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Open Earth Foundation is a non-profit Belgium-based organisation which fosters sustainable development and solidarity through art and education. Through its activities, the Foundation promotes and upholds the universal values of inclusion, tolerance and equality.

By attending our events or organising your own at Villa Jamblinne, you contribute to fulfilling the goals of the Open Earth Foundation and support its programmes.

 Children and artist Cristóbal Gabarrón finding inspiration.

Kids for Human Rights

June 14, 2022

Ukrainian kids participate in an art workshop by Spanish artist Cristobal Gabarron to raise awareness on Human Rights.

In the context of the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The Gabarron Foundation, the Open Earth Foundation and the refugee committee Ukrainian Voices are excited to announce an engaging Kids’ Art Workshop to protect, promote and monitor human rights.

This workshop, which will take place on 14 June from 14:00 to 17:30 at Ukrainian Community Center located (Rue du Commerce 44, 1000 Brussels) is part of the of the actions designed to promote the Global Drawing Competition Kids for Human Rights that celebrates the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Its goal is to empower children and students to enjoy their fundamental rights and freedoms thanks to the arts, in particular through the #Kids4HumanRights international art contest.

Artist Cristobal Gabarron said: “Creativity fosters mental growth in children, allows them to have new ideas, new ways of thinking, helps them cope with their problems and builds their self-esteem.”

About the project

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is teaming up with Spanish artist Cristobal Gabarron and the Gabarron Foundation and launched on December 9, 2022 an international drawing contest urging young people to reflect on the importance of human rights:

Kids for Human Rights is designed to inspire children between the ages of 10 to 14 ages produce creative artwork based on three possible themes: the human right they feel strongly about defending; a person they admire for his or her efforts in defending or promoting human rights; and how they, as individuals, can stand up for human rights in their own way.

This year’s 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights acts as a springboard for the global contest. Adopted in 1948, the Declaration is a milestone document that set out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected.

During the workshop, children will have the opportunity to experiment with different mediums, such as paints, crayons, and collage materials. They will also be introduced to various artistic techniques, enabling them to develop their skills and broaden their artistic horizons.

The Kids’ Art Workshop is open to children of all skill levels, from beginners to those with prior art experience. It offers a fantastic opportunity for young artists to learn, grow, and connect with fellow creative minds in a collaborative setting.

Ukrainian Voices RC is committed to following all local health and safety guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all participants. Adequate measures will be in place to maintain cleanliness, promote physical distancing, and provide a sanitized environment.

Exhibition opening: BCN-BXL Coderch – De Koninck: Beyond Time

November 26-28, 2021

The artists Bea Sarrias and Morrosko Vila-San-Juan present their new exhibition to connect the rationalist architecture of Coderch from Barcelona and Koninck from Brussels.

Two universes, two ways of understanding light, time and space. De Koninck is considered the best Belgian architect of the interwar period, while Coderch distinguished himself in post-war Spain as the architect of modernity. Both left their mark and their work is admired and studied today.

This new exhibition establishes a dialogue between the work of these two geniuses through painting and the audiovisual sector. Bea Sarrias’s paintings, drawings and sketches represent some of their most famous homes, both in Barcelona and in Brussels. On the other hand, Morrosko Vila-San-Juan presents a documentary that provides context through various films and interviews with architects and owners of houses designed by Coderch and de Koninck.

Bea Sarrias and Morrosko Vila-San-Juan have been developing the project and painting and filming iconic architecture for some time. Last July, they carried out an artistic residency in LaVallée (Brussels), thanks to the REOPENING BOXES! program of the Open Earth Foundation, and they developed this new artistic project with the support of the Cultural and Scientific Service (Spanish Embassy in Belgium ) and Martin’s Atelier gallery.

Learn more about this exhibition


October 2020

Following its objective of boosting cultural exchanges, Open Earth Foundation organised the Residence Program REOPENING BOXES during this summer at La Vallée. It was quite a challenge, since the severity of Covid-19 had im- posed restrictions to mobility. Nevertheless, there were dozens of applicants. Art needs to breath, art needs space and visibility.

Stephan Balleux, a Belgian visual artist and teacher at the Royal Academy of the Arts of Brussels, led a pluridisciplinary team to screen applications and choose the beneficiaries. He now curates the exhibition.

According to Balleux: “The residents who exhibit in this first opus of REOPENING BOXES! – Take 1 were those who were able to make themselves available out of confinement in Belgium, and yet these artists have one thing in common: they have an artistic practice which help us to look at the world with other codes, with other conceptual tools and especially from another position.”

As the Covid-19 situation improves, the selected artists will have the possibility of exhibiting their work in 2021 in Spain hosted by The Gabarron Foundation. This exhibition is called REOPENING BOXES! – Take 1 because Open Earth Foundation and LaVallée hope to be able to organise additional residencies to support more artists, living and working in Belgium or visiting Brussels to acquire more skills and visibility.

Learn more (PDF)

Artistic Residencies

June 2020

Even if the Covid-19 pandemic restricts mobility, the Open Earth Foundation (OEF) remains faithful to its core objective of encouraging cultural exchanges between countries and the mobility of artists. Therefore, and in cooperation with LaVallée, we are organising the Art Residencies programme.

As we all know, COVID-19 crisis has affected artists’ ability to generate an income. Many are no longer able of renting their studios and work in good conditions. During the months of August and September 2020, and for periods from two weeks up to two months, this programme will facilitate them a space to create while they strengthen their professional skills and acquire visibility.

The REOPENING BOXES! program will take place at the cultural hub LaVallée, Rue Adolphe Lavallée 39, 1080 Brussels, a Smart Project, part of the SMART cooperative.

Deadline: Applications should be submitted no later than July 15, 2020.

Stephan Balleux, a Belgian visual artist and teacher at the Royal Academy of the Arts of Brussels, will lead a pluri-disciplinary team to screen applications and choose the beneficiaries together with OEF board members and The Gabarron Foundation. Since the situation is expected to improve, we hope to be able to support in 2021 both artists residing in Belgium and artists living and working abroad.


  • An Arts Programme in Brussels to help artists strengthening professional skills and visibility during 2020, with the possibility to exhibit/perform abroad in 2021.
  • OEF wishes to support 6 to 8 artists by helping them having access to a suitable working space during August and September 2020. The duration of the programme will be from 2-8 weeks (depending on your needs).
  • We welcome artists from different disciplines: visual arts, design, music, performing arts, literature, films.
  • Due to the pandemic and its travel restrictions, we are looking to support artists residing in Belgium.
  • Together with LaVallée and other partners, debates and meetings will be organised by OEF. Artists will be able to participate in workshops and discussions on culture and on the future of the creative sector, with a focus on youth and gender.
  • In October 2020, OEF and La Vallée will organise an exhibition / performance / concert to show the artists’ creations.
  • Artists will be asked to donate a percentage of the art or ticket sales to the foundation for the organization of future programs.
  • OEF and partners will explore the possibility to set an online system both for commissioning and for selling artworks. During and after the residency you can use such OEF’s platform to sell your work online.
  • Beyond the percentage of future sales, artists will be asked to contribute to the objectives of OEF by donating some of your time to engage new audiences (for example, children) and/or in participating, for instance, in school events.
  • The selected artists will be offered the possibility of exhibiting their work in 2021 in Spain in collaboration and hosted by the Gabarron Foundation.

June 2019

EDD: Art Fair(s) and unFair Art: does culture reduce or consolidate inequalities?

In the framework of the European Development Days (EDD), organized by the European Commission, the Open Earth Foundation (OEF) presents on June 19, 2019 the session: “Art Fair(s) and unFair Art: does culture reduce or consolidate inequalities?”

  • On Wednesday June 19, 2019, from 13:00 to 14:15.
  • At EDD, European Development Days Tour&Taxis, Avenue du Port 86C, 1000 Brussels.

Moderator:  Mercedes Giovinazzo, Director of Interarts Foundation

  • Aaron Atimpe (Young Leader from Ghana)
  • Alexandra Cadaval (Maputo School for Arts and Cultural Traditions)
  • Griet Dupont (DoBeDo Academy)
  • Cristobal Gabarrón (The Gabarrón Foundation)
  • Víctor Gama (Proyecto TSIKAYA).

OEF supports the idea that access to Education, Culture and Creativity contribute to inclusive and sustainable development, innovation and peace. The foundation will show 5 innovative projects from Angola, Mozambique, Belgium, Ghana and Spain which boost children’s self-confidence through creativity and improve their capacity to solve problems, shape their identity and promote local culture and traditions.

5 projects, 5 countries

Angola: Victor Gama will introduce his project TSIKAYA, launched in 1997. Tsikaya is a music project that invites composers and musicians in the rural areas of Angola to participate in a digital platform to promote and share their music with a global audience to preserve traditions for the younger generations. Field recordings of local musicians are constantly recorded in each province contributing to a digital archive of traditional and contemporary music.

Belgium: OEF started last year a fruitful collaboration with the DoBeDo Academy. Launched by child and youth psychiatrist Griet Dupont to awake a children psychological strength through creativity, Dobedo stands for DO-discover your own talents; BE- confident, BE – yourself and DO – create your own life. Dobedo is a programme in which children undertake an adventure to discover their inner power and unique potential. The children themselves can get actively involved in music, dance, circus, theatre, fine art, visual art, or other forms of expression.

Ghana: Aaron Atimpe, EDD Young Leader from Ghana, will present his work as Chair of the Marie Stopes International Ghana and Ghana Health Service Youth Advisory Boards. Since his involvement, Atimpe has been advocating for increased investment in youth sexual reproductive health and rights. In total, they have trained close to 1,000 young advocates to become ambassadors for adolescent health and development with support from UNFPA and UNICEF.

Mozambique: The Maputo School of Arts and Cultural Traditions project is to be carried out in Maxaquene, one of the largest slums in Maputo, and aims to operate on three different levels -physical, organic and philosophical – focusing on the four pillars of sustainable development: social, economical, environmental and cultural. Built to principles of sustainability and green building, it undertakes educational activities in the areas of traditional dance, music, and fine arts for disadvantaged children from the slums. This educational project focuses on the issues of diversity and occupying free time, respecting cultural traditions and curricular skills to enhance access to education.

Spain: Cristobal Gabarrón will share his 30year experience in working with children, including the worldwide children drawing competition he launched with the UN to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. More than 17 000 children from over the world participated in the competition, encouraged by the many workshops that Cristobal Gabarron conducted in several countries.

About the participants

Aaron Atimpe is an EDD Young Leader and Development enthusiast from Ghana. He is a youth advocate for access to education, health and sexual reproductive rights, with a rural development background. An alumnus of the Kufuor Scholars Programme and a volunteer in a number of youth-led organisations, Aaron currently serves as an Emerging Public Leaders Fellow at Ghana’s Ministry of Finance. He holds a Bachelor in Geography and Rural Development with Political Science.

Alexandra de Cadaval With a degree in Cultural Industries, founding member of the hOUVE Association de Cadaval has been entirely devoted to music and arts. Working closely with renowned French musicologist Alain Weber, in recent years she has directed and organised music and cultural festivals, including the Festival Os Orientais in Portugal, the World Sacred Spirit Festival, in India and the first edition of Évora Africa realised in 2018 as the largest African arts and music Festival in Portugal. Her experience working in the preservation and protection of traditional art forms of Rajasthan, Mozambique and most recently Burkina Faso, has helped her to develop skills with a view to creating platforms for rural art forms, and has developed her passion for traditional cultures, and also nowadays a deep passion for African contemporary art

Griet Dupont Child psychiatrist Griet Dupont combines her great passion for art with her professional background. In her project Dobedo Academy, the mental growth of children is central. After Dupont, when working creatively with different art forms such as image, text, movement and music, children develop their own emotional skills. “Being creative increases a child self-confidence. Only when they feel strong enough will they put problems on the table for discussion so that we can actively look for solutions”, explains Dr. Dupont.

Cristobal Gabarron. A world-renowned artist, Gabarron centers his work on the idea of the life of individuals and the coexistence and development of human values. Throughout his 50-year career, he has been commissioned by public and private organizations across the world to create unique art pieces for special occasions such as the Olympic Mural for the Barcelona Olympic Games (1992), or the Encounter Mural for the Universal Exhibition of Seville (1992). His collaboration with the United Nations has spanned most of his career, starting in 1986, when he designed the World Peace Stamp to celebrate the UN International Peace Year, and continuing with his artwork for the UN New Millennium Summit (2000) and in October 24, 2015, the monument “Enlightened Universe” exhibited in Central Park, and unveiled by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in celebration of the UN’s 70 Anniversary. “Enlightened Universe” was exhibited in Geneva (2016), Amsterdam (2017) and Brussels (2018, from 24 October – UN Day – to 10 December – Human Rights Day). Born in Mula (Murcia), Spain, he currently divides his time between Spain and the United States.

Victor Gama is a composer and designer of contemporary musical instruments for new music. He performs solo, with his trio or with ensembles playing his large pieces from small to big halls such as the Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall or Centro Cultural de Belém. He makes music for dance, film, theater and multimedia performances using his unique set of musical instruments as exclusive sound libraries. He’s been commissioned to compose for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra/MusicNOW, the Kronos Quartet or the Prince Claus Fund and has created instruments for collections in museums such as the National Museums of Scotland. INSTRUMENTOS, his award winning interactive exhibition with workshops and concerts, has been installed at London’s Royal Opera House, Madrid’s Fundación Carlos D’Amberes, UK’s National Center for Design and Crafts and many more. Victor Gama was born in Angola and currently lives between Luanda, Lisbon and Bogota.

After the presentation of the projects, participants will debate around 3 central questions:

  • how best use arts and creativity to tackle inequality;
  • the role that digital technologies in scaling up and broadening access;
  • possible partnerships and twinning between North/South and South/South.

Learn more

Geographical scope of action for 2019 and 2020: Angola; South Africa; Eswatini (Swaziland); Argentina; Uruguay; Colombia; Belgium and Spain.

December 2018

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Children’s drawings ready to board the plane for Brussels. Opening at KANAL Centre Pompidou at 17.30 on Wednesday 19/12 – Free entry – venez nombreux.

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Celebrating today in Geneva Human Rights and the best children drawings with Mrs Michelle Bachelet and artist and president of the jury Cristobal Gabarrón .

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October 2018

Enlightened Universe in Brussels

Enlightened Universe has been created by Spanish artist Cristobal Gabarrón to celebrate the United Nations. Opening in Rond-point Schuman on 25 October to mark UN Day and celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

November 2017

Open Earth Foundation supports Artist Khulekani Msweli, coming from Swaziland…

… and African Clean Energy

September 2017

Open Earth Foundation supports the concert in memory of the legendary singer Violeta Parra, Wednesday 27th September, in Bozar, Brussels

The last compositions of Violeta Parra, by Angel y Javiera Parra, her grandchildren, in Open Earth Foundation

July 2017, Chance meeting in Madrid with Pau Gasol having a board meeting of his foundation; with Cris Gabarrón from the Gabarrón Foundation

June 2017, trip to Swaziland for low cost housing

June 2017, European Development Days, in Brussels

June 2017, interesting seminar organised by the Instituto Cervantes on Solar Energy, Empowering the People

May 2017, Conference on the future of Europe, Europe Day, with the President of European Commission, Bozar, Brussels

May 2017, Latin American Cartographies, Bozar

May 2017, Angel Carro presenting Open Earth Foundation during the Seminar for youth Creative Entrepreneurs organised by the Embassy of Spain

Celebrating Cristobal Gabarron’s visit to Brussels and Latin American Cartographies in Bozar:

May 2017, concert in the Spanish Embassy, Brussels

25 May 2017. After the concert in the Spanish Embassy with Ambassador of Spain Cecilia Yuste, Ambassador of Italy Elena Basile, President of Yehudin Menuhin Marianne Poncelet, gallerist Roberto Polo and UN official Carlos Jimenez

Young musicians from the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation being hosted by OEF after their concert at the Spanish Embassy in Brussels

May 2017, Bushfire festival, Swaziland

Ambassador Nicola Bellomo explaining housing project to Minister

Ambassador Nicola Bellomo with artist Khulekani Msweli

May 2017, Enlightened Universe in Amsterdam

Inauguration with Sebastiaan Capel, Chairman of the Executive Board of Amsterdam

April 11 2017

March 19 2017, Open Earth Foundation collaborated with Alexandra Laudo to An intellectual history of the clock, a performative lecture aimed at a small audience, which focuses on concepts and ideas relating to the social construction of time. It revolves around concepts and ideas like time measurement, the history of clocks, the implementation of clock-time and the standardization movement.

Within the framework of its special event, Alexandra Laudo visited the exciting Clockarium, the Museum of the Art Deco Ceramic Clock, in Brussels, created by Jacques de Selliers, passionate about clock and photos, among others.

More information on

March 10 2017, the III International Congress of Art, Architecture and Heritage – Space and Landscape ‘Homage to Siza’, was organized by the International Chair of the Arts, ‘Cristóbal Gabarrón’ and the Degree in Architecture of the Catholic University of Murcia.

Álvaro Siza

“Siza is a titan of the 20th century and a great architect of the 21st century. It is a luxury to work with a creator of this magnitude”. This is how Cristóbal Gabarrón, president of the Cristóbal Gabarrón Foundation, defines Álvaro Siza – the famous architect who is honored at the III International Congress of Art, Architecture and Heritage.

Opening of the exhibition on the project for Gabarrón’s artists residence, designed by Álvaro Siza.

Álvaro Siza working on the Gabarron’s artists residence project with students and Professors of the Universidad Catolica de Murcia.

Visiting site for the construction of the Gabarron’s artists residence project with students designed by Álvaro Siza.

Cristóbal Gabarrón y Angel Carro Castrillo, member of the Cristóbal Gabarrón Foundation.