Kunstgalerie Oog voor Natuur (”Eye for Nature”) focuses exclusively on wildlife art, art based on the representation of wild animals living in their natural habitation. This makes the gallery unique in The Netherlands.
The idea of setting up a wildlife art gallery started in 1993, when Willem H. Smith, a Dutch national newspaper nature editor, met Robert Bateman, a famous Canadian artist for whom animals living in their natural habitat are a source of inspiration. ”His work attracted me and I started to look into this genre. I discovered that in The Netherlands many talented painters, sculptors and woodcarvers are artistically engaged in wildlife. They were hardly known as their work was not exposed at galleries and museums, so we started a gallery to offer wildlife artists their own stage.”
In October 2002, Willem and his wife Margriet opened the gallery named “Smith in Style”. Their initiative turned out to be successful and the gallery is now a meeting point for lovers of wildlife art. Drawing and painting activities also attract visitors from all over The Netherlands.
In 2007, after sixteen exhibitions and with the celebration of the first lustrum, the gallery-owners decided to choose a new name. Smith explains that in this way “our specialisation in the field of wildlife art becomes much more apparent. Also, the new name expresses better the fact that ‘our’ artists are very much disposed towards the wild fauna and flora. Infact, they are, often without being aware of it, true ambassadors of nature conservation.”