In May 2022 we realised a large scale public art project in Schiemond. Young residents worked together with artist Joost Vermeer on an art work that covers the entire neighbourhood and made money while doing so.
Schiemond is located directly next to the Maas and is quite secluded and on its own. Its residents love the place but are bothered by the many unwelcoming tunnels that connect every side of the neighbourhood to each other. With young residents hanging around in them, the place has an unnecessary bad reputation. By offering these young residents the chance to enliven these tunnels and several other parts of the neighbourhood, they got a hand in improving their own environment and also get paid for it.
The project was an initiative of Foundation Mesh and was created in collaboration with Woonbron, WMO Radar, several VvE’s and Gemeente Rotterdam. Over the course of almost two years the project developed from a public art project into a broad collaboration with a lot of local support. By basically hiring local youth to produce the art work, the project also aimed to broaden the future perspective of young Rotterdam residents.
In May we worked together with the participants on a total of 8 tunnels under the professional guidance of Rotterdam artist Joost Vermeer. He created the overall art concept for the neighbourhood, that will connect all painted parts of Schiemond. The participants helped creating the final result in several design meetings. The outcome is therefore a shared effort, brought together by the artist.
Next to the tunnels another 3 higher underpasses and 6 elevator bulkheads were painted. This resulted in an artwork that is visible from all parts of the neighbourhood, as-well from surrounding area’s as the Dakpark, Vierhavenstraat and the Maas.
Part of the project was a publication made by photographer Stacii Samidin. He documented the participating youth during the production of the project. At the opening event they all received this publication as a remembrance of their participation in the project.