Skip to main content

The Year of Contemporary Art by Youth: “Is Art a Tool for Survival?”

This is a unique cultural event from the future stars of Estonian art! Created by young people in collaboration with the community, the works will highlight the distinctiveness of the regions of South Estonia and encourage unexpected perspectives.


The new series of events will be co-created by young people from start to finish, and will result in meaningful works that take art out of the centres of attraction and engage with creators and communities alike. The young people will grow as a team, selecting venues in the areas linked to the Capital of Culture and learning from European artists. In 2024, nine contemporary art events will be created in dialogue with the South Estonian community. The creative year will be summed up with a final exhibition at the Jakob’s Gallery of Tartu Children’s Art School.

Such an event involving young artists and created by them has never been held in South Estonia before. It will bring together members of the youth association at the Estonian Association of Art Schools but also other young people interested in art.


Through a unique arts project, young people learn how to organise cultural events, develop their co-creative skills and grow into a creative team. Together, they will get to know the different regions of South Estonia, select venues and collaborate with European artists.

By engaging in a dialogue with the local community, young people will organise nine contemporary art events in 2024. The creative work will celebrate what is already there, draw attention to local specificities and raise the question of how art can address the region’s bottlenecks. The events will take place in the municipalities of Elva, Kanepi, Peipsiääre, Rõuge, Tõrva and Valga, as well as in the cities of Viljandi and Tartu.

The year will be summed up by an exhibition documenting the creative process and a comprehensive public programme in the Jakob’s Gallery of the Tartu Children’s Art School. Visitors will be able to observe how the specificity of South Estonia enriches the creative work of young people and vice versa, and how the relation to the local environment leads to creating original and sensitive contemporary art. Where possible, the exhibition will continue to be shown after the end of the year.


We are taking art away from the centres of attraction and creating new ways to enhance the value of the region, strengthening cooperation between the regions of South Estonia and with Europe. We hope that young people’s attentive gaze and actions will support the survival of communities in a good way and help them to make sense of their environment through art. By the end of the project, an experienced creative team will emerge, with the courage to bring their ideas to life and find the partners they need. We will also be creating a model for teaching and practising contemporary art that can be used more widely in recreational education.

A girl drawing.