About Netwerk Aalst

Netwerk Aalst is an open house, an international centre for contemporary art and an independent cinema located in Aalst, Belgium.


Netwerk Aalst commissions work by national and international artists within a programme of exhibitions, performances, workshops and talks. Netwerk Aalst screens the best of arthouse films. The here-and-now of Aalst shapes the engagements Netwerk Aalst develops with artists and audiences.

NNN Kunsthal vision

As a commissioning body based in the former industrial heartland of Flanders, between Brussels and Ghent, Netwerk Aalst has two main ambitions:

  • to activate the multiple entanglements it entertains with its own locality; to imagine the potential for (alternative) complicities between audiences, artists and cultural institutions that this locality may allow for, and to continually re-invent its own shape and remit in response to these demands;
  • to respond to the changing status, forms and formats of artistic production today; to understand its needs, actors and conditions, and develop new forms of genuinely responsive, reciprocal and integral institutional support for artistic creation.

Instead of working in and for a pre-conceived sense of the “local” situation as a given, Netwerk Aalst sets out to actively think through its own condition in Aalst on two inter-connected levels: as a hyper-specific cluster of needs and desires, and simultaneously as a node entangled in much broader constellations of our time.

Developing an episodic programme rhythm organised around artist commissions and the speculative motifs they put forward, Netwerk Aalst wants to work out how art- and institution-making can animate new shared engagements within a complex public sphere.

NNN Fabriek vision

Netwerk Fabriek goes back to the roots of Netwerk Aalst as an open house where everyone was welcome; activists, artists and art lovers, residents of Aalst and beyond, but also 'ordinary' café-goers and those looking for a cup of coffee or a workplace.

Are you looking for a location for your lecture, game night or workshop? Then Netwerk Fabriek will be happy to help you out! Ask your question via mail. We handle each request individually.

*Netwerk Aalst endorses that everyone is equal, and expects the same from the organisations we work with.

Netwerk Aalst is...

Pieternel Vermoortel – Artistic director
Steven Op de Beeck – Managing director
Hans Bocxstael – Netwerk Film
Piet Mertens – Curator
Charlotte Geeraert – Public programme
Sara Van den Eynde– Press and communication
Jeniffer Vansteyvoort – Production and daily coordination
Veerle Coppens – Finances, HR and venue hire

In addition, Netwerk Aalst can count on a number of enthusiastic individuals to make its operations possible. On a freelance basis they are responsible for a wide range of tasks from invigilating, exhibition support, production to participate in performances.

The board

Sigrid Callebert, Bart Dierick, Francis Mertens, Monica Monté, Guido Saey, Sanne Van Bellingen, Arnoud Van Der Straeten, Hilde Vanfleteren and Freek Van Neck.

general assembly

Joost Callebaut, Sigrid Callebert, Hilde De Brandt, Bart Dierick, Rik Hemmerijckx, Nicolas Keppens, Marc Lambert, Jan Leconte, Francis Mertens, Monica Monté, Guido Saey, Marielle Tagop, Sanne Van Bellingen, Arnoud Van Der Straeten, Hilde Vanfleteren and Freek Van Neck.

Netwerk Aalst endorses the principles of Juist is Juist. Juist is Juist (what’s right is right) defines clear and fair principles and practices for collaborating in the arts sector. Netwerk Aalst contributed to the elaboration.

Venue hire

Please send all questions about venue hire to Veerle. Every request will be treated individually.

Our history & building

In 1981, former members of the Centrum voor Samenlevings-Vernieuwing (CSV) established the independent socio-cultural organization called Centre Netwerk (Netwerk). The Centre was located in the heart of the city and organized various cultural events like jazz and punk concerts, film screenings, lectures and workshops, professional and amateur theater spectacles, dance performances and it also occasionally housed various art exhibitions. In the period 1987-2003, the Netwerk Gallery organized about 85 exhibitions, mainly solo exhibitions, and continued to build up its reputation as one of the important art galleries in the region of Flanders and Belgium.

In 2001, Centre Netwerk and its Gallery applied for funding in two disciplines of the arts from Flamish Government. In 200, both organizations were moved to an abandoned industrial building at the Houtkaai, which used to be a passementerie factory (Passementerie Van Den Brulle). The Belgian architect Eugeen Liebaut transformed the existing, industrial structures into modern exhibition spaces and a professional theater hall.

In 2005, Netwerk Gallery became Netwerk / Center for Contemporary Art and was subsidized by the Flemish Government as a monodisciplinary art center. Since then, a presentation of visual arts has been the crux of Netwerk’s activity. Every year, Netwerk organized several art exhibitions, and combined with them performance and music events.

In 2017, Netwerk started a transition that resulted in a new programme structure and internal organization. The new mission is based on current needs of the field of visual arts, and takes Aalst as a starting point. Netwerk, from then on Netwerk Aalst, also complemented the Kunsthal operation in 2019 with a full-blown film programme and a programme by third parties. Netwerk Aalst unfolds like an open house in the city.

The building of Netwerk Aalst covers 2.000 square metres and includes offices, meeting rooms, a fully equipped studio, an artist's residence, a café, a bookshop, a film theater and 1.200 m2 of exhibition space.