Street Art Skalo is an initiative undertaken by a group of creatives working in the Scharloo area who all earn a living with their creativity. They believe that art is business and that the creative sector on the island should be taken more seriously. The creative industry is an important one, but one that is often underestimated.
Near Anna Bay Street, a delightful walk away from the souvenir shops in Punda, you can cross the pedestrian bridge into the Scharloo district to discover a succession of old colonial houses, street art and a melting pot of restored historic houses in juxtoposition to some rather dilapidated ones. In the past few decades, many of these century-old homes have been restored into galleries, art studios, office buildings, museums and restaurants. A guided walking tour through Skalo is a great way to imbibe the characteristics of this spruced up district and also gain a better understanding of how Curaçao has helped its people be proud of this neighborhood again.
You can weave through the narrow streets of Skalo, pointing out to the many walls where talented artists express themselves with vibrant murals such as the Romanesque painting by Francis Sling on Bitterstraat. If you walk north behind the colorful row houses in Skalo, you’ll find a charming neighborhood with narrow, brick-paved roads. The talented street artists’ work is not limited to the facades of buildings, for it is in these narrow passes you’ll discover a neighborhood basketball court featuring every color of the rainbow. Prominently used in short films showcased at the 48 hour film festival, this arts-meets-athletes venue is one of a kind. Towards the end of the street, you will find a green and white house that is the home of the National Archives, also often referred to as the Wedding Cake house because of its ornate architecture. From the streets to the indoor galleries, street art has earned its reputation in Curaçao. This part of Willemstad now earns its identity as young, trendy and vibrant.