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Space for art

… along the railroad tracks


What art do you know of that you can see from the train? In the fourth instalment of the Space for Art video series, we visited an artwork along the railroad tracks, on the wall of the EDAH Museum and the Barrel Organ Museum in Helmond. This video is an introduction to the projects and to the community of QKunst. After each episode, we offer a behind-the- scenes look via an in-depth article, this time: art along the railroad tracks.

QKunst’s role in … art along the railroad tracks

In 2019, QKunst celebrated 15 years of existence, and we treated ourselves to art. Whereas we usually work on behalf of the government or a company, this time we were the client. Because people know the public space around their own living or working environment better than anyone else, we launched an open call to ask anyone who was interested to suggest a location. We received suggestions for diverse locations, both in the Netherlands and abroad, with great reasons why space for art could make a difference in that specific spot. For the winning sites, QKunst formulated the commission, nominated suitable artists to the art committees that were formed for the occasion and supervised the sketch design.

QKunst chose the location in Helmond from the various submissions in part because of its location in a railroad area. Railroads have long been blind spots in the urban fabric and were sometimes even no-go areas, but recently, in many major cities, they have transformed into high-value gateways to the city.

Railroad areas in development

In Helmond, the station, and the area around it were also reconfigured in recent years. The development of the railroad area is still ongoing: in time, cultural and recreational facilities around the canal and in the railroad area will be further developed. They will become attractive areas, partly due to the presence of industrial heritage. The EDAH Museum and the Barrel Organ Museum are located in one of those special industrial buildings along the railroad tracks, the former Van Gend & Loos building.

The design for the 100-meter-long mural by artist Gino Bud Hoiting, chosen by the Helmond art committee, has finally been realised. In the new video of the Space for Art series, Véronique Baar, founder of QKunst, speaks with Tonny Raaijmakers, an EDAH Museum board member, about what Space for Art has meant to the museum. ‘Every day, 7,000 train passengers travel past this mural, so the work is seen a lot, and that definitely adds something: it has revamped the building and is part of the transformation of the whole area.’

Haven’t seen the video about art along the railroad tracks yet? Watch it here!