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Project news | 11 artists from 11 countries design 11 fountains in 11 Frisian cities

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Project news | 11 artists from 11 countries design 11 fountains in 11 Frisian cities

LEEUWARDEN - We made it: the 11 artists for the 11 fountains in the 11 cities of Friesland are complete. They come from 11 different countries and together represent the best of the international art world. The choices were made with careful consideration as to which artist best fitted the history and contemporary life of each city, and which location was best as a crossroad where communities come together.

In most of the cities the first contact was with those representing local interest groups as well as the (artistic) organisations of each city. At the time of going to press, 8 of the 11 cities have set up a so-called ‘fountain committee’. In consultation with local residents they have arranged a special programme to welcome ‘their’ artist, offering him or her the opportunity to present their work to the city’s residents.

So far 8 of the artists have visited their cities and returned, totally inspired, to their studios. Some of the artists have already shared their designs publicly, such as in Leeuwarden and Dokkum. The rest are expected in the spring of this year.

Meanwhile schoolchildren in Sloten have designed their own fountain and shown their design in the local museum and other outreach programmes are being set up, meetings with local boards have taken place, official working groups have been set up, and local and regional partners are being approached.

We are now working on a variety of national and international platforms to promote the 11 Fountains - a project which joins the 11 beautiful cities together in a unique journey, inspiring cultural tourism in new ways and, at the same time, showing Friesland as the international leader of innovative water technology.

The artists and their cities are:

1/ Jaume Plensa (Spain) for Leeuwarden

2/ Stephan Balkenhol (Germany) for Sneek

3/ Shinji Ohmaki (Japan) for IJlst

4/ Jorge & Lucy Orta (Argentina / Great Britain) for Sloten

5/ Mark Dion (USA) for Stavoren

6/ Cai Guo-Qiang (China) for Hindeloopen

7/ Pascale Marthine Tayou (Cameroon) for Workum

8/ Johan Creten (Belgium) for Bolsward

9/ Yinka Shonibare MBE (Great Britain / Nigeria) for Harlingen

10/ Jean-Michel Othoniel (France) for Franeker

11/ Birthe Leemeijer (The Netherlands) for Dokkum