Art in unexpected places in the city

Groningen does not as a rule exhibit its works of art at prominent places in the centre of interest. Instead, you will find many works of art in places you’d never expect. And although one is more easily distinguished than the other, some are only visible at certain times. We will share some of these with you now, but be sure to remain vigilant and keep on the lookout for more unexpected works of art.​

Portrait Jay of Dope D.O.D.

Alley near Simplon – The Groningen based hip hop crew Dope D.O.D. is world famous in the scene of hardcore rap and hip hop, but many residents of Groningen have never heard of the group. Artist Michel Velt decided to honor this Groningen hero by painting a huge portrait of him in the alley between the Boterdiep and Simplon.


Parking garage Forum Groningen - Wervel is an ingenious 20-meter LED sculpture hanging in the Forum garage. The artwork was created by the internationally acclaimed artist Nicky Assmann, and is inspired by a tornado. The forms follow the contours of the Forum's architecture. A wonderful composition of light, movement and imagination has emerged. 


Circus Clyde Takes You On A Journey

Korreweg – De Beren shopping centre in the Korrewegwijk district may not strike anyone as being particularly outstanding at first sight. This will change as soon as you see its most beautiful and colourful part, located underground. The beautiful graffiti painting on the access walls of the Parkeergarage Circus car park refers to its surroundings, the former circus grounds. Drivers pass animal figures as they enter a big top. Alderman Paul de Rook unveiled this work of art by Klaas Lageweg in November 2018.

Frog cycle

Hoge der A – A sculpture group consisting of six bronze ‘frogs’ marks the friendly De Sigaar outdoor café at the Hoge der A. This work of art by Jan Steen connects the outdoor café and the water in the A. The cycle starts with a tadpole that takes five steps to develop into a very personal and special interpretation of a frog: a jaunty amphibian with a long bill.

Farsi Largo/Making Space

Waagplein – The Waagplein is a central location where people like to stop for a chat. This inspired artist Janet Mullarney to create the work of art suspended above the Newscafé outdoor café. Farsi Largo/Making Space actually features two sculptures: a man and a woman connected by metal wire that represents the communication between two people. 

The Tschumipaviljoen

Hereplein – The shiny glass of the Tschumipaviljoen – a work of art French/Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi created in 1990 on the occasion of Groningen’s 950th anniversary – will catch your eye as you approach the Hereplein. The pavilion proved to be popular enough to retain it, and until today it is used as a presentation area featuring an updated programme. Over one hundred projects have been realised here, by artists from the Netherlands and other countries.

Under the bridge

Diepenring – Have you ever stopped to take in one of the bridges in the city? Works of art are displayed on the undersides of three Groningen bridges, and become visible only when the bridges are raised. The underside of the bridge by the Groninger Museum reveals delftware tiles displaying amusing scenes. Under the Oosterbrug, the ‘Gestadige beweging’ poem by Werkman can be read in aluminium letters, while those waiting for the Herebrug can feast their eyes on a photo depicting a Groningen harbour view printed on canvas. Who could ever think there could be so much fun in waiting for an open bridge to close.

Galgal Hamazalot

Folkingestraat – The Folkingstraat – once the centre of the Jewish neighbourhood – features an 11-piece work of art ‘in’ an inconspicuous place: the pavement of this busy shopping street shows the lunar cycle comprising eleven bronze moons from full moon to new moon. The moons have various meanings, one of them referring to the Jewish era. You can find four more works of art in this characteristic street, each one created to commemorate the years of war. 

Koolhaas and Olaf public conveniences

Reitemakersrijge – This remarkable urinal at the Reitemakersrijge – made from round opaline glass in 1996 – features photos by Erwin Olaf. The distinguishing aspect of this particular building is that it has a unit for men as well as women, each with their own entrance. At night, the two buildings are illuminated from the inside out, and when combined, they form the yin and yang symbol.

Ons Blauwe hart

Gelkingestraat – This cheerful tiled wall embellishes the entrance to the Gelkingestraat and provides access to just so many more places and objects of interest. Take a close look to see the QR codes hidden in this Delftware work of art. Use your telephone to scan the codes and get online inspiration by Groningen activities, music, poetry, stories and videos.

“Be sure to remain vigilant and keep on the lookout for more unexpected works of art.”

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