Constance Van Berckel: Fostering art, nature’s wisdom, and societal change
Nov 28, 2023
Constance van Berckel is an event organizer, entrepreneur, and independent curator whose goal is to combine art and societal change. Constance, who has a broad background in business and art history, sets out to change how we view and how we interact with the art world. We explore Constance’s life, her accomplishments, and her idea of a society that is more reflective, creative and interconnected in this blog post
After finishing her art history studies in the Netherlands, Constance began her journey in Los Angeles, one of the centres of the art world. While finishing her master's degree in Art Business, she gained experience while working at various world-famous commercial art galleries. During that time, Constance also worked at an experimental, non-profit art space in Los Angeles where she quickly discovered that her true calling was in the more artist-focused and process-based areas of art, outside the conventional boundaries of the commercial art scene. This was a turning point in her artistic development, pointing her in the direction of a place where the essence of art crosses the boundaries into the conceptual and reflective areas.
Between 2016 and 2019, Constance started two art companies: Art Tours Berlin and AXS ART. Together with Ariela Braunschweig, she dedicated her efforts to expanding Art Tours Berlin within Berlin as well as in London, and managed a team of 10 tour guides between both cities. After a few years of having organized countless art tours, art panel discussions, gallery dinners and many artist studio visits, Constance founded AXS ART. This was one of the first online art galleries selling art by emerging artists to starting art collectors via its e-commerce platform as well as via Instagram directly, and aimed to connect young art buyers and artists in order to increase accessibility to art collecting.
Upon arriving in Amsterdam in 2020, a new chapter started, where she found ample space to explore and engage in new projects, particularly in curating exhibitions paired with extensive event programs, talks and performances.
In 2022, Constance founded Sopra Sotto in Tuscany, which has developed into a nomadic artist residency program and creative think tank. The residency is a result of her commitment to fostering creativity and providing space for creatives to come together and use art as a tool for questioning and rethinking current societal systems. The starting point of the residencies is to reconnect with oneself, others and nature, where collaboration and cross-pollination between disciplines and industries, communities and different generations take place. Constance hopes to create a container for an optimistic and holistic approach to reimagining alternative systems for a future world.
Next to artist residencies, Constance organizes regular wellness retreats that focus on personal growth. The combination of residencies with retreats comes from the core belief that for any positive societal change to take place, change first must come from within. These retreats are not just for artists, but for anyone who wants to take part in an environment for idea-sharing as well as a means of healing and self reflection. Constance is currently working on ways of integrating the artist residencies and wellness retreats, where artistic exploration is effortlessly combined with personal development.
In addition to her contributions to the art world, Constance has a long term goal of creating education programs focused on artistic expression for both adults and children. Going beyond traditional learning experiences, her goal is to combine art, nature, intuition and self reflection and bring this to audiences via workshops and summer camps. At the core of Constance's vision is the concept of integrating a more embodied and nature-based wisdom into academic knowledge within educational frameworks and thought structures. The goal is to provide young people with the tools to navigate the ambiguities and complexities of a constantly changing modern world, and inspire a new generation of open-minded, empathic and creative thinkers through innovative and agile life-long learning strategies.
Constance van Berckel shows up as a visionary force in the arts, leading the way towards combining creativity, nature’s wisdom and social change. Constance is fostering a more interconnected, synergetic and creatively enriched world through her various art initiatives, spiritual retreats and nomadic artist residencies, as well as her future plans for educational endeavours.