Like the wisdom found in a local coffee shop bathroom wall, all roads tend to lead towards Emajõgi. The spring has reached its full bloom here and the banks of the river crossing the town centre have been completely crowded by sun bathers every day the sun has been shining even the slightest bit.
This sudden increase of outdoor activity has made us recently realize how big of a town Tartu actually is. The everyday life on Küüni, one of the main roads leading towards the old town and main square (Raekoja plats), is now a bright, colorful and soothing sight to the eye. There are people hanging out in the coffee shop terraces or having lunch picnics in the parks, street musicians playing their instruments and elderly women selling various flowers from tulips to daffodils and sunflowers. Air is filled with sweet scents and feeling of energy.
Last week there were several kinds of workshops taking place at school instead of regular lectures. Each one of them focused on a different commercial visual media, such as clothing print design or comic books. The one we took part in was called daily creativity and contained a new surprise out-of-the-box task every day. For example, on Monday we ended up creating a board game completely from scratch and on Tuesday we painted abstract self-portraits.
The artist visiting Kunstikool and hosting our workshop was also a former sculpting student of Tartu Kõrgem Kunstikool (a higher education art school partly sharing the building and classrooms with Tartu Kunstikool) and the Estonian Academy of Arts (an art university located in Tallinn) and was happy to shed us some light on the art universities in Estonia. We discussed about how different schools have their own methods and philosophies on teaching art and how learning from various sources is important to gain a wider perspective and rich repertoire.
Many Finnish people apply in Estonian universities every year (majority of them for veterinary, medical or law studies) and I’ve also considered it an option for myself. It was great to get a good glimpse into it and hear how the system actually works in the art department.
Besides studies, artwork and ponderous talks, there has, of course, been a lot room for just experiencing culture and taking part.
We got free tickets for the wonderful dance theatre performance TAHE at Tartu Uus Teater (The New Theatre of Tartu, located at Lai 37). A big thank you to Ave, our exchange coordinator from Kunstikool, for making this possible! The piece was an absolute treat to all senses. Our drawing teacher Kalli also recommended seeing an exhibition speculating boredom being the ultimate birthplace of creativity. It was held in Tartu Kunstimaja, (Vanemuise 29) a three-story building that works as this huge hybrid of galleries, workrooms and offices for local artists.
My time here is slowly coming towards its end and I’m feeling a little anxious with the fact there might not be enough time to do everything I’ve been willing to. Huh! Time to start prioritizing! One thing I definitely want to do is to go kayaking in Emajõgi and visit more cool exhibitions and art galleries.