For the third time running, Belgian’s largest coastal city forms the backdrop for the popular art festival The Crystal Ship. Specially for this unique event, over fifteen (inter)national street artists will create outsized murals and art installations using the City by the Sea as their canvas. The new artworks will be created in the first week of the Easter holidays. They will become a permanent addition to the forty larger and hundreds of smaller creations which resulted from the two prior editions as of 7 April. Together they form an impressive artistic trail throughout Ostend.
The project has generated great enthusiasm since the very beginning.Ostend welcomed 100,000 interested parties and art lovers to the first two editions. The residents of Ostend themselves enjoy the art festival as well. More than 200 residents offered up their facades for the last two editions. Again this year, owners of large and small walls are welcome to participate via www.visitoostende.be/mijnmuur.
“The aim of The Crystal Ship is to bring art closer to people, to residents. Our approach is to have artists do their thing in the centre of town, right on neighbourhood walls, in all the places where people live, work, etc. The first two editions of The Crystal Ship have proved that art in Ostend is right there next to you, accessible, and that this was and is enormously appreciated," according to the proud mayor Johan Vande Lanotte.
The curator of The Crystal Ship Bjørn Van Poucke is hard at work on the line-up, figuring out exactly which walls to match up with which artists.The line-up is not yet complete, but we do know already that A Squid Called Sebastian (BE), Colectivo Licuado (URY), Jaune (BE), Joachim (BE), Matthew Dawn (BE), Milu Correch (AR), Oak Oak (FR), Telmo & Miel (NL) and Zoer x Velvet (FR) will be coming to put their mark on Ostend.
Once again for this third edition, Ostend will bring in fresh young artists.A focus on young talent allows creative minds to show off their designs across the city.
The Ostend Tourist Centre (Monacoplein 2) will function as this year’s central (starting) point! Visitors can enjoy a drink on Langestraat during the opening ceremony, and the Facebook page for Visit Oostende will feature daily updates covering the event.
Thanks to the new cycling and walking route linking all the artwork from the various editions, visitors can experience The Crystal Ship even more enjoyably. The littlest ones haven’t been forgotten either: The Crystal Ship Kids Guide takes them on a free cultural adventure through Ostend, for a kid-sized version of the event!
The City by the Sea comes by its name honestly. Belgian’s largest coastal city offers a tidal wave of activities: from annual cultural festivals such as Theater aan Zee and Oostende voor Anker to enduringly great films at the Ostend Film Festival, shows at Kursaal Oostende and street art at its finest during The Crystal Ship.Fashionistas can enjoy a Sunday shopping expedition here as well. The birthplace of the famous painter James Ensor is a popular destination. That’s only to be expected though for the city where Marvin Gaye wrote his monster hit Sexual Healing. For more information, see visitoostende.be.