Exploring Amsterdam’s Street Art Museum
for this week’s Street Art Corner
I still remember seeing the first images of the new Street Art Museum Amsterdam online, images of the below mural in progress. While Pau Quintanajornet was working on her piece of art, people from the whole neighbourhood regularly stopped by to see the progress she was making, curious while welcoming this new street art initiative in Amsterdam’s Nieuw-West neighbourhood.
Amsterdam Nieuw-West usually isn’t the first place to visit for tourists during a trip to the Dutch capital, in fact even Amsterdammers themselves rarely or never come this way – unless they of course live here. Until not too long ago there was indeed little in this part of town to venture out the city centre for, some occasional festivals being the exceptions. With the new Street Art Museum we believe there is a good reason for a change.
The Street Art Museum Amsterdam (SAMA) is initiated by the Ukrainian born Anna Stolyarova, who lives in Amsterdam Nieuw-West now for over fourteen years already and who after a career change decided to follow her heart and passion for street art and art in general, which has resulted in this magnificent street art project.
While being guided along the different murals in Nieuw-West by the driven Anna herself not only the stunning murals kept surprising us. The stories behind the murals, about the creation process, the street artists who painted them and the openness of the inhabitants of Nieuw-West towards this project were as interesting, entertaining and often heart-warming.
That is what makes this project extra special for us. The Street Art Museum Amsterdam is not only about colouring up a neighbourhood. It is as much about the social aspects it brings with it, ranging from the interaction with the locals – for example while petitioning for yet another mural -, to the involvement of local artists who are offering their artistic skills. For those who are joining one of Anna’s guided tours an awful lot can be learned not only about the street art, but also about this lesser known part of Amsterdam, a totally different side of the city, far away from the canals.
The murals you’ll find in SAMA have been carefully curated by its director (Anna Stolyarova), making sure they’d fit in with the neighbourhood and meet a certain level of quality. Quite unique for the open air museum is that it almost exclusively focuses on Latin American muralism and street artists like Stinkfish, Btoy and Skount all came to Amsterdam to work on walls around Nieuw-West. Some murals in the museum will have only a limited lifetime, because of plans to demolish certain buildings in the area, making place for new and modern constructions.
While you’re in Amsterdam, make sure to visit the Street Art Museum Amsterdam. It’s one of those hidden treasures you’ll not often come across and which gives a possibility for a different kind of learning experience. By the way, the tour is just as interesting for locals, so if you live in Amsterdam and you read this, take your chance, it gives you the possibility to widen your views about the city you live in. A tour takes about 3 hours and can be done cycling or walking. You can book your tour here.
This article is part of our ‘Street Art Corner’ series during which we take you to different street art locations around the world. Would you like to contribute to the Street Art Corner series? Just send us a message at wkndr (at) artweekenders (dot) com. We love to see more street art crossing our paths, either on the net or in real life.
Previously in this series:
- Street Art from Bogota, Colombia
- Street Art from Valencia, Spain
- Street Art from Valparaiso, Chile
- Street Art from Riga, Latvia
- Street Art from Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Street Art from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil