A couple of weeks ago, I was surfing around the Twittersphere when the tweet bellow caught my eye. Eindhoven, the fifth largest city in the Netherlands, is less than an hour drive from Nijmegen, my current home base. So when I learned that Step in the Arena is one of the biggest graffiti events in Europe, I knew this was the perfect opportunity for a family day trip.
This year, the event took place on the 6th and 7th of June at the Berenkuil, a traffic circle near the Eindhoven University of Technology. On this edition of the festival — its sixth —, Step in the Arena brought together over 200 artists coming from the Netherlands and abroad. One of the things that makes this event special is that during one summer weekend you get to watch the artists create their works.
We visited the festival on Sunday, its last day. It was a gorgeous, sunny day and the atmosphere at the event was festive and relaxed. There was music, all kinds of people admiring the artworks, and children playing with spray paint cans. Our little baby seemed to enjoy the festival as well. She was very curious about the whole thing. That was another nice thing about this festival. It makes graffiti very accessible for all public, children included.
Also, I got to see works by artists that I was not familiar with. For example, there were a couple of portraits by Brazilian artist Sipros that stood out because of their impressive realism. I loved the details in this works; specially the reflections on the guy’s sunglasses. If you’d like to know more about Sipros, here’s an interview from a couple of years ago. You can also find him on Facebook.
In the end, I was very glad to visit Step in the Arena as it was happening. This Eindhoven street art festival gives you the chance to see from up close the creative process that goes into these murals. If you are in the area when it takes place next time, don’t miss it! And if you are visiting Eindhoven, pass by the Berenkuil and check out these awesome works.
Have you been to any graffiti events in Europe? How did you like it? Share your answers with us in the comments section!