While mid-terms are over and finals are not yet here, why not to use this short break to catch your breath and learn a bit more about the beautiful little city you’re living in? After having filled your belly with delicious pumpkin soup and having done some exercise to keep away winter depression, it’s time to go for a walk.
Welcome to Tartu, the student city of good thoughts and Estonian capital of street art!
No matter whether you are on your way to class, to Rüütli or simply roaming about; keep your eyes open for Tartu’s special treasures. Covering all kinds of urban surfaces such as walls, benches, lamp posts or bridges, some works might catch your eye right away, while others are slightly more hidden and less obvious to discover.
The beauty of street art lies in the fact that it is free and easily accessible to everyone any day, any time. Apart from that, the pieces are not placed randomly but tend to interact with their actual environment directing attention to things which otherwise might have gone unnoticed. In addition, the pieces are not only art with regard to their outward appearance. Their artistic appeal also comes from the fact that the images usually carry a message inviting you to think about their meaning while you continue your wander through the city. All in all, pieces of street art help reclaiming the city’s lost spaces, making old and abandoned buildings look more appealing again while including everyone who happens to walk by in the process. Street art makes a city feel more alive while also providing it with little gems which are unique to that particular place.
So, the next time a friend or relative comes to visit you in beautiful Tartu, why not to organize a little more personal city tour to your favourite pieces of street art? Moreover, have you ever wondered what motivates street artists? Where do they find their inspiration and how do they decide on where to place their next piece? If you do not feel like organizing a tour yourself or you are simply interested in learning a bit more about Tartu’s lively street art scene, it is possible to book an organised tour. For a small fee, these tours aim at presenting the most interesting pieces plus providing some information on their background story.
If you are interested in some more information on Estonian street art have a look at this UT blogpost.
If you are interested in doing a tour or simply would like to have a look at some more pieces, check out the stencibility project’s web page.
If you are still not entirely convinced, have a glance at some of the pieces I came across on my way through Tartu. Probably you will recognize most of the spots:
Feel free to share your favourite pieces in the comments and have fun exploring!