The Flemish Ardennes puts Vincent van Gogh in the spotlight: “With fiery art and sunflowers” (Geraardsbergen)

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In the summer of 1879, Vincent van Gogh moved from Borinage to the Flemish Ardennes in search of himself and the artist’s life. This story is the starting point for the culture project Fire inside me. Van Gogh in the Flemish Ardennes. The initiator is Variant, the inter-municipal cooperation for culture and heritage in the Flemish Ardennes, which is active in Brakel, Geraardsbergen, Herzele, Horebeke, Kluisbergen, Kruisem, Lierde, Maarkedal, Oudenaarde, Ronse, Wortegem-Petegem, Zottegem and Zwalm. In spring and summer, many activities will take place in these municipalities through the eyes of Van Gogh, from lectures, workshops and creative studios to book shows, exhibitions and art.


Vincent van Gogh is the inspiration for vzw Profo, an organization committed to promoting opportunities for vulnerable youth in society. With the support of Variant and artist Johan Tahun, and in collaboration with street art artists in Ghent-Wallen, young people have translated their fire into huge murals. Their creations can be seen inside and outside the building on Eineplein in Eine.

“Art always has an impact on people, and our young people are no different,” says Frankie Healy, Principal of Profo. “We have already noticed that free expressions appeal to our young people, especially when you can involve things from their environment, such as graffiti. Some discover a creative outlet and a whole new side of themselves through these workshops. We also had very positive exchanges with Johan Tahun, a person Very sociable, last school year. We found him the perfect professional to do this project with.”

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The colors of the Flemish Ardennes are yellow

“We are very happy that Profo is using the project with such enthusiasm to support vulnerable youth,” says Lien Urmel, Variant coordinator. “An excellent start to the many actions through which, together with our project partners, we will put Van Gogh on the map of the Flemish Ardennes in the coming months.”

The collection also includes the “IVY” contemporary art course, where curator Johan Tahon takes you in the footsteps of van Gogh and his horological mentor Abraham Petersen. Heritage Societies, Welfare and Youth Organizations, and Part-Time Art Education Author Lander Deweer will also work on art, psychology, and extension topics and share their findings with the public. Plus, the mountains of the Flemish Ardennes will turn yellow in summer thanks to sunflowers, Van Gogh’s iconic image, that municipalities will plant together in Variant.

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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