The Official Development Agency of the City of Vilnius

Art Needs No Roof

Artists without galleries can quickly become artists without audiences. But when billboards are used to display objects of art, an entire city can become one huge gallery.
The pandemic has been hard on local artists – galleries are being closed and international events and exhibitions cancelled. Looking into ways how to support local artists, the city of Vilnius understood the importance of audience.

Collaborating with outdoor advertising operator JCDecaux Lietuva, it turned the city center into a giant open-air gallery, inviting artists to showcase their works on billboards free of charge.

"Artists are still struggling, so projects like this offer a welcome respite. Not only do they create an opportunity for artists to display their work and reach audiences, they also offer inspiration through thought-provoking visuals found in unexpected spaces. I think this initiative shows how vital it is to stay active and seek partnerships no matter what the outcome might be." Jolita Vaitkutė, an artist.

"An exhibition of this kind is something we had never done before, but the results have been really heartwarming. The support is really valued by the artists, as together we have been able to create some of that really needed art publicity in the midst of quarantine. And the best part? Eight of the works in the street exhibition were eventually sold." Karolis Žukauskas, organizer of the event.

In total, over 500 Lithuanian artists submitted their works for review and 100 of them have been exhibited for 3 weeks in the streets of Vilnius. All art objects were available for purchase. The prices and artist contact details may be found on the special website: visitors can view some of the 350 works exhibited in a virtual gallery.

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