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ARPIA

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

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Several ideas to set up an art project in the Community of Herzele, Belgium, were brought together in the summer of 2009. The municipality was asking specifically for a project focusing on contemporary art. Several inhabitants, specialised in diverse fields of theory and practice, were playing with ideas and scenarios for an art project outside the usual urban context. Both aims and ideas came together and resulted in the formation of a non-profit association called ‘Arpia’, in order to move from theory to practice.

The purpose of this group was to set up a project in close collaboration with the Municipality of Herzele, using art to bring people into a closer relationship with their environment. Located on the verge of urban and rural landscapes, Herzele (population 17,000, between Brussels and Ghent), was a perfect working area.

The concept of the project was sharpened through discussions and resulted in the boldly stated: Art with Landscape. During the summer, lots of activities were organised to enlarge the impact of the works of art and to connect them with performance, music, lectures, science, etc. in order to stay contemporary, alive and sometimes even kicking! Ecology is a main concern of the project, but it also aims to go beyond that. To make people take greater care of the environment, you must let them feel that they are living in the middle of it and that it is a part of themselves. That is why, for the official launch of ‘Arpia’, the following sentence was recurring in every piece of promotion (flyers, posters, website, etc.): ‘How I learned to stop worrying and love the landscape’.

The first edition, the ‘pilot’, kicked off on 11 September 2010. Four impressive works of art were presented on the site of an old brick kiln, a valuable and fascinating piece of rural industry. The artists were Belgian, Swiss and German. Through activities such as walks, workshops, performances, brunches, etc. ‘Arpia’ reached a wide range of people. Locals were addressed, farmers were partnered with, as well as schools, local companies, universities and the local kringwinkel (comparable to a charity shop). Collaborations were set up on these different levels. The ‘Arpia-project’ was one of 100 exemplary projects that were selected for publication in the series Crosstalks by the Free University of Brussels, with the title ‘We Can Change the Weather: 100 cases of Changeability’.

The ecological mainframe is translated into every aspect of the project. The works of art have to integrate themselves into their environment and be built of natural, site-specific or found materials. During the events, there will be as little impact on the environment as possible, using materials that respect nature and fit into the story of the surrounding landscape. The focus, is through the art works and the activities, on processes (growth and decline) and the rhythm of nature, on the bond between humans and nature, and encompassing all that, on our own future.

Award info
Award category: going green
Award type: submission
Award year: 2011
Project type
Sector: Sports, youth, culture and art
Type of activity:
Keywords: Arpia, art with landscape
Short English description: The concept of the project was sharpened through discussions and resulted in the boldly stated: Art with Landscape. During the summer, lots of activities were organised to enlarge the impact of the works of art and to connect them with performance, music, lectures, science,

etc. in order to stay contemporary, alive and sometimes even kicking!

Further information
Organisation: Municipality of Herzele
Other applicants:
Homepage: http://www.arpia-art.be
Level of government: local level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved: 6-10
Country: Belgium
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:


ARPIA (50.8844691, 3.8931854)
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