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The NDSM-Werf (former Amsterdam docks) in the northern part of Amsterdam has rapidly become a breeding ground for creativity, graffiti & street art.
In fact, it is considered the largest street art hub in the Netherlands and is set to gain even more significance as the largest street art museum in Europe will be opened here either at the end of this year or next year. As Aruba has a flourising (street) art scene in San Nicolas, resulting from the first Aruba Art Fair held in 2016, A.T.A. NL collaborated with Street Art Today, the creative agency responsible for all creative projects on the NDSM-Werf, to promote the fact that Aruba is a destination worth considering not just for its beaches, but now also for its art scene and in particular its street art scene.
We hired two Aruban street artists, Robert Solognier and Garrick Marchena (who lives in Curacao) to come to the Netherlands and create a spectacular mural incorporating ancient Indian drawings as a reminder of Aruba’s original history, as well as Aruba’s unique fauna. This resulted in a blue mural illustrating the ocean and the island bursting with colour and against the blue backdrop Robert created a beautiful sea turtle, while Garrick created the Aruban parakeet the ‘prikichi’. Garrick is also responible for the prikichi mural in San Nicolas, while Robert has created three murals in San Nicolas. Aruba Dushi Tera was drawn on the mural using ancient Indian typography.
The end result was presented at the Kings Spray Street Art Festival on Kingsday along with the newly created murals by other street artists from around the world. The Aruba mural was part of an Aruba Art square also depicting five photos of beautiful murals in San Nicolas, to showcase San Nicolas as a street art hub, with details on where people could see the murals and who the artists are.
In addition, we hired two Aruban carnival dancers and an Aruban DJ to provide a tropical Aruban vibe to the festival. Furthermore, in order to provide more context to the ancient Indian drawings, a kids workshop was given at the Aruba art square by the two artists in which kids could paint Indian symbols using finger paint on special foam with an earth like colour in a special box that contained information and visuals on the Indian drawings that can be found in Aruba.
The Aruban mural will be on display on the NDSM-Werf for an extended period of time and will be moved to a different part of the premises when the street art museum is opened.