We are working on widening the scope of creative self-expression for people in need of special support. We will introduce outsider art to a wider audience. In the summer of 2024, an international exhibition of outsider art will take place in three Estonian cities - Tartu, Narva and Viljandi. 

Story

In Estonia, people in need of special support have very limited opportunities for creative expression. We have an estimated 55,000 people with intellectual disabilities (this is more than the population of Narva, the third-largest city in Estonia), of whom around 11,000 are in permanent or temporary care. These people should be more visible and more involved in society, and one way to achieve this is through artistic creation.

We are going to uncover the hidden potential of these people by valuing their work and involving them in the preparation activities around the exhibition and the educational programme associated with it.

Kondas Centre is an art museum located in the old town of Viljandi. It has been focusing on outsider art in recent years and has a collection of more than 500 works by Estonian artists with mental disorders. The long-term goal of Kondas Centre is to become an international centre of excellence for outsider art through launching and implementing collaborative projects.  

Experience

You will have the chance to experience the mystical origins and the authenticity of outsider art. You will have the chance to be part of three different exhibitions, each conceptually linked to the other, yet completely independent. You will be able to participate in educational programmes and there will also be a two-day international conference for professionals in the field. Start following our activities in previous years already, as various pilot projects will include international exhibitions of outsider art in Kondas Centre as well as residencies of international artists in Estonian institutions for special care. We believe, this is the beginning of something new. We hope that similar to the developments in Europe over the last decades, Estonian outsider art will also evolve and reach a position equal to contemporary art.

Impact

We will raise the visibility and inclusion of people in need of special support, and boost their self-confidence through art creation. We aim to see these people step out of the shadows and achieve equal status as artists and in society at large.

Advocates: Mari Vallikivi, Eva Laantee Reintamm, Annika Vihmann