With the 'Goldmine' project, we are creating an artistic hotspot in New Ghent where art is embraced and celebrated. By opening the doors to contemporary talent, we are creating a haven for national and international artists. Every year, five artists travel to the neighbourhood to be inspired by the surroundings. In this way, the project focuses on the revitalization of local infrastructure and the upgrading of the living environment.
Goldmine also investigates the connecting functionality of murals in an otherwise 'closed' neighbourhood. Art can be a bridge, or an important key to break down barriers and bring dialogue to life. Previous projects have shown that when art and colour are brought to the streets on a large scale, they can have a positive impact on the residents of a neighbourhood.
In 2021, national and international artists Nuno Viegas, Nina Valkhoff, A Squid Called Sebastian, Lobster Robin, Simian Switch and Kitsune Jolene visited the neighbourhood to leave their mark. The project was concluded for the first time with a festival full of music, workshops and all kinds of events to attract visitors from outside New Ghent to this new hotspot. Would you like to enjoy all 9 impressive murals with accompanying background information? Book your public or private Goldmine tour here.
Nina Valkhoff is an illustrator and muralist from Rotterdam,The Netherlands. She has been working as a professional muralist for over 20 years with works in Sweden, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands, Argentina, Portugal, Mexico, France and Ireland.
Making big mural paintings is her passion. She loves to cover her walls with plants and animals, especially with endangered species in order to make people aware of their existence, to show the beauty of these animals and to point out our selective love for the cute or more common animals.
Besides making murals, she likes painting animals on vintage leather bags. In this way she re-purposes them by giving them a new soul and turning them into an unique piece of art.
Kitsune Jolene (Jolien De Waele, 1992*) is an upcoming street artist, based in Ghent, Belgium. After her studies in Visual Art & Architecture and an extended period as voluntary assistant to a few artists in the world of street art, she decided to pick up the spray can at the end of 2017. Today you can find her reaching from Belgium all the way to Portugal and Dubai. Usually painting portraits of women, animals, fauna and flora infused with subtle nods to various cultures and myths. On the side she participates in working with a handful of street art minded organizations in the Benelux.
Nuno Viegas is known for his photorealistic works. Inspired by the graffiti culture in which he grew up, he often paints gloves, T-shirts and masks; all elements that are recognisable to people who paint graffiti illegally. Today he works as a professional street artist, with work that subtly presents itself between street art and graffiti.
A Squid Called Sebastian (ASCS) was born in America and came into contact with street art and graffiti at an early age. In 1989 he moved with his parents to Belgium, where he followed an artistic training. The focus was on comic strip drawing, which sparked a penchant for Japanese and oriental drawings. In his current work he combines and translates his drawings and studio work into images, often with organic and animal subjects. Characteristic for this artist are also the oriental inspired expressive masks, which are often part of his emotional and surrealistic world. His murals are full of symbolism where a story, personal or otherwise, is attached.
Street artist and fine art artist from Antwerp now living in Ghent, researching the individuals travel through life in a colourful and sometimes psychedelic way.
Sammie alias Simian is an illustrator and muralist, based in a small city Dordrecht in the Netherlands. Painting since the early 2000s, the murals and illustrations produced by Simian have made a huge transformation with recognizable signature line work. His passion in the craftmanship behind arts turned his interests towards a broader field like acrylics and installations. Designing big sized decors, analog and digital studio work influenced his perspective and approach to murals and line work. He often uses a slight abstract composition using techniques from Art Nouveau and stereometry to set a certain ground for the collage-like adding of figurative space.