Estonian Painers Association annual exhibition at UKM - Open call


Somewhere, over the rainbow
Estonian Painers Association annual exhibition at UKM


“Someplace where there isn't any trouble. Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It's not a place you can get to by a boat, or a train. It's far, far away. Behind the moon , beyond the rain” asked Dorothy/Judy Garland to her dog Toto, in the 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz”.

“Somewhere, over the rainbow...”—an anthem that has resonated across the past half-century, particularly among oppressed and marginalised communities, including sexual minorities. In times of turmoil, there is an increased demand for fairy tales, as they symbolise a beacon of hope amidst adversity.

In 1939, against the backdrop of the burgeoning Great War and political upheaval in Europe, the world faced circumstances reminiscent of our present day. However, today's challenges are compounded by a global ecological crisis, a consequence of human activities that has further strained the underlying systems. The echoes of geopolitical imperialism and authoritarian leadership that were prevalent in 1939 persist in our current reality.

Artists, driven by an enduring ambition to catalyse change or contribute to societal evolution, find themselves undergoing a profound “reality check” during anxious periods. In the best-case scenario, such times may prompt personal transformation. Alternatively, change may manifest organically at the grassroots level, silently permeating through aesthetic realms.

On the international painting scene, the art of previously untouched regions or even entire continents, has become a source of vitality and/or guidance. The fresh ideas emanating from metropolises in recent decades largely rely on the incorporation of cultural characteristics from various regions of the world. Artists, as pioneers, assimilate and domesticate elements from foreign cultures—potentially positioning them as agents of international globalism.

The revered tradition of painting endures as a medium for capturing the inquisitive gaze of living beings upon their surroundings and fostering empathy for all life forms. Simulacrums, crafted through a blend of traditional quoting and disruptive techniques, are invited to grace our exhibition.

To all painters, the power lies within you to construct either an ethereal castle in the air or a bridge beyond the rainbow—interpreting this metaphor as you will.

Despite the strides in technology and the vast cultural tapestry woven since 1939, the world in 2024 seems eerily reminiscent of its predecessor. The Wizard of Oz, a groundbreaking musical film, failed to avert World War II, highlighting the seemingly unheeded lessons of history.

NB! Application for the exhibition:

The organizer of the exhibition is waiting for artists to apply/register using the link below the call, please do it no later than March 17, 2024!  

Artists residing in Estonia or holding EU citizenship outside Estonia should not only complete the registration form but also email an image file (maximum 3 MB) to Please refrain from sending links; only jpg files will be accepted. Communication can be conducted in both Estonian and English.

The deadlines for collecting finished and packaged paintings in Tallinn and Tartu will be announced additionally.

Transport of works to Tallinn/Tartu or directly to Pärnu is the responsibility of the participant.

The final selection of exhibiting artists will be unveiled at the UKM exhibition halls in Pärnu in early April. In the event of an overwhelming number of applicants, a jury may be convened.

Best Regards,
Jaan Elken, on behalf of the organizers
Tel: +372 554 0544

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