Artist Start

Are you at the beginning of your career as a visual artist and do you have plans for new work? If so, you may be eligible for an Artist Start grant from the Mondriaan Fund.

For whom

For visual artists who have been working professionally for at least 1 and no more than 4 years.

For what

For the development of work and art practice.

How much

€ 20,000 for 12 months.


Please check this list before starting your application.

Start your application

Do you meet the conditions and did you go through the checklist?

For whom

Artist Start grants are for visual artists who have been working professionally for at least 1 and no more than 4 years. The Mondriaan Fund offers starting visual artists the opportunity to make a meaningful and visible contribution to contemporary visual arts in the Netherlands.

Artists who have been working for 4 years or more can apply for an Artist Basic grant.

For what

You can use this grant to develop your art practice. That can include making work, research, experimentation, the purchase of materials and equipment, and so on. Or it could be used for working on a commission or participating in exhibitions or events at home or abroad.

How much

€ 20,000 for 12 months.


Applications can be submitted at any time of the year, using the Mondriaan Fund’s online application system. You must first apply for an account in order to submit your application. Once your application is complete, please allow for a processing period of 3 months from the moment your application has been submitted in full. Grants cannot be awarded retroactively.

The following is based on the deelregeling Kunstenaar Start (in Dutch).

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The Mondriaan Fund advises you to travel in a safe and responsibly manner. We advise you not to travel if the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues a negative travel advice (color code orange/red) for the country concerned. The Mondriaan Fund is not liable and cannot contribute to additional costs resulting from Covid 19-related circumstances (such as long stay or medical expenses). If your work plan changes due to circumstances, please notify us as soon as possible.


  • You have been working as a professional visual artist for at least 1, but less than 4 years.
  • You are artistically active and embedded in the professional visual arts in the Netherlands.
  • Artist Start grants cannot be used to finance study. You may not make use of an Artist Start grant while attending courses, including bachelor, master, graduate or postgraduate programmes.
  • At the time of your application, you may not be receiving any other financial support from the Mondriaan Fund that covers the same costs.
  • Applications may be submitted by artists who have completed at least 3 years of higher professional education (HBO) with a visual arts curriculum and have been working as visual artists for at least 1 year afterwards.
  • Applications can be submitted up to 4 years after completing your studies. The date of the diploma or degree, or the date you ended your studies if you did not graduate, is taken into account. Artists who have been practicing professionally for 4 or more years can apply for an Artist Basic grant.
  • Visual artists who have completed a master’s degree programme may apply up to 4 years after the date of their degree or, if no degree was obtained, the date of leaving that programme, provided that they followed it consecutively after receiving a bachelor’s degree. This is counted from the date stated on the diploma (or declaration) of the first higher education programme. If there is a period of time between obtaining the bachelor’s degree and starting the master’s programme, this interim period will be deducted from the four-year limit. The interim period is considered part of the professional art practice.
  • Participation in a post-academic or post-graduate programme, such as the Rijksakademie, de Ateliers, the Jan van Eyck Academy, BAK or EKWC, is considered part of the professional art practice.
  • Periods during which the applicant is studying do not count towards the duration of the professional practice. An exception to this is participation in post-academic or post-graduate programmes: these periods are considered as professional practice.
  • Visual artists who have followed a master in visual arts programme without a bachelor in visual arts beforehand can apply up to 2 years after leaving the master’s programme. The date of the degree or diploma will be taken into consideration.
  • The applicant must then have a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 4 years of professional practice as a visual artist. The moment when the artist first presents his or her work within the professional visual arts circuit is considered the start of the professional practice. A recent (less than 3 months old) registration extract from the Kamer van Koophandel (KvK, Chamber of Commerce) or comparable foreign organization must be included to confirm that you are registered as a visual artist.
  • The taxable income of an Artist Start applicant must not exceed € 35,000 in the period for which the grant would apply.
  • The level of the combined income is checked beforehand on the basis of the income tax return for the preceding calendar year. For applications submitted between 1 January and 1 October, the aggregate income from the year before that can be substituted. If the applicant did not file an income tax return in either of the years mentioned, we will ask for a statement of your income, a statement of the reason why you did not file a tax return and/or proof from the tax authorities that you did not have to file a tax return.
  • Only one Artist Start grant is awarded to any artist.
  • An artist who has previously been rejected on the grounds of artistic performance may not apply for an Artist Start grant within 12 months after the first application date.
  • An Artist Start grant may not be applied for during the term of any other financial support from the Mondriaan Fund if the board believes that the contribution could cover the same costs.


The Mondriaan Fund staff check the submitted applications and attachments to ensure that they are complete. Once an application is complete, it is submitted to the committee that advises on awarding Artist Start grants.

When the committee approves the quality of the work and your artistic practice, it also assesses your working plan and ways in which you, as an artist, try to find an audience for your work.

Due to our limited budget, it is not always possible to award grants to all those whose applications receive positive advisories from the committee. The board of the Mondriaan Fund therefore asks the committee to weigh up the approved applications in relation to one another and rank them in order of priority. This can mean that an application can be positively assessed, but the applicant is not awarded a grant.

What happens with my application?
  • Your visual documentation material.
  • Your explanation of your work and professional practice.
  • Your curriculum vitae.
  • Your working plan, and where applicable, your plans for collaborating with others.
  • The quality of your work: think of the expressiveness of the work, the application of the chosen materials and techniques, its power of imagination and how this is expressed in the work, and so on.
  • Your artistic practice: your inquisitive and/or innovative approach, the ways you present yourself as an artist and try to find an audience for your work.


To process your application, The Mondriaan Fund needs information. All of this information can be submitted in the application form itself, along with documentation that you can upload. Here below is a checklist that follows the layout of the application form and contains all the information required.

Tip: collect all your information before you start filling out the online application form. The attachments can be uploaded as PDFs. Important: wherever a maximum number of pages is given, do not exceed that number of pages! Additional pages will be ignored.

Diploma, degree, school deregistration or Kamer van Koophandel (KvK, Chamber of Commerce) regstration
Artist Start grants are awarded to artists who have been working as professional artists for at least 1 and no more than 4 years. To determine if this is the case, we need a copy of your diploma with a visual arts curriculum, or a statement from the art academy you attended if your study was terminated prematurely. If you do not have an art education, you can enclose a recent extract (less than 3 months old) from the Dutch Kamer van Koophandel or foreign Chamber of Commerce as an indication that you are registered as a visual artist.

Explanation of your work (max. 3 pages)
Describe what your work is about and what you have done to develop your practice. Describe your role in any collaboration you are part of.

Curriculum Vitae (max. 3 pages)
Upload the most important data about your professional practice, focusing on the past 1 to 4 years. Think of exhibitions (indicate solo or group), events, commissions, prizes or awards, publications, possible sales, mentioning the year in which they occurred. Also mention any associated activities, such as lectureships, advisory and supervisory positions.

Plan (max. 3 pages)
What are your plans for the coming year? Which direction do you want to go with your work? Will you be working in collaboration with others, and if so, what is your part in that? Describe how you want to present your work and/or your working process. Think, for example, of one or more exhibitions, a website, blog, open studio or workshop. Also describe the audience you have in mind and why that is a suitable audience for your work.

Copy of income tax return or provisional assessment
This confirms that your taxable income is not too high to receive a Mondriaan Fund grant.
Please note: copies of your inkomensafhankelijke bijdrage Zorgverzekeringswet ((income-related health care insurance contribution) or your aangifte Omzetbelasting (sales or value added tax return) are not sufficient here because they do not indicate your aggregate income.

  • Include a copy of your income tax return, or a tax assessment for the previous year’s national insurance contributions.
  • If you submit your application before 1 October and do not yet have a declaration or assessment from the previous year, send your declaration or assessment from 2 years ago.
  • If you have not filed an income tax return in the previous 2 years, we will need proof of your income, a statement with the reason why you did not file a tax return and/or proof from the tax authorities that you did not have to file a tax return.

(Visual) documentation
Create a PDF document with up to 20 images of your most important works from the past 1 to 4 years. Begin with the most recent work. It can also help to include some images of the work in the context of presentations, such as an exhibition. You can also upload sound or video/film fragments of up to 15 minutes. This is possible, for example, if you make films, performances or installations. The total size and duration of the presentation (images and separate video or audio fragments) should not secede 300 MB and 15 minutes duration. Click here for the technical specifications for your uploaded documentation.

Include a numbered documentation list (in pdf) that corresponds with your visual documentation material, with descriptions or captions for the relevant image, sound or video/film clip. (For example: 01, Title, 2020, loop 2 min.)

Personal Records Database (BRP) extract (where applicable):
If you do not have Dutch nationality, include a recent extract (less than 3 months old) from the Basisregistratie Personen (BRP) population register where you live, confirming your residency in the Netherlands.

Bank details:
We need your bank account number to transfer funds if your application is granted.

  • If your bank account number has changed, or if it is new for the Mondriaan Fund, upload a recent bank statement that clearly shows your name and IBAN (International Bank Account Number).
  • If you have a business bank account for your one-person business, include a recent (less than 3 months old), extract from the Kamer van Koophandel (KvK, Chamber of Commerce) showing that the account has sole proprietorship

The Mondriaan Fund offers more opportunities

If you receive an Artist Start grant, the Mondriaan Fund offers you even more opportunities to develop your art career.

Within 24 months of being awarded an Artist Start grant, you can sign up for the Mentoring programme. In this trajectory you will be guided for a year by an experienced artist or curator/observer. Click here to read about the Mentoring programme.

If you have been awarded a grant from the Mondriaan Fund in the past twelve months, you may also qualify for a pre-approved, interest-free loan from Fonds Kwadraat (Dutch only). This could, for example, cover the purchase of equipment.

The Mondriaan Fund organizes the annual Prospects exhibition during the international art fair Art Rotterdam in the Van Nellefabriek. All artists who received an Artist Start 2 years before the exhibition will be invited to join (subject to change).

Questions & contact

If you have a question please reach out to a contact person of this grant.

Or call to 020 523 15 23 or send an e-mail to vasb@zbaqevnnasbaqf.ay

Carmen Muskee

Fenna Lampe