Annelies Dykgraaf: Combining Cultures in Creativity

Annelies Dykgraaf focuses her talent on relief printing to tell stories, particularly those shaped by her childhood in Nigeria. She is currently the president of the Jacksonville Artist Guild. She is a founding member of both the Art Center Cooperative and the Jacksonville Cultural Development Corporation. She previously served on the Board of the Beaches Fine Arts Series for 12 years.

I am proud of the work that shows the uniting of cultures, (be)Cause I think that’s very important that we all get along together.

In the Mix

Charlee Guillaume, a multimedia designer with Mix Theory Studios, interviewed six local artists at the Art Center Cooperative in San Marco. This interview is part of the Artist Segment of In the Mix. Video produced by Charlee Guillaume with the help of guest videographer, Josh McLendon of Lost Media Solutions LLC. Photos provided by Annelies Dykgraaf.

Annelies was born and raised by missionary parents in Jos, Plateau State of Nigeria. Her formative years were rich with diversity. She attended Hillcrest School from 1st grade to 12th grade with 32 classmates, representing 15 nationalities and a multiple religions.

Annelies studied in France through the Cleveland Institute of Art. She received a Bachelors of Fine Art from Calvin College and moved from Michigan to Florida in 2001.

Her art, mainly in relief printmaking, uses wood or linoleum and depicts people, symbols, textile patterns and motifs of West African culture. She brings focus to their unique personalities and relationships with a goal to unite cultures and races.

you’ll see the Kids just enjoying like the simplicity of a cardboard box as a toy … farming, agriculture, women working in the fields.

Annelies is inspired by uli motifs and symbols from various West African tribal folk tales and myths. For example, her woodcuts often portray lizards. Seen as a symbol of good luck, the lizard represents protective spirits, fertility, household tranquility, bounty, and wisdom.

According to Annelies and her website, some of her favorite artists were Edvard Munch and Paul Gauguin, who were inspired by Japanese prints from the 1860s. She favors using a technique developed in the 20th century by Ernst Ludwig Kircher. His process produces colored woodcut prints using a single block, multiple colors and a brush à la poupée. 

In 2008, Annelies was awarded an Art Ventures grant from the Community Foundation in Jacksonville. She was also accepted to participate in the ‘Through our Eyes” program at the Ritz Theatre as an African-American artist.

It’s not only about selling your art. Keep the passion that’s within. Keep that going.

Her art is displayed at the Art Center Gallery located at 1225 Hendricks Avenue in San Marco. She is also part of the permanent art collection at University of North Florida Thomas G. Carpenter Library and The Appleton Museum of Art.

Annelies Dykgraaf’s work was recently displayed at the Haskell Gallery in the Jacksonville International Airport.

Find out more about Annelies and her Work

Visual Artist Specializing in Woodcuts

The Art Center Cooperative Inc.

Jacksonville Artists Guild, President

Places where Annelies’ Work has been Exhibited

  • the Florida Ballet
  • The Beaches Museum
  • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum (Port Elizabeth, South Africa)
  • JIA Haskell Gallery
  • Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
  • Ritz Theatre & LaVilla Museum
  • Wilson Center for the Arts Gallery at Florida State College at Jacksonville – South Campus
  • Karpeles Manuscript Museum
  • Reddi Arts Gallery 1037
  • Florida State College at Jacksonville – Kent & North Campus Gallery
  • Adele Grage Community Center
  • Jewish Community Alliance