Fourteen street artists from six countries descended upon Estonia’s second city, Tartu, last week for the 10th anniversary of one of Europe’s longest running street art festivals, Stencibility.
Stencibility focuses on providing a platform for non-muralists and emerging street artists.
Over the past decade, the festival has carved out an international reputation for supporting independent street art in an era increasingly dominated by large-scale mural events, with co-organisers Sirla and Kadri actively encouraging artists to produce both sanctioned and unsanctioned street art within the festival framework.
Over the course of five days site-specific artworks were supplemented by a satellite program of events including artist talks, workshops and the launch of the 2nd issue of the Tartu Street Art zine.
As part of the festivals effort to bring more awareness to different forms of expression within street art, Stencibility 2019 also presented SLAP! which boasted to be Europe’s largest ever sticker exhibition. Read more here.
This year’s festival gave birth to the term anarcho-street art, which takes its inspiration from the anarcho-punk movement before it and attempts to reclaim street art’s anti-establishment origins.
The festival’s ‘human-scale’ rule forces artists to get creative in order to access harder-to-reach spots with ladders, poles and even car roofs all being made use of. Latvian’s Lazy Bra and Zahars Ze formed a prodigious partnership with Bulgarian graffiti writer Glow to transform numerous buildings, including one side of a derelict, Soviet-era restaurant.
while hidden away in the grounds of an industrial estate Tartuvians will now find two larger walls by SEPE and fellow countryman Someart.
Many artists also tackled another abandoned building, affectionately known as ‘Biig Tussu Laav / Big Pussy Love’ after the landmark graffiti scrawled on one of its sides. The standout piece here is a portrait by Belgian artist Bisser that channels Amedeo Modigliani and Vladimir Tretchikoff – high art and kitsch – which touches upon the organisers concerns about a street art movement increasingly defined by market economics as much as everyday acts of resistance.
Check out more photos from the festival below and enjoy the street art as it goes back to it’s roots…
Stencibility Festival is proudly supported by: City of Tartu, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Civitta, Converse, Skizze, Akzo Nobel, Karl Bilder, Omniva, Barlova, Mäshroom Stuudio, Egg Shell Stickers, Sticker Mule, Pulk Design, Pühaste and Tartu 2024.
Photo Credit Rasaa Etten and Sandra Ruudu