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Public Art in Belgium

By alison - August 25, 2009 (Updated: January 5, 2016)

I’m very pleased to introduce a second guest poster to CheeseWeb, Gilbert West, the man behind Kunstart.be. Kunstart is a fantastic resource for gallery, art and artist listings in Belgium. I hope I can convince Gilbert to be a regular here so please extend your warmest CheeseWeb welcome!

It’s Summertime, Go Out And Play

Aneas Wilder - Untitled # 143. Image copyright <a href=

Aneas Wilder – Untitled # 143. Image copyright Artshooter

Belgium is a great place for discovering art, but August is a slow month and the gallery world doesn’t fully reawaken until mid-September.

Throughout the summer months, galleries and museums put on longer exhibitions and many of the privately owned galleries close for extended periods, so you may get the feeling that nothing much new is happening on the art scene.

There’s still plenty going on and one thing to put on the list while the sun still shines is outdoor and public art. Forget about the queues at the main museums, chock full of tourists. Those places aren’t going anywhere. They’ll still be there in the Winter. Instead, pack a picnic and seek out some public art.Sculpture is the predominant for of outdoor public art and there are 3 main sculpture parks to visit.

Liege

The open air museum of Liège is just to the South of the city in one of the leafy campuses of Liege University. It has over 100 works by internationally acclaimed artists including Pierre Alechinsky. Access is free or paid tours can be arranged for groups.

Musée en Plein Air du Sart-Tilman
Université de Liège – Domaine du Sart-Tilman
Château de Colonster (Bât. B25)
B-4000 Liège

Middelheim park

Middelheim park is an open air sculpture park on the outskirts of Antwerp with over 300 works of art. The 27 hectares of grounds are divided into two parts, one for contemporary work, the other for older pieces. Access is free and the park is situated on Middelheimlaan to the south of the city.

Spotting the deer in Parc Tournay-Solvay

Spotting the deer in Parc Tournay-Solvay.  Image copyright blueclockweb

Parc Tournay-Solvay – Boisfort

A much smaller, but no less interesting park is the Parc Tournay-Solvay next to Boisfort station in Brussels. The grounds of this park are home to the now derelict home built by the Solvay family, a small selection of sculptures and superb landscaped grounds. See if you can find the picture of a deer carved into 3 different trees which becomes visible when you stand is a particular spot.

Entrance is free.

Seaside Trips

If you prefer a trip to the seaside then try out Beaufort03. Beaufort isn’t a sculpture park. Instead, it uses the Belgian coast as a temporary exhibition space, displaying sculptures on the beach front and the beach itself. Beaufort03, is a triennial the third edition runs until 4 October.

Previous contributors have included Antony Gormley and Wim Devloye.

But it’s not all about sculpture parks and Summer long art fairs. Public art is all around you and Belgium certainly has its fair share. It’s in the Metro, it’s on public squares. Whether you’re looking for giant orange plastic rabbits in Brussels or bizarre Panamarenko sculptures in Antwerp city centre keep your eyes open, you’ll be surprised at what you see.

You can get more ideas for trips at the Belgian Public Art group on Flickr.

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Alison

Alison

Big Cheese at CheeseWeb
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of Cheeseweb.eu. She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She is currently slow travelling through Europe in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
Alison
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3 comments

  1. Comment by Andrew

    Andrew

    Andrew August 26, 2009 at 08:54

    Some great day trips there! I am intrigued by the deer carving. 🙂 It’s been a great summer in Belgium this year, so I hope it continues into the fall!

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison

      Alison August 26, 2009 at 11:45

      I want to check out the deer carving too… road trip time 🙂

  2. Pingback: Montaigle Castle Ruins, Falaën, Belgium | CheeseWeb: Travel, Photography and Expat Life in Belgium Blog

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