The project “Patchwwwork” runs parallel with the Watou Arts Festival. It’s an open call for professional artists and final year bachelor or master students in an art program. Curator Koen Vanmechelen and the city of Poperinge invite you to spend a number of days in Watou during the summer of 2023. The number of participants in this project will be limited to a maximum of fifteen per research period. Registration is required.

Send us your motivation to participate in Patchwork. We also expect a curriculum vitae and a selection of up to 3 past projects, in English. Your motivation, CV and selection of 3 past projects will be provided as one PDF file of maximum 10 pages. Your application will only be considered as admissible if it contains all the above elements.

A jury will select the participants, based on the motivation, CV and portfolio.

“Watou, located on a linguistic and cultural border, serves as an inspiration for many artists. The similarities with my own culture site LABIOMISTA are countless. Genk is a city that consists of a patchwork of villages and hamlets. In Watou it is also necessary to connect the local wealth and global context in a fertilizing way, and in a way that will strengthen the balance rather than disturb it. My working method in both communities is based on the philosophy of the Cosmopolitan Chicken Project. Letting elements search for each other to give fertilization. The Watou nest, at the crossroads of poetry, landscape, and agriculture is an ideal place for responding to and involving the local community. Searching for a new way of farming, of building and connecting with boots on the ground and the view beyond the horizon.” (Koen Vanmechelen, inspirator)

The established research periods are:

  • 11 July – 14 July 2023 (three nights: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)
  • 8 August – 11 August 2023 (three nights: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)

Participation in the research project will occur by candidacy, followed by a selection. A professional jury, chaired by Koen Vanmechelen, will select the participants, based on the CV, portfolio and motivation. After all, the number of participants per research period will be limited to 15.

The participants will be able to use the accommodation (kitchen, sanitary facilities, workspace, Wi-Fi). Tents and mattresses will be available. Each participant will receive an expense allowance of 300 Euro.  This remuneration will be paid after participation in the research project.

After the Watou immersion, the participants will be asked to submit a project proposal for the Watou Arts Festival 2024 Edition. A jury, chaired by Koen Vanmechelen, will make a selection from this for the 2024 edition. This proposal includes a concept of content as well as an elaborated budget. Whosoever makes this final selection will receive a budget of 5 000 Euro to finalize and realize their concept. Included: fee and production cost. The modalities for this will be established in an agreement between the artist and the organization.

  1. Conditions for candidacy

    • The “Patchwwwork” Open Call is open to all professional artists from all disciplines and to final year bachelor or master students at an art school (all disciplines), nationally or internationally.
    • You can register as an individual, or as a collective (maximum 3 people).
    • Candidate participants from all countries are welcome.
  1. Registration

    • Candidates can only register on the website via the section “Open Call”.
    • By registering, the candidates accept the competition rules and regulations.
    • Documents to be submitted: motivation letter, CV and portfolio.
    • Registration will be open as from 10 March 2023 close on 20 April 2023 at noon, 12 o’clock.
    • Registrations will be validated by e-mail.
  1. Conditions for registration

    • Digital submission.

The registration is sent digitally, exclusively via the form on the website

    • Language.

The registration may be submitted in Dutch or in English. A registration in Dutch must be accompanied by a synopsis in English.

  1. Submitting project proposals for the Watou Arts Festival 2023 Edition

    • Only the participants who took part in the Patchwork research project can submit a project proposal.
    • The deadline for submissions is set at 29 September 2023 at noon, 12 o’clock.
    • The project proposal must be submitted to the office of the Watou Arts Festival, Grote Markt 1, 8970 Poperinge.
  1. Jury

    • The selection of the participants in the research project will be done by a jury, chaired by Koen Vanmechelen. The composition of the jury will be announced on the website.
    • Project proposals for the Art Festival 2024 Edition will be selected by the same jury as stipulated in 5.a.
    • The jury will not be authorized to make its recommendations public. The organizer will adopt the advice of the jury and inform each participant in writing.
    • The jury’s decision will be conclusive. No correspondence will be entered into with regards to the final selection.
  2. Communication regarding the open call

    • Launch

The open call will be launched on 10 March 2023. The website will be the platform, but the call will also be launched in the press, at art courses in higher education and on specialized websites, such as and

    • Announcement
      • Announcement of participants in the research project: 2 June 2023. The participants will be notified individually. This announcement will not be made publicly.
      • Announcement of laureates for the Watou Arts Festival 2024 Edition: December 2023. These laureates will also be announced on the festival website and in the press. The organizer will have the right to publish images (sketches or designs) of the submitted project proposals in all communication channels and in press releases about the project. The copyright will always be stipulated correctly, or passed on to the press.
  1. Disputes

All matters not provided for in the regulations must be submitted to the organizer (City of Poperinge). The organizer will make a final decision in this regard. By participating, you declare, as a participant, that you agree with the regulations.

  1. Personal data

The personal data provided by the candidates will be utilized to be able to contact the artists. This data will not be kept longer than necessary. Personal data will not be passed on to third parties.

  1. Any further questions?

Please contact project coordinator Annemie Morisse,

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