City Canvas: adding extra colour to the city

In honour of Utrecht’s 900th anniversary, City Canvas invited four young artists with Utrecht roots to design a wall painting for a specific location somewhere in the city. Four colourful public works of art have since appeared on the walls of flats and houses in the Kanaleneiland, Leidsche Rijn and Tuindorp districts, and the city centre. They’re well worth a detour.

Photo: Juri Hiensch

No title, Samira Charroud

Samira Charroud (1994), who has both Dutch and Moroccan roots, graduated from HKU University of the Arts Utrecht and now works as an illustrator and designer. Her untitled work was inspired by the bat boxes on the wall. The bats had to be taken into account while the mural was being painted, so an ecologist was asked to come up with a plan so that the little creatures wouldn’t be disturbed.
> Columbuslaan 255

Photo: Juri Hiensch

Curious/Courage, Opperclaes

Together, the artist duo Bruce Tsai-Meu-Chong (1983) and Linda van der Vleuten (1979) form the Opperclaes collective. Their wall painting now decorates the front and rear walls and the bike parking of De Klimroos primary school. This work of art conceals a very positive message: between the colourful shapes, you can make out the letters that spell the English words ‘courage’ and ‘curious’.
> Langerakbaan 231

Photo: Juri Hiensch

Night-time journey, Aafke Bouman

Aafke Bouman (1995) painted her ode to the night on the blind wall of a house in a side-street of Plompetorengracht. ‘It’s about wandering through a city at night and stumbling across mystical paths, and how fate can sometimes show you the way. It’s a magical surrealist image of the empty streets and squares that people remember from the lockdowns. It shows how we always somehow manage to find the path back to better times’, she explains.
> Molenstraat 2

Photo: Robert Oosterbroek

Lamérislaan, Vincent de Boer

On the side wall of the Lameris flat on Lamérislaan/Eykmanlaan, you’ll see the tallest wall painting in the city. Artist Vincent de Boer (1988) painted the 500 m2 masterpiece together with the Utrecht collective De Strakke Hand. Vincent gained international acclaim for the paintings he creates from typography and calligraphy. In his quest for the perfect brush stroke, he developed his own technique, which involves drawing horizontal brush lines on long strips of paper. He used this technique for his wall painting on the side of the Tuindorp flat. Although Vincent’s work is abstract, a lot of people can make out pixelated plants, tree roots and insects.
> Lamérislaan 4-156

Read more about City Canvas
Learn more about art in public spaces


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