The Watou Arts Festival will celebrate its 40th edition in the summer of 2021. The research project “Patchwork” runs parallel with the festival. This is 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 2021. The number of participants in this project will be limited to a maximum of twenty per research period. Registration is required. A jury will select the participants, based on the motivation, CV and portfolio.

The established research periods are:

  • 20 July – 25 July 2021 (minimum three nights: Tuesay, Wednesday and Thursday)
  • 17 August – 22 August 2021 (minimum 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 20.

The participants will be able to use a central accommodation (kitchen, sanitary facilities, workspace, Wi-Fi). Camp beds will be available. It will also be allowed to bring your own tent. 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 2022 Edition. A jury, chaired by Koen Vanmechelen, will make a selection from this for the 2022 edition. Whosoever makes this final selection will receive a budget of 5 000 Euro to finalize and realize their concept. The modalities for this will be established in an agreement between the artist and the organization.

1. Conditions for candidacy

a. The “Patchwork” Open Call is open to all professional artists from all disciplines and to final-year bachelor or master students who follow an art program (all disciplines), nationally or internationally.

b. You can register as an individual, or as a collective (maximum 4 people).

c. Candidate participants from all countries are welcome.

2. Registration

a. Candidates can only register on the website

b. By registering, the candidates accept the competition rules and regulations.

c. Documents to be submitted: motivation letter, CV and portfolio.

d. Registration will be open as from 1 February 2021 and will run until 1 April 2021. Registrations will close on 1 April 2021 at 12 o’clock.

e. Registrations will be validated by e-mail.

3. Conditions for registration

a. Digital submission

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

b. Language

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

4. Submitting project proposals for the Watou Arts Festival 2022 Edition

a. Only the participants who took part in the Patchwork research project can submit a project proposal.

b. The deadline for submissions is set at 1 November 2021, 12 o’clock.

c. The project proposal must be submitted to the office of the: City of Poperinge, Watou Arts Festival, Grote Markt 1, 8970 Poperinge – Belgium, or digitally to

5. Jury

a. 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.

b. Project proposals for the Art Festival 2022 Edition will be selected by the same jury as stipulated in 5.a.

c. 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.

d. The jury’s decision will be conclusive. No correspondence will be entered into with regards to the final selection.

6. Communication regardering the open call

a. Launch

The open call will be launched on 1 February 2021. 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

b. Announcement

  • Announcement of participants in the research project: 1 May 2021. The participants will be notified individually. This announcement will not be made publicly.
  • Announcement of laureates for the Watou Arts Festival 2022 Edition: 15 December 2021. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. Any further questions?

Please contact project coordinator Annemie Morisse,

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