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Concreate Urban Art Festival

14.01.2021

Name One, Tonek & Balstrøm, photo: Roosa Honkala

Concreate is a festival focused on urban art which turns streets of Helsinki into a unique, open space art exhibition, accompanied by workshops and events. Concreate 2020 was granted funding from Culture and art programme for its Nordic dimension.

27 artists from Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Italy and Spain were brought together in august 2020 for a week-long painting work in Itä-Pasila (Helsinki) to create artworks in different techniques, strengthen their networks and plan future collaborations. An estimated 1000 people visited and photographed artists in their work during the week in addition to all the passers-by.

In addition, events held in the area during the week gathered about 3,000 people. About 2,500 of them visited the block party on the closing day of the festival. The block party included music and poetry performances on two stages, an outdoor flea market open to everyone and a printing workshop.

Festival artists had their own art exhibition, where they could display their works or paint them directly on to the gallery walls. Guided street art tours, where the audience got to see the fresh artworks and hear the artists’ own stories behind them were popular. Artist meetings and artist interviews covered beside presentations of the newly made artworks also thoughts on working as street artists as well as the current state of the street art scene.

Long-term effects of the project

For the participating artists the festival has offered work opportunities, interaction with both audiences and fellow artists, stronger networks and plans for future collaborations.

From the producers point of view ”the project has strengthened the belief that art in the public space increases the well-being and cohesion of the area’s residents. Our aim is to make public spaces aesthetically more attractive and at the same time create an environment that connects people closer to each other. And we think we succeeded. We also made a short documentary of the festival.”

A printed street art map of the area including all the older artworks and the ones made during the festival has been made after the festival. The map is actively distributed to attract more people to see the artworks. Guided tours will also be organised when possible. Outdoor possibilities to experience art become even more important with the closure of museums due to the current pandemic.

More information available on:

Concreate 2020
Instagram @helsinkiurbanart / Concreate 2020
Short documentary (length 13.23, in english, subtitles in finnish)

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