Art on the fly: artists display their works at Tallinn Airport

Travellers can get away from the regular airport buzz at Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport and enjoy artworks in a quiet gallery.

Tucked up on the second floor of Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport is a small area known as the Gallery. An elevator ride takes visitors to the small, cosy and quiet space where one can escape the movement of people below. It’s also an area where local artists exhibit their work on a rotating basis.

The Gallery, which is free to visit, has been open since November 2014. According to Martin Grünberg, the Gallery’s contact person, “everyone can apply” to get their works displayed. The only stipulation when it comes to the actual art is that there is “no racial abuse, no religious, no explicit nudity or otherwise offensive works”.

While most of the artists who have displayed their work, such as Alisa Jakobi; Toomas Altnurme; Tõnu Kirves; Piret Rohusaar; Uku Põllumaa; Andrus Raag; Tiiu Esnar; Rein Mägar, are from Estonia, not everyone is. For example, Jose Corominas comes from Spain and Anatoly Stakhov is Ukrainian.

Searching for the deeper meaning

The current artist being showcased is Liis Koger. Koger, who was born in Pärnu and graduated from Tartu University with a visual arts degree in painting, now lives in Tallinn. She has been creating abstract art since 2013 upon graduating. Her works have been shown in exhibitions in Italy, the UK, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Moldova and Estonia.

While some might say abstract art is just a mess of nonsensical splatters and splotches, for Koger each canvas is an “individual, a spiritual practice”. One gets a sense that her paintings search for “the deeper meaning of it all” in a “how does it affect you?” way. It is not about what is there, what is seen. It is about searching for something deeper and that parallels the allure of travel, as well.

We often travel to enrich our lives. It’s not just about where we go and see – it is the deeper, lasting impact made by the people and places we’ve experienced. Art has the same effect. Once our travels are completed we want “the memory to last, the dream to never go away”.

As the number of passengers passing through Tallinn Airport grows, its art space becomes more appreciated – it is a way to spend some time away from the buzz below. The artwork also adds to the ambiance. The next time while at the airport, take some time to visit the Gallery. Relax and enjoy the artwork on display.

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Cover: An exhibition at the Gallery, Tallinn Airport.

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About the author: Dan Franch

Dan Franch is an American living in Estonia. He was a high school sports writer at the Daily Herald in Chicago, a columnist and co-cartoonist at Wort newspaper in Luxembourg, a member at CLEW magazine in Luxembourg, and is a contributor to Estonian World magazine. Several of his poems can be found in various online magazines. Dan has traveled extensively and has lived in the US, Morocco, Luxembourg, Eritrea, Germany and now in Estonia.