It greens even without plants
(kus) That's how we know the GrünGürtel: meadows, forests, ponds and small rivers. An oasis that surrounds Frankfurt. But it also includes less attractive places. For example, a motorway underpass - gloomy and grey. The GrünGürtel project group has not let this rest. Together with the RhineMain Regional Park and the Naxosatelier of the municipal child, youth and family welfare service, they launched a project to redesign the motorway underpass in the Volkspark Niddatal. The goal: More green even without plants.
This has succeeded in an impressive way. 24 graffiti artists - among others from Mexico, Venezuela and Portugal - transformed the 36 concrete pillars into colourful works of art in workshops with young people from Frankfurt. On Thursday, 26 October, Rosemarie Heilig, head of the Environment Department, opened the "Graffiti Gallery in the GreenBelt".
"In the past, people just wanted to walk or cycle through here really quickly. Now walkers or cyclists like to stop to look at the works of art. An awkward place has become an interesting open-air gallery," said the city councillor.
Jutta Wippermann, authorised signatory of the Regional Park Society, was delighted with the successful project: "The Frankfurt GreenBelt, the heart of the Regional Park, has developed into a place in the Rhine-Main region that inspires enthusiasm for nature and the environment. Not only can you experience the exciting urban landscape here, but from here you can also explore the entire Rhine-Main region on the numerous Regional Park routes. Together, we have created another exciting excursion destination with this new project in Frankfurt's GrünGürtel."
The idea for the graffiti workshops came about as part of the anniversary program for the 25th anniversary of the GrünGürtel in 2016. Under the direction of the Naxosatelier, young people designed the first columns under professional guidance in an initial action in July of that year. The action was so well received that it was decided to design all 36 columns under the bridge from bottom to top as a "Graffiti Gallery in the GrünGürtel".
In spring 2017, the artists began their work again. The 36 once grey columns gradually became 36 individual works of art. The result is a colorful mix of graphic motifs as well as comic-like and naturalistic depictions. Places, motifs and scenes from the GrünGürtel, such as the Goethe Tower, the Nidda habitat and the GrünGürtel animal are depicted on some of the columns. Also typical Frankfurttensia can be discovered: the Grüne Soße, the Bembel and the Rindswurst.
The last piece was designed on Thursday by the artist GÜN. In all, the sprayers used up 600 spray cans and 250 litres of facade paint with the youngsters. The cost of the project, 25,000 euros, is covered two-thirds by Regionalpark Ballungsraum RheinMain GmbH, which is supported by Fraport AG, and one-third by the city of Frankfurt from the GrünGürtel budget.