Try this unusual city walk in Stavanger. Search for large murals on building facades and understand why Stavanger has become internationally known in the Street Art movement.
What to discover?
Some would call this graffiti, but it’s more than that. It was in 2001 that the art initiative Nuart started. In 2005 it became an annual festival focused on street art. Each year international artists gather to leave their marks on the outdoor street scene as well as participating in indoor exhibits at Tou Scene.
Check out the website of the Nuart Festival for more information. They describe themselves like this: “The Festival is based in Stavanger on the West Coast of Norway. In addition to a multitude of both sanctioned and unsanctioned public art works, Nuart also stages one of the most anticipated exhibitions of the year. The exhibition is held at Tou Scene’s Ølhallene”.
Boy passing a street art mural in Stavanger – Artist: Hush
This is art and not at all like the annoying “tagging” on bike sheds and building walls. These are serious national and international (street) artists, in an organized program with inspiring themes and messages. Images are partly very large and may cover entire building facades. Recurring artist names are Dolk (NO), Swoon (USA), Evol (DE), Logan Hicks (USA), David Choe (USA), VHILS (PT), Blek Le Rat (FR), Nick Walker (UK) and Dotmaster (UK).
It is not always easy to see everything up close. The artwork may be too large. This image was taken from the City Bridge. Artist: Roa
As with the Broken Column art project in Stavanger, street art is an excellent opportunity to explore the city in a new way, by foot or by bike. Some works of art can be found to the west and south of the city centre and some in the middle. Many, however, are laid out quite nicely from the centre through the street called Pedersgata (and side streets) all the way to Tou Scene, at the far east of the city centre. Allow at least one hour just to walk the distance. You could spend hours walking up and down the streets to locate them all. Some are small and quite obscure.
Have a look at this Flickr page for a wide variety of photographs. On Instagram you will find many photos with the hashtag #streetartstavanger.
This boy with a megaphone is standing between the buildings at Tou Scene. Artist: Dolk.
Below is my map with around 150 registered works of art from 2006 to 2016. (Pieces from 2012 and before are grouped under the “12” markers, and the rest of the numbers corresponds to year, 13 is 2013 and so on.) The map is based on material from Nuart. Some artwork that I have photographed is not listed on the map, and some may no longer exist. This is the nature of street art, it is not designed to last.
It is possible to zoom in and out out the map, move it and click on the markers for information. The map can be enlarged to full screen (in Google Maps). There are instances of street art elsewhere the region, but only the centre of Stavanger is included in the map to facilitate reading.
Here are more pictures. Click to enlarge and browse.
(This article is also available in Norwegian, on Sandalsand’s Norwegian language subdomain. You will find even more images there.)