Last month, we went on a two-week road trip around Wallonia, the French-speaking region of southern Belgium. Since we were going that way, we made a stop in the capital of the Belgian province of Limburg, to check out the street art in Hasselt. And I’m glad we did, it turns out there are lots to see.
Since we didn’t have much time to explore the city, we did a quick online search and found a map with some of the murals of past street art festivals. Surprisingly, some of these amazing works are from 2011 and they are still in perfect shape. They look like they were painted recently. In some other cities, a mural from 2011 would have already disappeared under a new creation or, even worse, it would have been tagged to death. I guess this shows how much appreciation street art gets in Hasselt.
Also, it was great to discover some artists that I had never seen before, like James Cochran (AKA Jimmy C). The first thing I noticed about his portrait mural was the harmonious look and the mellow colors. When I went to see his work from up close, I was blown away by his technique. Instead of lines and traces he uses blobs of spray paint to create his images.
Just around the corner, there was another mural that I found very interesting by Sozyone. What I love about this piece is that you cannot immediately tell what it is. You sort of have to step back and look at the whole thing twice to see what’s up. Funnily, when I asked Edwin what he saw, his answer took me by surprise. He said it was a goat!
At Hasselt’s central station, there is another mural I loved. This one is by Dutch artist Eelco van den Berg. I really like his style, how he combines lines and forms with different textures. His murals are colorful and feature fantastic animals.
Hasselt was also great to see murals by some old-time favorite artists. Hidden on a quiet residential street in the city centre, there is a huge mural by Spanish artist Aryz. It was not easy to find, but it’s well worth the detour. My favorite mural of all is a giant owl piece by Belgian artist ROA. That shouldn’t be a surprise since I’m a big fan of his monochrome animal figures.
Overall, we were happy to spend the first day of our road trip here, walking around to discover the many treasures of street art in Hasselt. If you are traveling around this area and want to see some great murals, there are a few cities that are close to each other and have a good selection of street art: Hasselt, Liège, Heerlen and Genk.
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any recommendations of other places to see great street art in Europe, please let us know in the comments section below. Happy travels!