COVID has got us hiking en masse. A ‘walk around the block’ has become a daily ritual for all of us. So chances are that you have started noticing Nijmegen’s rich collection of street art. Over the past few years, a noticeable amount of greyish facades have been transformed to lively paintings. So... on a walk during your lunch break from your stay-at-home job? We have made a list of street art just for you, to make your ‘walk around the block’ just a tad more colourful!
1. The colourful bird
Life in the Bloemerstraat: the colourful little bird on the facade of café Van Deelen, on the corner of the Eerste Walstraat. Or, rather, bird. The mural covers over 120 square metres of wall. The bird symbolises freedom, a piece of art by Collin van der Sluijs from Goes and Super A, two respected street artists. But don’t forget to check the background... What buildings from Nijmegen do you recognise?
2. Street art everywhere: Honigcomplex, Vasimfabriek, and Waalhalla
A beloved place amongst street artists... Creative expressions, cheering up areas, and appeal to the viewer’s consciousness. A lot of these cool paintings were made by Collectief Verfbaar: street artists who clearly provide more art and colour within the city.
3. A colossal deer (“hert”) on Hotel Credible
This mammal has not been on the wall of Hotel Credible that long, but is very noticeable if you’re on your way to the Valkhof. The artwork by Remco Visser and Naamloozz refers to the Hertsteegpoort that granted access to the Valkhof keep in earlier times.
4. Intelligent insects
Bees... and more bees: this artwork on the Hertoghof, a collaboration by Earworm, 103, and De Imker, makes you think. You may now De Imker from other art projects across Nijmegen, where bees are the point of focus. Why, you may ask? Over 46 species of bees can no longer be seen in our country and 72 are listed as severely endangered... So it’s clear that they want to put a message across!
5. Where’s Wally?
Where’s Wally? Inspired by Martin Handford’s fun picture books, where one needs to find a little figure named Wally amongst crowded drawings. This little mister is often followed by a sinister silhouette: the Stadsjutter. Someone who pays close attention, might sometimes discover Wally hiding in the city...
6. Back in town: Byzantine princess Theophanu
Old City, Young Vibe: Nijmegen’s slogan aligns closely with the project Waalpaintings that was set up by Erika Manders and Dennis Jussen, cultural historians from Radboud University. They wanted to showcase Nijmegen’s history with fifteen huge images across the city, among which is a mural on the wall of the Holland Casino at the Waalkade, of the Byzantine princess Theophanu. She was a princess who served as regent over a large part of Europe for years and who spent considerable time in Nijmegen. The Nicholaaskapel on the Valkhof refers to Theophanu and the mural, designed and made by Gerco Hiddink en Maaike van den Heuvel, artists from Nijmegen’s Studio Hartebeest, can be seen from there.
7. Memories of the soap factory
On the walls of the Thiemeloods in the district Bottendaal, you’ll find a mural made by street artists Rob Arts and Michel Alders, a great eye-catcher in the street. In the centre of the mural, you can see a painting of the former soap factory, famous for Biotex, Dobbelmann, and Castella soaps. The soap factory has long since gone, but the memories of the factory remain visibly present through this work of art!
8. Memory of the bombardment of ‘44
Two murals in the underpass from Scheidemakershof to Plein 1944, in which the bombardment of February 22nd 1944 is the central theme. Artist Vincent William painted a view of the city on one side: the smoking city. On the other, you can see the destruction, just shortly after the bombardment. The idea behind the design was conceived by André van Toonen, a resident of Plein 1944. Shortly before memorial day on May 4th, Vincent William finished his work.
9. The Batavian Revolt – Waalpaintings
Another mural from the Waalpaintings project, ‘The Batavian Revolt’, can be seen in the alley next to Bistrobar Flores on Kelfkensbos, made by Nijmegen’s own Remco Visser and his partner Naamloozz. The painting can’t be missed, because its colours and patterns jump off the walls. Both walls of the alley are painted, with the Batavians portrayed on one side, and the Romans on the other. We asked the artists how exactly this painting came to be.
10. The oldest street art on the Piersonstraat
The oldest street art, a member of the Dutch riot squad, can be found on Piersonstraat. A memory to the squatters riots of 1981. A war scene in the inner city. Squatters meet eye to eye with tanks and armoured vehicles. Inhabitants of the city see how two thousand members of the riot squad patrol the streets. And all of that because of the city’s plan to build a parking garage.
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