‘Art is here on the street’


Lots of interest in opening the library bookcase and walking route

LICHTENVOORDE – On Sunday 6 November there was a double party at De Leest in Lichtenvoorde. After several years of preparation, the mural of the library shelf could finally be officially presented, and the Street Art walking route along the nine artworks that had already been completed was also opened. Two enthusiastic hikers, returning cold from Paris, immediately set out: ‘Art is on the streets here, we really don’t have to go far for that’

By Anneke Cuppers

Before the official opening of the mural, there was a program for invited guests at the library. This audience consisted of property owners, authors of book titles that found a place on the library’s shelves, neighbours, individual artists, representatives of the municipality and the tourist office and others involved in the project. Resy Oonk, communications officer at the East-Achterhoek Library, spoke about how the wall was created. The plan already originated in 2019, when, after the library’s move to its current location, the question arose of how to make it visible from the Market. Inspired by a mural of a bookcase in Utrecht, the hometown of artist Jan ‘JanIsDeMan’ Heinsbroek, Resy and her colleagues worked on a library bookcase that would make the library even more alive for residents.

Elections were held to fill the bookshelf, where residents could nominate titles, including books by authors from Lichtenvoorde or about subjects from Lichtenvoorde. As for Resy, it doesn’t stop there. In the near future, the library wants to organize lectures and themed evenings around the books on the shelf.

Growing enthusiasm
Natasja Scharenborg, project manager of the Geef Lichtenvoorde Kleurs Street Art Project, told those present about the history of the Street Art Project. A long-term project, about which there were already exploratory discussions in 2015, and which was completed in 2017 with the first professional mural. Introducing the public to art in public space in this particular way was not always easy. In particular, finding suitable locations and willing property owners was regularly a significant challenge. But as the number of artworks grew, so did the public’s enthusiasm and the positive reactions to each delivery of a new mural meant that the mutual grudges were quickly forgotten.

Official opening act by Aunt Rikie
The official opening then took place outside, where, in addition to the invited party, a large number of people interested in the mural had gathered. The Lichtenvoorde thriller writer Corine Hartman, whose bookshelf includes Schone Schijn and Groenlicht, read an appropriate text from her own work. After thanking everyone involved, the official opening ceremony was performed by guest of honor Tante Rikie (from Tante Rikie’s immensely beautiful storybook) together with artist JanIsDeMan, after which all those present were treated to a petit four by the tourist office. (the text continues below the video)

Street Art walking route
The library bookcase is the ninth mural in the series from the Street Art Project under the banner Geef Lichtenvoorde Colour. There is a story to tell about all these works of art. By combining these stories and creating a special Street Art walking route, the works come even more to life, said Meike Prollius, who developed the walking route together with Natasja on behalf of Achterhoek Tourism, which was presented immediately after the opening of the library bookcase. . The 5.5 kilometer long route not only passes the nine murals, but also visits other beautiful (green) places in Lichtenvoorde. Natasja then symbolically handed over the first copy to councilor Jos Hoenderboom, who was present on behalf of the council and as project manager for Geef Lichtenvoorde Colour. The other participants were then presented with a free copy of the route. A few enthusiastic hikers followed suit and, despite the chilly weather, immediately set off.

More diversity in form and style
Natasja can look back on a very successful project so far and is already full of energy to draw up new plans. She says enthusiastically: “There are still lots of ideas on the shelf, and a new property owner has also expressed interest. A place that I had in mind from the start of the project. Maybe now it will finally be possible to give shape to this.” The project manager already has a suitable artist in mind. “Lichtenvoorde can expect even more diversity in style and form in the future. For now, I have more ideas than there are walls available. Interested property owners are therefore still encouraged to apply.”

Would you like to get in touch with Natasja Scharenborg? You can do this by sending an email to streetartoostgelre@gmail.com Also check the facebook page for the latest news about the Street Art Project Oost Gelre. The Street Art walking route costs 2.50 euros and is for sale at the tourist office.

The Seven Sisters, Zieuwent’s story, Puk van de Petteflat, Roman Herrie, Crusade in Spijkerbroek. Many well-known and local titles adorn the side wall at Broodje Bram. However, there is one book that does not exist. ‘De Nieuwmarkt’ by Theo Verhoeven is a posthumous tribute to the late father of the five Verhoeven sisters, the founder of the Nieuwmarkt, of which the library is also a part. José Gerretsen-Verhoeven explains: “In 1989, our father bought the first part of the old hospital together with my husband Theo Gerretsen and later in 1996 the remaining part. Dad had the plan at a very early stage to develop a shopping center on this land. He wanted to make Lichtenvoorde a vibrant place. Unfortunately, Dad passed away in 1997. We have developed many of his ideas that he had put on paper. It is fantastic that his legacy has been given an honorable place in the Lichtenvoord bookcase in this way.”

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