Open Call: Artistic commission - GC Nekkersdal

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As part of the community centre (GC) Nekkersdal construction project, the Flemish Community Commission (VGC) wishes to select an artist to realise an artistic commission.

An artist could be:

  • a professional artist
  • an existing collective of professional artists
  • a collective of professional artists formed for the occasion

The principal is the Flemish Community Commission. 

Framework for selecting the artist:


The architectural plan for the new site focuses on outdoor space at the expense of indoor space. Thus, the newly created semi-public space will play a major role in the visitor's experience. The Artistic commission Core group (KIO) has also drawn attention to this semi-public space and will emphasise it in the commission.


What is a semi-public space?

A semi-public space that is 'semi-open', but for 'everyone'!? As paradoxical as this may sound, we are curious to take a closer look at this cocktail of assumptions.

What does 'open' mean? And how do you halve that concept?
Where does 'public' begin when the space is partially closed? And who decides? 
Does 'everyone' mean all those who are human or are other beings also invited? How safe is the space for a snail, a forget-me-not, sleeping dogs or blue elephants and all others who deserve special supervision? And if it's not safe, can it still be claimed to be for everyone?

The new outdoor space, which will connect Boulevard Émile Bockstael to Rue Gustave Schildknecht, is considered semi-public. The grey area between accessibility for all and a safe space opens perspectives for many playful, artistic, political and experimental responses.

With the call for artistic proposals, we want to put the concept of semi-public on the line and ask what it can promise and what it cannot. We invite reflection on the fine line between different notions of safe and open, public and private, acceptable and tolerant.

What rules are needed for the Laeken community to be willing to follow that fine line?
Who is invited to be part of the audience?
How can artistic interventions organise different semi-public spaces in parallel?
How can semi-public spaces persist over time?
Who can benefit, who can accept and who should rebel against the various access points to a semi-public Nekkersdal?


First phase: Open Call

In the first phase, the KIO Core group offers artists the opportunity to send a concise response no later than 15 April 2024, focusing on the questions below, which will determine the selection.

  • MOTIVATION: What is your motivation for taking on this commission?
  • SEMI: What is your perspective on semi/semi-public?
  • BRUSSELS: What affinity do you have with an urban environment and with Brussels/Laeken in particular?
  • EXPERIENCE: Do you have experience in the field of (permanent) artistic commissions? And what is your artistic approach in open spaces?

Send your entry:

  • in Dutch
  • max 1 A4  
  • CV/portfolio
  • no later than 15 April 2024
  • to
  • with the subject: Open Call artistic commission - GC Nekkersdal

There is no fee for this submission.

Second phase: Shortlist

The KIO Core group will shortlist three to five artists. They will be awarded an artistic commission to deliver:

  • a site-specific artistic design with the following focal points, determining the award:
  1. ARTISTIC QUALITY: the degree to which the concept provides an artistic response to the commission
  2. ARCHITECTURE: interaction with architecture
  3. PARTICIPATION: involvement of the environment before or after installation
  4. COMMITMENT: contributing to collectivity
  5. SUSTAINABILITY: evolution over time
  6. ROBUSTNESS: standing the test of time
  • a rough image/sketch/maquette to give the commissioning party an idea of what the artwork would look like.
  • a quote with a rough estimate of the major components (fee, production cost, transportation, necessary permits, etc.)

For the timely and complete delivery of an artistic design, the artist will receive 750 euros.

Third phase: Award 

  • The artist who has submitted a fully fledged and timely artistic concept will verbally present the artistic concept to the KIO Core group.
  • By consensus, the KIO Core group will establish a ranking of artists to be considered for the artistic commission. It will prepare a reasoned recommendation for awarding the commission to the artist to the Board Member in charge of Culture, Youth and Sports.
  • After approval, an agreement will then be drawn up between the Principal and the artist


Artistic commission:

  • subject: artistic commission GC Nekkersdal
  • framework: construction project Nekkersdal site/Design & build assignment to construction team Debuild (contractor Democo and architectural firms OSK-AR and Zampone)
  • Principal: Flemish Community Commission
  • public procurement legislation applies
  • art budget (all inclusive): €45,000
  • Art in Commission Core group (KIO): delegates from the principal, users, architects team and two artistic advisors.

Procedure and timing:
(dates are indicative and may change depending on circumstances)

  • ​​​​​​deadline submission Open Call*: 15 April 2024
    submission by mail to VGC Kunsten:
    In the subject line, please state 'Open Call Artistic Commission GC Nekkersdal'
  • shortlisting by KIO Core group: 8 May 2024
  • writing shortlist with artistic commission: 15 May 2024
  • deadline for submissions of artistic concept with tender: 15 August 2024
  • presentation of artistic concepts: 15 September 2024
  • award to the artist: 15 October 2024
  • realisation of construction project, including artwork: March 2027

*If necessary, please read information about the renovation here. Please note: In this phase, no compensation is anticipated so no plans are expected to be studied or concrete ideas developed just yet. This is for phase 2 where a fee of 750 euros is provided for a detailed artistic concept.

Need information? Please contact:

  • VGC Kunsten, Els De Greef coordinator Art in Commission VGC,
    Tel: +32 (0)475 56 56 23
  • GC Nekkersdal, Dorien Herremans,  Nekkersdal Centre Manager,
    Tel: +32 (0)2 421 80 60, +32 (0)490 52 39 65