Street Art and Cultural projects
Murals for Communities
Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), Faculty of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts and associated partner Innovative Creative Projects (ICP) has been implementing a two-year project “Murals for Communities” under the European program Creative Europe. Can the Street Art bring artists and citizens of European cities together? Move and mobilize communities so people can solve problems by themselves? What kind of role has the mural art, and how to strengthen this form of art? That are the questions, we seek to find answers working together.
Our international partners are: the coordinating organization Waterford City & County Council (WCCC) and associated partner Waterford Walls (WW), Ireland, the renowned organization for the Waterford Walls Festival since 2015 that seeks to use Mural Art to connect communities and stimulate the development of run-down areas. WW has facilitated the transformation of 25 buildings in the city with Mural Art works.
The second project partner is Street Art Foundation (SAF) in Heerlen, Netherlands. Heerlen is a former mining town that largely suffered from the collapse of its mining industry. The Street Art Foundation (SAF), established in 2013, has been able to use the potentials of Mural Arts and turn it into a tool for social interaction. The foundation has facilitated the creation of 67 Murals in the city
In 2019, residences of Street Art artists took place in Waterford and Heerlen, where Timotiejus Norvila Morfai, artist from Kaunas, created leaving the mural in each. At 20-th of September Kaunas greeted the mural artists. Three contemporary muralists Magda Karol (Ireland), Timotiejus Norvila Morfai (Lithuania) and Wesley Dazetwo Van Heugten (Netherlands) created three art works at Lukšio str. 45a (Kalniečiai). They have been inspired by the stories of communities of Kaunas Šančiai, Žaliakalnis and Kalniečiai.
Saulė Juzelėnienė, KTU, and Vytenis Jakas, founder of Kauno kiemo galerija implemented the community program. Street Art artist Ieva Olimpija Voroneckytė and a member of Šančiai Community, artist Audra Fiserienė Toleikytė assisted them. Vitalija Norvilienė, Innovative Creative Projects, coordinated the international artist exchange program.
More information: https://www.facebook.com/muralsforcommunities/
Timotiejus Norvila Morfai (Lithuania, Kaunas), „Village“
Magdalena Karol (Ireland, Waterford) ,,Caring is Sharing”
Wesley van Haughten Dazetwo (Netherlands, Heerlen) ,,Communication is Sacre”
Street-art project “Tapatu. 2018”
Street-art is going into streets and to people whoever they are: indifferent to art or an art enthusiast, young or old, local or a tourist, pedestrian or a driver, everyone is included in the processes of contemporary art.
While making creative changes in the public spaces, there is hope to inspire people to feel “more at home”, so they love their environment and take care of it by contributing to positive changes in Kaunas City.
Project „Tapatu (translates as “identical”). 2018” is a winner of a culture project contest “Initiatives for Kaunas” organised by projects of the Kaunas City Municipality. It is being carried out by public institution “Innovative Creative Projects” and project art director Morfai.
At the end of 2018, just before New Year‘s Eve and despite cold weather an artist Tadas Plūgas Vincaitis finished mural in the so called “gates to the old town“ area of Kaunas city.
Here is the story of this artwork’s coming. In July 2017 a street art festival NYKOKA organised a contest inviting artists to come up with sketches for the front of a No. 4 building on Pilies street. An impressive number of sketches was received from dozens of Kaunas artists presenting great amount of valuable ideas for realisation. Future murals were evaluated by a solid commission: architect Audrys Karalius, painter Gintautas Vaičys, Chairman of Kaunas Union of Photographers Gintaras Česonis, and others.
The wall in Pilies Street remained empty after the first place winner of the contest publicly relinquished the implementation of his work due to a conflict of interest. In 2018 new circumstances created conditions for implementation of the artwork of a second place winner of NYKOKA contest, in a „TA-PA_TU. 2018“ project frame, founded by program “Iniciatives For Kaunas” by Kaunas City Municipality. Tadas Plūgas Vincaitis became that person with his artwork „I’ve Returned Home“.
At the end of 2018 the new mural graced the “gates to the old town” of Kaunas. The artist depicted a girl who returned home to her nesting box like a bird. The mural made with transparent aerosol paints looks contextual, it playfully greets guests of the city just near by stepping out of tourist buses and flocking towards Kaunas Castle or Town Hall Square.
More about artist https://www.facebook.com/plugastadas/
“Lituanica“. Author Achilleas Paparazzi
In September street-art project “Tapatu. 2018” invited street artist Achilleas Paparazzi from Cyprus to create a “Lithuanica” mural on a wall of a five storey building in a V. Krevės avenue, to commemorate the Trans-Atlantic flight by Lithuanian pilots S. Darius and S. Girėnas.
Achilleas Paparazzi, an artist born in Tbilisi, Georgia, has been creating since 1992 in Thessaloniki, Greece. In 2002 artist has moved to Cyprus where he became a pioneer of its street-art; he has created dozens of spectacular art pieces in public spaces there. He resides in a breath-taking Larnaca city. https://www.facebook.com/Paparazzi-ART-Studio-144433502278227/
Street-art project “Tapatu. 2018” is a part of The Culture Capital of Europe 2022 program and art is now much more imperative in the further districts than central Kaunas, overrun by multitudes of standard grey apartment buildings reminding of Soviet Era and lacking of any thrill. Perhaps that was the reason Dainava micro-district residents met street-art idea with excitement and let the V. Krėvė Avenue building No 19 become unique.
Community assembly of culture capital “Fluxus Labas!” in Dainava district invited artists Achilleas Paparazzi and Morfai to hold a meeting with local community on the 12-th of September 2018. Residents could observe the painting process when artist Paparazzi rose to the height of five storeys using crane to paint the wings of the aeroplane. The project received a lot of attention: local kids strived to be of a help by passing buckets of paint to the artist; the director of Lithuanian Aviation Museum where the original Lituanica aeroplane is kept, Remigijus Jankauskas turned up; and “The Secret of Lituanica” film directed by Remigijus Sabulis projection was shown on one of the building walls, which has been nominated for the Sidabrinė Gervė Award for Best Documentary Feature.
“David”. Author Morfai
A street-art piece, depicting David who is about to kill a giant Goliath by throwing a slingshot, you can find on a building belonging to Žilinskas Art Gallery on the Kęstutis Street. It has been created by artist Morfai. http://morfai.blogspot.com/
David‘s target is an abandoned “Britanika” hotel on the side, it’s carcass never lived up to the day of any guests staying in it. The statuesque fourteen level height building symbolises the gigantism and ambitions of Soviet Union. The building of it began in 1986 in accordance with architect Alfredas Paulauskas plans, but soon it turned into ruins and has been decorating city centre since not. With his art-piece “David” Morfai creates a Goliath which is symbolised by the falling-apart hotel and which is a reminder that it is time to deal with all ghost-buildings of Kaunas.
“Tapatu. 2018” is the continuation of “Small Walls Projects” implemented in 2016 and 2017 by the public institution “Innovative Creative Projects”. “Small Walls Projects” were oriented towards working on a smaller size walls: abandoned billboards, lower parts of bridges, underground passages, fences and other objects. Since moving towards larger scale street-art realized on multi-storey buildings, the project name was changed into “Tapatu. 2018” which means identity of a city and its own characteristics, like the way Kaunas exposes itself among World’s cities through street-art.
The project is being financed by the Kaunas City Municipality programme “Initiatives for Kaunas”.
If you ever get to visit the furthest corner of the Ramybės Park, where Totorių and Trakų streets meet, you may pleasantly be surprised to see the old fountain ruins completely renovated and decorated with oriental ornaments. The fountain that used to cool visitors on a hot summer day years ago, past decade stood in ruins full of rubbish and corroded wires dangerously sticking out.
The fountain basin was cleaned out, the pile of ruins removed and the fountain itself dismantled. And instead kids playground arose in August 2018 open to neighbouring communities, made by artist Morfai with his original design.
This project was implemented thanks to “Kauno Akcentai” design project contest organised by Kaunas City Municipality, in which the most exciting design projects are selected for the aesthetic and accommodating city renovations.
Kaunas religious Muslim community has contributed to the fountain restoration too, the old fountain is in their rented territory, and they gladly agree to keep the space open for the local children.
The mosque next to it is under major repairs now and is completely hidden by scaffolding and safety fences, but soon will grace passers-by with its silver glowing domes decorated with crescent moons and snow white walls.
In the centre of the old fountain a trampoline for kids to jump on is installed. Around it a rubber floor is mounted in, decorated in oriental ornaments by artist Morfai, which perfectly matches with a style of the Mosque.
Around trampoline and ornamented flooring there are benches fixed on a newly built fountain wall, which are very comfortable for parents escorting their children, or Friday mosque-prayers gathering for the masses not only from Kaunas but also from further cities and even visitors from abroad; also benches invite elderly people making their regular walks around the park.
We would like to warn visitors and parents especially, that for the health and safety reasons we advise not to let children younger than five years old use the trampoline.
The “Fountain” project by artist Morfai was carried out by the public institution “Innovative Creative Projects”.
The public institution “Innovative Creative Projects” has finished the “Ecomobile” project for the “Kauno Akcentai”contest organised by the Kaunas City Municipality. At the beginning of June 2018 nine new public space accents graced our city – an original design of nine flower boxes.
“Ecomobile” is a large flower box of an upside-down car shape – a design object created by the artist Morfai, a winner of “Small Architectural Ideas” design contest organised by the “Kauno Akcentai” in 2017. More information on competition http://akcentai.kaunas.lt/
The object was chosen not by a chance. It is a fashion to block roads with massive cement blocks to prevent cars from parking or driving there and to ironically remind people that the city spaces behind the barriers are designated for pedestrians and bicycles.
The flower pots were cast in Riga from specific cement and by an original design by the artist Morfai. Though they seem thin-walled and light, each of them weights 90 kilograms (198 lb), for they have been made from exceptionally solid and weather resistant substance.
And now these nine “Ecomobiles” have become road blocks: two are located on Student Street, building numbers 48, 50 and 56; and another five on a Radvilėnai Highway number 48. All these flower pots dress the surroundings of Kaunas University of Technology, where youth, professorate, foreign students and university guests rush past everyday.
Thsese car shaped flower boxes were filled with black soil and filled with plants. The resilient, low-maintenance, green all year round plants were used for arrangements: conifers and perrenial flowers.
There are a lot of places in our city where anything you can grab can become a road block: cement blocks, metal fences and so on. The purpose of this project is to show that these partitions can be innovative and decorate the city. Green upside down cars are an example of these original obstacles, safeguarding green zones from road vehicle invasion. Summer and winter these green trees and blooming flowers not only purify the air but are also a sight for passers’ by eyes.
*One of the winners of sculptural object competition “Kauno Akcentai” run by Kaunas City Municipality in 2016 was Morfai with his artwork “Star Seeder”:
“The Small Walls Project. 2017” and “The Small Walls Project. 2016”
Started at the late 2015 as an initiative of the artist Morfai, who painted the huge “folk band” – Lithuanian national ornament – on the cement wall by the river Nemunas in Kaunas city, Lithuania, and the triptych “Life and Death” on the old wooden advertisement boards. Later, these works done in a secret partisan way helped to ground the main ideas for the “Small Walls Project” – the initiative of the Innovative Creative Projects, which started in 2016.
Morfai became the art manager of the project inviting the young artists of Kaunas to create murals on the abandoned places, trying to look deeper into neglected fences, walls, unused advertisement boards and tunnels, which soon became the canvases for the fine art.
By the end of 2017, this project adorned the city of Kaunas with several exclusive works of Street Art, performed by the artists Morfai, Rokas Krilavičius, Tadas Vincaitis Plūgas, Vytenis Jakas, Tomas Dėžutė and others at the public spaces. Such murals as “Peace of the Sky”, “The Ghost-House (Shack)”, “Yard”, “Stark”, “Event at the Skateboard Park” and more have become an integral part of the urban landscape, which represents Kaunas as a modern and open city for the artistic experiments.
The Street art is an art form, which immediately involves the spectator: young and old, an art expert and indifferent, a pedestrian and a driver, rich and pure, a local resident and a guest or a tourist. It changes the very atmosphere of the city making the indifferent observer into the fine art lover.
Emilija Pundziūtė Gallois – the chair person of The Lithuanian Community in France and Lithuanian artist Gediminas Šibonis, who is creating the memorial board.
The project in cooperation with the Lithuanian Community in France. 2017
In memoriam to the Prelate J. Petrošius.
Innovative Creative Projects in cooperation with a Communauté Lithuanienne en France implemented the project In memoriam to the Prelate J. Petrošius. On November 19, 2017, the opening ceremony of the memorial board dedicated to the Prelate Jonas Petrošius took the place in Paris, St. Augustine Parish Church.
The personality of Jonas Petrošius according to the list of “Lithuania’s Significant Cultural Heritage in Alsace (France)” is undoubtedly the most prominent public figure. Lithuanian by identity cared for all Lithuanians living in France, especially in its regions.
The memorial desk to commemorate the prelate was created by the prominent Lithuanian artists and cultural representatives – Gediminas Šibonis, internationally renowned ceramic artist, who exhibited his works in Lithuania, Germany, Sweden and France. The author of the texts on the board – Valdas Papievis, the winner of the Lithuanian National Prize.
At the planned opening ceremony in November, 2017 at the Paris Saint At the Augustine Parish, participated the most prominent representatives of Lithuanian-French culture and diplomacy. More about this event please see on the website: www.lietuviai.fr and www.inoprojektai.lt
„Creative Wednesdays“, 2015
Creative Wednesdays is a socio-cultural educational program for seniors of Kaunas city and district. It is open to people who would like to learn more about contemporary fine art and Lithuanian artists and their works. M.K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum, M. Žilinskas, Kaunas Picture Galleries, Ceramics, A. Žmuidzinavičius Museums, Kaunas Artists’ Union gallery on Wednesdays for visitors are free. A number of private galleries in Kaunas invite visitors as well.
From 2015, Innovative Creative Projects are organizing the educational excursions for seniors to the fine-art exhibitions and held the creative workshops on Wednesdays. The educational program Creative Wednesdays consists of ten themes: painting, sculpture, textiles, graphics, ceramics, photography, architecture, national art, performance and Mural/Street Art. The program encourages participants not to be a passive spectators, but developers who analyze and adapt in practice, what they see in exhibitions, trying to understand the fine art and its social influence.
The cover of the musical CD.
2015-2017. “Songs Based on Lyrics of Arvydas Ambrasas”
This international project “Songs Based on Lyrics of Arvydas Ambrasas”, which started in 2015, is dedicated to reminiscence of the Lithuanian poetry and dramaturgy writer Arvydas Ambrasas (1947-1970).
The purpose of this project is: to unite the musicians of Lithuanian background from Lithuania and Israel and some other Baltic countries into the one creative musical project; honoring the memory of A. Ambrasas to revive the public interest to his work and to make the musical CD.
Presentation of the new album took place at the Santakos slėnis, Kaunas Technology University in Kaunas 14-th of December, 2017.
“Songs Based on Lyrics of Arvydas Ambrasas” is a multi-genre project. Songs are written in a different musical styles like folk, jazz, blues, rock and pop rock. Initiators: rock band “Raganiai”: Dave Svidgal – lead vocal, back vocals; Jasha Jurborsky – lead vocal, back vocals; Jacob Gitkind – guitars, lead vocal, back vocals; Nathan Gitkind – drums. Guest stars: Kęstutis Lušas – keyboards, programming, arrangements; Boris Gammer – saxophones; Edie Rezonov – double bass, electric bass; Tamara – lead vocal; Helena Strazdauskaitė – lead vocal; Henrikas Balčiūnas (Laiptai) – lead vocal. All music by: Jacob Gitkind. English translation and adaptation of original texts for musical performance by: Nathan Gitkind. All songs orchestrated and arrangements by: Kęstutis Lušas. Producers: Kęstutis Lušas ir Nathan Gitkind. Final mixing and mastering – Giedrius Litvinas (MA studios). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zFhsztG8CE
“One Thing Stories” 2014
Seminars of creative memoir writing invited senior people from different parts of Kaunas, Lithuania to write stories about the past. Teachings took place in four different parts and communities of Kaunas city: center and old town, Šilainiai and Panemunė public libraries.
Every participant was writing about one thing that survived in the family from their fathers. Hand made things – linen hand weaved bedspreads, tablecloths, towels, embroidery, diving, wood and ceramic works have been collected and photographed. The creators – our grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, fathers and relatives have been honored, the beautiful vintage photo-portraits collected to illustrate the stories. Soviet occupation in Lithuania, emigration to Germany, Brazil and USA, deportations of families to Siberia (the Gulags), exile and coming back from the exile, Communism – there are themes for the senior stories written during the project. Story of every family makes the history of Lithuania. Innovative Creative Projects has published all stories in the album “Vieno daikto istorijos”, Kaunas, 2015. http://issuu.com/biguza/docs/vieno_daikto_istorijos