Sint-Pieters-Leeuw presents two inspiring murals focusing on the future of young people.

Sint-Pieters-Leeuw teamed up with the artist collective Treepack to realize two monumental murals. They again activated the artists Simon Mannaerts and Toon Van Ishoven to create an artwork in Ruisbroek and Negenmanneke. Over the past few weeks, Sint-Pieters-Leeuw has been lit up with public art to impress you. Central to this is the focus on the future of young people and the role they play in the growing society in the Brussels suburbs.

Packed for the future

After Sint-Pieters-Leeuw Municipality presented the idea to Treepack in 2021 to brighten up the outer wall of Sint-Stevensschool Negenmanneke with street art, a unique design called ‘Packed for the Future’ was developed. Sustainability, mobility and the future is what it’s all about. After enthusiastic approval from the mayor and the local school board, artist Toon Van Ishoven embarked on this challenging project.

The striking blue rucksack symbolizes the school as a place where ‘baggage’ can be acquired and where knowledge and experiences are acquired that equip children for the future. The paper airplanes that fly out of the bag, with playful children’s drawings on them, seem to blend in perfectly with the environment. A key ring is attached to the backpack that refers to the ‘Negenmannekes’ coin, which is well known in the municipality. In this way forms an interesting overlap between the past and the present. The future, growth and nature are evoked in the form of a large sunflower growing out of the rucksack. By using the hook on which the school bag hangs and the effect with shadows from below, the whole appears as spacious and hyper-realistic.

Toon Van Ishoven is a multimedia artist who has found his passion in creating stylish murals. Especially in the open air, he takes up the challenge of creating fantastic works and thus takes off as one of the more successful Belgian muralists. “I love to start painting again and again,” says Toon van Ishoven.

Headteacher Kathy Vanlinthout is also very excited about the new painting on her facade. “As a school, we are grateful that our wall was chosen by the municipality as one of the Street Art sites. We think the design is very successful and we are full of praise for the implementation of Treepack and Toon Van Ishoven. The big, yellow sunflower radiates warmth, and that is exactly what we as a school want to be: a warm school where children can feel at home and where they get the necessary baggage for the future! This mural is also the start of the school year and a series of renovations at the school.”

Children of the future.

In addition to the impressive statue in St-Stevensschool, another facade was decorated with a beautiful mural. The young artist Simon Mannaerts took up the challenge of creating an activating and connecting design that encourages children and young people to take on the many challenges of the future.

The future, sustainability and mobility are central to this work of art by Simon Mannaerts. In addition to the clear visualization using the bicycle as a means of transport, the sustainable character is translated by our young people.

Youth is the personification of the future and the challenges that future generations face. But the childish imagination can be an added value here. Young people are full of inventive ideas and motivation to make their environment a pleasant, safe and supportive place. This imagination and innovation is illustrated by using abstract round areas of color (the sun, the bicycle wheel, the imagination/child’s brain) that radiate positivity.

The bike is centrally located. This is to clearly show the efforts that the local government of Ruisbroek has made to make the central axis Fabriekstraat/Karel Gilsonstraat more traffic safe and by extension the whole of Ruisbroek. Due to the proximity to the school Jan Ruusbroec (and Wegwijzer), it was chosen to depict a child.

Jan Desmeth, mayor and culture officer, took the initiative to prepare a street art project together with Treepack. “With the first phase of this street art project, we want to achieve three goals: to brighten up the streetscape, offer culture and give a message. The first two sites were chosen in the center of Ruisbroek and Negenmanneke district. I am quite satisfied with the very successful end results. It will certainly make us think about the next step soon.” According to Mayor Jan Desmeth.

The mural in Ruisbroek will be officially inaugurated by the mayor on Tuesday 6 September at 1 p.m. The inauguration in Sint-Stevensschool follows at 15.00 followed by a drink and snack. All local residents, journalists and enthusiasts are welcome to join the festivities. Further information about the project can be obtained from the artist collective Treepack.

Treepack specializes in decorating public spaces. In recent years, they have transformed numerous buildings and public places with murals and street art into beautiful works of art. More and more, they use the power of current themes to create accessible art for a wide audience.

“The world is our canvas” Junes Bazouz, founder of Treepack.

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