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New Contemporary Arts Center Will Open in Estonia Next Month

Above: Rendering of Kai Art Center. Photo: Martin Dremljuga/Stuudio Stuudio.
Above: Rendering of Kai Art Center. Photo: Martin Dremljuga/Stuudio Stuudio.

TALLINN, ESTONIA—The Kai Art Center, a new cultural hub that will present four main exhibitions a year, boast a 100-seat theater, and serve as an education center, will open on the waterfront in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, next month. Spearheaded by the Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center, the arts space will be housed in a century-old building in Port Noblessner, a former submarine production plant, and will host an international residency program, dubbed 7+7, that will invite up to fourteen artists to Tallinn each year. The center will also provide studio and event space for artists and other local arts organizations.

“Kai is a new type of contemporary art center in Tallinn,” said Karin Laansoo, the director of the Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center. “In an increasingly active art scene, the center’s support for grass-roots organizations and purpose-built exhibition space for contemporary art is in demand. Remarkable also because of its unique industrial history and location, Kai is driven by the vision of bringing together local synergies and international collaboration.”

Funding for the center’s operations will come from Enterprise Estonia (European Regional Development Fund), BLRT Group and Lindermann, and Birnbaum & Kasela. Its inaugural exhibition, “Let the field of your attention. . .soften and spread out”—featuring artists such as Marie Kølbæk Iversen, Pia Lindman, Andrea Magnani, Elin Már Øyen Vister, and Carlos Monleon Gendall—will be curated by Hanna-Laura Kaljo and will open at Peetri 12, as part of the city’s contemporary art biennial, Tallinn Photomonth, on Spetember 20.

Commenting on the upcoming group show, Kaljo said: “I’ve been met with immense support from both Kai and the biennial team, and feel grateful for the opportunity to curate an exhibition for my birth town, bridging, perhaps, an innate Estonian sensibility with an international perspective. . . .I see Kai and its co-working ethos as an invaluable addition to the local creative ecology, creating the conditions for international exchange and hopefully also fostering a vision of the role of contemporary art from this particular locality.”

August 23, 2019