Kunsttas 2019 has been unveiled – an initiative of Marije van Veen of estate agents Accolade Makelaars and Diana Meijers of frame makers Meijers Lijsten. A tradition of many a year, the Kunsttas (ArtBag) lends expression to the relationship shared and cherished between Bergen and the arts. One side of the bag is the domain of a visual artist, the other of a poet or writer from Bergen.

This year, the versatile Lieke Zwijsen and writer and musician Peter van Vleuten join the ranks of a distinguished group of artists who have adorned the bags in the past: Adriaan Roland Holst, Theo Olthuis, Eric Winder, Bastiaan Woudt, Hans van Draanen, Marcel Schellekens, Youp van ‘t Hek and Margje and Sjoerd Kuyper to name but a few.

Lieke’s work is pictured and speaks for itself; I’ve taken the liberty to translate Peter’s verse:

Hier penseelt de dichter
zijn woorden tot een beeld,
de zanger beitelt zinnen
luidkeels tot een verhaal.
Kijk maar, hoor maar.
Here the poet brushes
his words into a shape,
the singer sculpts sentences
out loud into a tale.
Behold, hear tell.

The bags are on sale for just a couple of euros throughout Bergen until October’s Kunst10daagse art festival. And they’re collector’s items, so go get yourself one!