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
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.