Artists in Collections

The art project “ArCo3 – Artists in Collections, Communities and Collectives”, which is part of the main programme of Tartu 2024 European Capital of Culture reveals the opening dates of its projects in southern Estonia

“ArCo3”, which unites contemporary art and cultural heritage, offers the public four diverse art projects in four different locations in southern Estonia during the course of the spring and summer. Works by the renowned artists Ingrid Allik, Sigrid Viir, Līga Spunde, Karel Koplimets and Uku Sepsivart offer artistic experiences opening April to June and will remain on display until autumn 2024. 

The first project to open is by the artist Uku Sepsivart at the Järvselja Training and Experimental Forestry District, where different sculptures will blend in with the natural environment on the primeval forest study and hiking trails, and will be displayed in a temporary exhibition in the forestry museum room. The grand opening of the exhibition is on 26 April.

Next, we will invite visitors to the University of Tartu observatory in Tõravere, where the artist Karel Koplimets has set up a display on climate change in one of the telescope towers, which acts as an interactive time capsule facing the future. The installation will open on 12 May in collaboration with the Prima Vista literary festival. 

On 7 June, we will open a public artwork created by Ingrid Allik and her colleagues from Estonia and Finland in a green space by Võhandu street at the Räpina Paper Factory. The work interprets the transformation of wood into paper using various materials and forms. The public installations combine landscape designs and objects made by the artists. This is the only permanent artwork made during the project.

Finally, on 20 June, the project by the artists Sigrid Viiri and Līga Spunde will open in Taevaskoja and on the riverboat Lonny. One result of the project will be a playful web application which allows the visitors to mix together legends and characters associated with Taevaskoja, resulting in new fairy tales and folk heritage. The experience in the application will be complemented by signs on the hiking trails of Taevaskoja which invite people to stop for a moment and look at their surroundings with fresh eyes. The riverboat Lonny will also receive a temporary make-over for the summer with the help of the artists. 

The project “ArCo3” is part of the main programme of Tartu 2024 European Capital of Culture. The aim is to enliven the art life outside the main population centres and to bring quality art by Estonian professionals and artists from nearby countries to southern Estonia. During the project, the local heritage will be introduced from a new viewpoint to locals and to cultural tourists alike.

The project “ArCo3” grew out of the initiative “Artists in Collections (ArCo)”, which has been mixing contemporary art and cultural heritage since 2018. The project was started as part of the art programme celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia and has led to fifteen such dialogues between artists and small museums all over Estonia. For Tartu 2024 European Capital of Culture, the format was expanded and the artists were sent to residencies to create site-specific interventions at intersections of social life which lie outside the traditional circle of museums. The organisers of the project are Maarin Ektermann and Mary-Ann Talvistu; ArCo3 is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.


The project Artists in Collections, produced for the Estonia 100 jubilee year, brought together artists and (small) museums across Estonia to draw attention to cultural heritage and to interpret it from new angles. The outcome of the residencies were ten very different exhibitions. Artists working with collections or archives is a rather common practice in contemporary art but for Estonia this is the first thorough effort of this kind to create new ties and connect different communities.

Our proposed formula was very simple — 10 artists would go to 10 museums, complete a residency there and create something that could be publicly viewed (exhibit, installation, event, etc.). The ten projects all turned out very different, but notionally they can be divided into three groups: additions to the permanent exhibition, additional exhibition spaces added on to the museum, and standalone works and events. For the collaborating museums the project provided new ideas and contacts for further endeavors; the artists in turn have gained experience working further away from the usual art world context and have got to know one museum in its natural environment.

From now on, we plan to concentrate each year on a maximum of three analogous projects that offer artists new opportunities to complete a residency in the Estonian context, also in non-art environments, and bring the contemporary art working methods beyond the art field itself.

The catalogue of the Artist in Collections project can be purchased from the following bookshops: Eesti Tarbekunsti- ja Disainimuuseum, Tartu Kunstimuuseum, Lugemik, Puänt!

Social media channels of Artists in Collections:

The project managers are art historians Maarin Ektermann ja Mary-Ann Talvistu. The project is led by proloogkool, a self-organized platform that brings together contemporary art and nonformal education. The graphic designer for the project is Viktor Gurov.

More information:
372 55 52 0882

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