Street art festival welcomes spring with colorful new murals in the municipality of Elva | News

As May turned into June, the seventh Rural Urban Art (RUA) Festival took place. The latest edition of the traveling street art festival, which aims to bring color to small towns across Estonia, saw ten artists come from far and wide to create a series of ambitious new works in off-the-beaten-path locations across the municipality Elva.

After breathing new life into the walls of the province of Viljandi in 2023, this year it was the turn of the municipality of Elva in the province of Tartu to welcome top artists from around the world for the seventh Rural Urban Art Festival (RUA).

During a week, the artists, including Pablito Zago and Raphe (France), Ola Kalnins (Sweden), Baltic Murals (Lithuania), Mimmit Peinttaa (Finland), Greete Okas and Robin Nõgisto (Estonia), Viktoria Berezina (Ukraine), and Lily Brick (Spain), produced a series of new works at locations across the borough.

Estonian street art crew Multistab also organized a workshop for local youth, decorating both sides of the fence outside a care home for the elderly in Rõngu.

The works created during the festival vary considerably in style, with each artist adding their own creative touches. However, they are all designed with the environment in mind.

Ukrainian artist Viktoria Berezina transformed a Soviet-era roadside bus stop in Valguta using a traditional Petrykivka painting style, while French artist Pablito Zago used characteristically vibrant colors to brighten the previously gray walls of the Puhja Youth Center .

The locals in Elva municipality provided a warm welcome to all visiting artists and provided them with a unique and unforgettable experience of Estonia. In Annikoru village, residents thanked artist Lily Brick for her mural, titled ‘Welcome Spring’, by performing a traditional folk dance.

Viktoria Berezina’s work at the bus stop in Valguta. Source: Artwork: Viktoria Berezina, photo: Michael Cole

“For me, spring is my favorite time, but for the people of Estonia it is much more: after a harsh winter, low temperatures and months with few hours of sunshine, spring brings color,” Lily Brick wrote on social media.

“Flowers are exploding with beauty and nature is full of life in Estonia. Then people come together to celebrate and welcome the good weather by dancing, being happy and singing. This touched me very much, and I think it is a good example is to follow, embracing the south and north of the country, united, coming from different parts of the country without differences, for a simple and positive reason, the awakening of nature.

“A small detail is that they say colloquially that if the first butterfly you see is colorful, you will have a pleasant spring full of flowers. That is why I chose to paint monarch butterflies. I feel lucky to have seen your beautiful spring,” she says. said.

More information about the Rural Urban Art Festival, including photos of the murals created this year in the municipality of Elva, is available here.

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