Pascal Amblard and Sean
Crosby both lectured on History of Illusionistic
Painting and perspectives in scenery-painting. All
lectures were done in the all-high-tech-lecture room
with the most modern equipment available, very
convenient. Public came in large numbers and old times
revived from the earliest Salon-days. Refreshment drinks
for participants were served by a bunch of jokers with
carts running around all corners of the school. Lunch
was served by the caterer in the lunchroom. The
organization had to improve at least 1997 when the Salon
was held in the same building with the same
organisation. Because again the
for Painters Employers , the FOSAG, was a big help and
sponsor to this Salon as it was in 1997.
Next to that we had another big help and sponsor in the
name of GOLDEN ACRYLICS. From day one they were on the
phone and Email to help out in any way possible. They
even had a special hand-out pamphlet sent to their
clients in USA
and Europe, made the
special Salon paint and delivered tons of paint at the
school to be used by the decorative painters of the
Salon 2006. And they also sponsored a special evening in
Thursday ´s evening was officially the opening.
Everybody went after the demonstration back to the
Mitland hotel to freshen up and change clothes; informal
BUT glossy!! Within 2,5 hours the lunchroom of the
NIMETO was transformed into a restaurant and bar in a
mediaeval style. A witch welcomed everybody and a
special barber cut the bears and goaties of Mr. Amblard
and Mr. Woodland. All members were present and
entertained by the singers that wandered around through
the big room. Hilarious moments by the French table with
their typical French songs but overall; Everybody was in
their best mood to play along.
The witch opened the evening by having one of her
audience try her so called-witch-soup- with a big story
around it that the first who tasted it and lived
After a while the doors went open and trumpeters
introduced a stampede of students with hosts all dressed
up as Kings. They manoeuvred themselves around a
shrouded room…..covered with cloths as not to spoil the
surprise. After some introduction words of Mr. Scheer,
Jan Berghuis took over by explaining what was behind the
The NIMETO -students had made a special demonstration
for the Salon-group. This was also in the concept of
Then gradually the students removed paper that covered
parts of the room whilst Jan Berghuis explained what it
all was about. They named this project “the Room of
Cards” because all ornaments were romantically painted
in the classical forms of plinth, dado, panels and
frieze. On the sides there were two “jokers” anamorphic
ally-painted as if they were floating in a playing -
They blew hundreds of bubbles on to the wall. It was a
sensation. The children of Jan Berghuis unwrapped
themselves because it was their own portraits. The
evening went on with great fun.
Later on the women of the Salon presented a nice gift
for Jan Berghuis because of his birthday: Golden
Friday, March 24,
the second Salonday started at 09.00 hours and had again
lots of visitors coming into the school. We even had
local television and some members were interviewed.
Visitors came in great numbers into the Salon-happening.
Youngsters, like students, as well as the older
painters. The exhibition was glamorous. On the ground
floor there were in every room and corridor big black
expo-panels with enormous amount of decorative arts on
them. On the first floor three painting classrooms were
filled with demonstrators who worked all day, like the
previous day, on their panels. Painters were
scheduled throughout the day, but the schedule was
overruled by the Salon-spirit of all painters; everybody
painted the whole day through. Each classroom had its
own station for paint-handout. In the demonstration
areas the air was filled by special music that enhanced
the concept of Kings and Queens.
The Joker warned the visitors by times for special
lectures. Like Eric Mackey´s “decorative painting
without paint”, all about using the computer as a
study-tool. And Robert Woodland gave his splendid slide
show on the “Non-such Chest”, a precious chest that was
grained in many woods as a supreme Marquette-imitation.
In between the Joker-helpers were there to provide
everybody with tea and coffee.
Evening arrived as the members had an evening to go and
walk through Utrecht-city by guides and special
Salon-map. In the middle of the tour there was a
presentation by Golden Acrylics in a beer-brewery. BUT:
What no-one really understood was that the Salon
organization went bananas the moment the last member
left the NIMETO. All exhibition panels and boards and
paint and little chairs AND the Room of Cards were
dissembled , put into transport-busses and were
The Hague. In that night a wonder
The exhibition was hauled two flight up a staircase, the
demonstration-area (totally new board walls) was being
installed. All that in the
Museum, the famous etcher
and painter of geometric impossibilities. Once this
museum was in fact a palace of the Queens of Holland.
Hence our concept again fitted too well. It was like a
marriage. The Room of Cards was installed in the
Queens ballroom……a dream.
Saturday , the 25 th of March
, the second leg of the Salon landed in
The Hague. By busses all members
were picked up early at the hotel and driven to
The Hague. The mayor of
The Hague opened the show, then Mickey Pillar
director of the
Museum, talked very wise
words as well did Mr. Verschoor from the NIMETO.
There was outside a marathon run going on outside on the
street but despite of that the visitors were in queue
outside waiting to get in. It was a sunny day !! And
again the Salon was happening all around as many members
were doing demonstrations on the new mounted walls in
the garden covered by a tent and heated up by special
appliances. All the public gathered around our artists
and at moments it was so crowded that we could turn off
the heaters. At the entrance the Community Painting was
installed and many painters were heavily involved under
the expertise captainship of Patrick Kirwin.
Each person who wanted to buy their ticket at the office
could certainly not ignore that gigantic painting !!!
The special Salon - music was ongoing and creating that
special atmosphere. The music was a recognition-point
during the Salon.
Golden-paints were distributed and many members started
even before the opening in
The Hague was official. Eager
painters as we are !!! Lectures in the
Ballroom by Pierre Finkelstein, George Zaffle and
Patrick Kirwin. People were jammed in the Room of Cards.
What a dream came true.
Later that day the Salon -members were hauled in
tour-buses and brought to the City-Museum-area where
they were offered a dinner. It was a very relaxed dinner
amongst the members without any official word. Oh;
sorry……….Jan Berghuis and Mickey Pillar (
Museum) opened the dinner
with a dance….the rest followed. With a good and warm
feeling everybody was late in the evening back in the
Sunday the 26th
the Royal Salon began again by bus to
The Hague. All members were more
familiar with the environment. The public came again in
Jan Berghuis and Cornelius Scheer opened the dinner. One
man in particular was on the stage to be thanked: Chris
USA)…the plaster man.
He and some students were heavily involved in another
special of this Salon, which was a plan from years
before. He castled all the faces of the Salon -members
in plaster which then later was to be mounted in a
memorial-plaques also from plaster. Each face would
become a Joker when mounted in.
In the basement before one has to enter the
demonstration area all sorts of portfolios were on
tables. Pascal Amblard did an extra lecture. Evening
came and sadly so the Salon 2006 was almost over.
The members were asked to pack their belongings, except
for the artwork on the exhibition-floors upstairs. The
Salon-exhibition was there to stay for another three
Back to the hotel all went to refresh themselves and
dress up for the special Grand Final Velvet Ermine
Dinner. This final dinner was not just a party: it was
theatre-concept-entertainment . All participants and
invites for that evening REALLY participated in this
years Salon-assignement: they all dressed up in full
colors to the Kings, Queens
and Jokers-theme !!!Again in busses the Salon arrived
at Ottone which used to be a church in the midst of
Utrecht. The place was totally
decorated by the school students with lavishing draping,
deck of cards and flowers. Everybody received their
introduction champagne at the first floor as “the King
and Queen” were amongst us to welcome. Obviously a good
look at them both would recover two teachers of the
Chris Erney worked like a madman during the Salon and
sometimes he didn't had any notion of what was going on
elsewhere. Four days long and the preparations the week
before….what an effort. Golden was also greatly thanked
because of their omissible support in both practical and
technical ways. At each Salon we have the fortunate
presence of Golden Acrylics and it was time we greatly
thanked them by offering the Community Painting to
And of course also Mark Golden came on the stage. With
Dinner went on as after desert the Salon had to be
Susan Arnild was to be called on the stage ….the new to
be Organiser of the next Salon. She did a nice speech
and offered the Salon a drink in a special package.
Susan signed gracefully the Manifesto ….there was no way
to return after that. The Salon 2006 was closed
But it wasn't really over until the room was filled with
the Rock ´n ´Roll of “the Clarks”
to dance to. The party went on up till two o’clock in
Monday many returned to their native country, except for
about 30 people. They booked the post-Salon-Tour. In the
afternoon the busses brought us all to the
“the Loo” (No, it means an open space). They were opened
on special occasion and we had a tour within. Tuesday
was a tour to the paint manufacture Sikkens. In
Sassenheim we saw the exquisite museum for paint and
wallpaper. And had a lunch!!
Later that day, finally for some, we went to
for a Jacob de Wit- tour, the famous Dutch decorator of
grisailles and ceilings. What more?
Well, next to a fantastic programme-leaflet
book……..Cornelius Scheer had the whole event filmed on
video. So he went on with organizing and produced “Salon
2006 the Movie” on dvd. (with picture cd), assembled by
Rob de Weerd. The amazing dvd was sent to all members a
few months later as the last surprise-act.
The second Dutch Salon was a dream once and a reality