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OPEN CALL 2025

OPEN CALL 2025 for exhibitions at the A-Galerii VAULT and WINDOWS

The most notable exhibition space for jewellery and blacksmithing in Estonia announces an open call for the exhibition programme of 2025 at the A-Galerii VAULT and WINDOWS. We welcome applications from jewellery artists as well as boldly experimenting exhibition projects that combine jewellery and blacksmithing with other art fields. Submission deadline: Sunday, May 26, 2024.

As an international exhibition space, the gallery creates bridges between different artists and we have hosted exceptional shows by professional jewellery artists and blacksmiths from Estonia and abroad, including France, China, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Taiwan, Norway and Israel.

EXHIBITION SPACES

The VAULT is A-Galerii’s exhibition space, focusing on showcasing new work by professional jewellery artists and blacksmiths. The VAULT acts as a historic touching point between the original and the contemporary functions of the building – that of a former goldsmith’s shop and of the most notable exhibition space for contemporary jewellery and blacksmithing in Tallinn. The VAULT welcomes artists, writers and researchers whose work stems from contemporary jewellery and craft practices and their context in broader visual culture.

The height of the vault is 315 cm and size 5.2 m². It is possible to exhibit works by using cables and magnets. Painting and drilling within the space is not possible. The exhibition space of the VAULT extends to one of the windows facing Hobusepea street. The approximate duration of an exhibition in the VAULT is 5 weeks.

VAULT PLAN

WINDOWS are A-Gallery’s platform for micro exhibitions, established in 2019 with the aim of showcasing both new and previously exhibited work of practitioners in the field of contemporary jewellery in a compact format. WINDOWS has found a home in the display windows of a former goldsmith’s shop established in 1891 and extends the gallery’s exhibition space into public space.

WINDOWS welcomes both solo projects and collectively created expositions engaging with contemporary jewellery and craft practices within the field of visual culture. Very welcome are applications by curators, who together with different artists would create a comprehensive and well-thought-out exhibition for the WINDOWS as a whole. WINDOWS also welcomes conceptual projects that can be combined with other artists’ input to form exhibitions with the help of the gallery, therefore when submitting an application, one does not need to fill all the windows.

WINDOWS invites a two-directional gaze, to look both in and out. As such, the space can also accommodate works stemming from the field of jewellery but developed in collaboration with fields concerned with other creative fields – such as design, sound, video, fashion, visual and performance art and architecture.

There are five WINDOWS located in the Tallinn Old Town, on the corner of Hobusepea Street and Pikk Street. One large window (220x300x85 cm) and four smaller windows (220x140x48 cm). The window spaces include ceiling hooks for hanging, lighting fixtures and electrical sockets. We don’t have anything on the back of the windows, so the applying artist should think about the exhibition background as well. The approximate duration of an exhibition at WINDOWS is 8 weeks.

WINDOWS PLANS

Costs of installing, production and exhibition opening are to be covered by the artist(s). A-Galerii provides a letter of confirmation for funding applications, if necessary.

Due to difficult customs procedures, we ask all artists applying from outside the European Union to take into account that the exhibition works and other material necessary for the exhibition (backgrounds, stands, etc.) must be delivered to the gallery and taken back after the end of the exhibition by either the artist themself or by another person authorized by the artist.

  • To apply, please submit the following information:
  • – name
  • – contact information
  • – names of all participants
  • – description of the project (2000-2500 characters)
  • – description of artworks
  • – visual material relevant to the project (up to 5 images)
  • – list of equipment and/ or special requirements for exhibiting works
  • – CV(s) and portfolio(s) of participant(s)
  • – preferred exhibition period (month / quarter)

Please clarify in your application, if you are applying for the VAULT or WINDOWS exhibition space. Please inform us beforehand if you’re able to come to Estonia to install your exhibition and if not, please attach a complete installation plan to your application.

Submission deadline is Sunday, May 26, 2024.

Please send your application to info@agalerii.ee with all relevant materials attached in one zip-file or via mail to A-Galerii, Hobusepea 2, 10133, Tallinn.

Application is accepted only if it is submitted on time and includes required information and materials.

Submissions to the VAULT and WINDOWS open call are evaluated and the exhibition programme approved by the board of A-Galerii and the gallery’s programme coordinator Sille Luiga. Artists chosen for the programme will be notified in June 2024.

Additional information:

Sille Luiga
info@agalerii.ee
+372 51 05 036

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SURPRISE EGG EXHIBITION

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These are the sounds of hatching.

SURPRISE!

A flash SURPRISE EGG EXHIBITION is taking place at A-Galerii. We kindly ask you not to lay around at home but to come immediately here to see the spherical creations of our artists. From the exhibition, you can purchase both an IRON EGG, a SILVER EGG, and a GOLDEN EGG. Some of the artworks guarantee a first-place finish in an home egg-knocking competition, while others serve as talismans, bestowing the tranquility of inner peace upon life.

Participating artists:

Adolfas Šaulys, Ane Raunam, Caius Kull, Edgar Volkov, Ene Valter, Henry Mardisalu, Ivar Kaasik, Ive Maria Köögard, Kadi Kübarsepp, Kalle Kotselainen, Katrin Kosenkranius, Katrin Veegen, Keesi Kapsta, Krista Laos, Liina Lelov, Mari Pärtelpoeg, Merike Balod, Raili Vinn, Sille Luiga, Sven Tali, Ülle Mesikäpp, Ülle Voosalu, Vello Lillemets ja Viktorija Lillemets.

Curated by Sille Luiga

The SURPRISE EGG EXHIBITION can be visited from March 11 in the showroom of A-Galerii and the exhibition will remain open until April 30, 2024. We are grateful for spreading the word!

Eggs can also be found in our e-shop under the EGG category.

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A-Galerii has chosen the best vault exhibition of the 2023

The best VAULT exhibition of A-Galerii in 2023 is memorial exhibition TOUCHED BY FINE LINE for Lia Tüür

Estonian jewellery artists have chosen the best A-Galerii VAULT exhibition of 2023. As the principal local exhibition space for artjewellery, the A-Galerii VAULT has focused for many years on introducing new works by professional jewellery artists and blacksmiths. Last year the vault hosted 9 various exhibitions, of which Lia Tüür’s (1944-2022) memorial exhibition TOUCHED BY A LINE was chosen as the best.

The organizer and curator of the exhibition was Ketli Tiitsar with the help of the A-Galerii.

The memorial exhibition provides for the first time an overview of the artist’s creative path, which began in the 1960s, using family archive materials and photos, designs and works from the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design, the History Museum, the Tallinn City Museum and the Estonian Artists’ Association as well as private collections.

When looking back at Lia Tüür’s work, the first thing that comes to mind is her extremely masterful drawing skills and gentle graphic surface handling, regardless of the material she was working with. Lia Tüür’s greatest passion was time-consuming and complex engraving technique.

Back in 1993 Lia Tüür had an idea of a gallery focused on Estonian art jewellery. In cooperation with a group of colleagues, the idea was implemented on Hobusepea Street and A-Galerii was opened in 1994.

Since 2007, the A-Galerii has been selecting the best vault exhibition every year. The aim of the competition is to appreciate the outstanding achievements of artists in their work. You can view previous acclaimed exhibitions here.

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THE BOUNDS OF BOUNDARIES

At the solo exhibition THE BOUNDS OF BOUNDARIES, Maarja Niinemägi presents sculptural rings that extensively combine materials and technologies, such as titanium, buffalo horn, ebony, engraving, riveting, and anodizing. The creation of large-scale abstract jewellery is a creative practice that plays with the boundaries of design and jewellery art – a journey the artist started already in 2005. Maarja Niinemägi writes:

“I seek a shape that does not directly allude to the ring, a form distinct from the conventional. A ring could be a piece of art even when not worn on a finger.

 Unaware of the dimensions of the jewellery piece while looking at a photo of it, a person may be surprised by its actual size in real life. I aim to design these rings playfully keeping in mind the function of a ring but evading the limits of its traditional form. 

My desire is to develop and discover nuances inside the shapes forming the rings. The rings can be worn and viewed as independent objects, connecting small details and designs – creating philosophical landscapes. On each ring a small story sets a scene.”

The exhibition is funded with the help of Estonian Cultural Endowment.


Maarja Niinemägi is a jewellery artist and designer based in Tartu. She has participated in exhibitions since 1997, leading her to various parts of the world, including Europe, China, America, and Australia. Niinemägi obtained her education in jewellery art from the Estonian Academy of Arts, where she earned her master’s degree in arts with honours in 2008. As an exchange student and intern in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, she also acquired skills in gemstone engraving. Her works are part of the collection of the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design, the Alice and Louis Koch Ring Collection in Switzerland, and other private collections in Estonia and abroad. Maarja Niinemägi has been a member of the Estonian Artists’ Association since 2011 and the Estonian Association of Designers since 2014.

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INTO NIILO/ KADI KÜBARSEPP

On January 19, Friday at 18:00, solo-exhibitions of artists Into Niilo and Kadi Kübarsepp will be opened on the WINDOWS of A-Galerii.

Into Niilo 

|1984|

With their second solo exhibition in A-Galerii Into Niilo reflects on war propaganda and the concept of Newspeak portrayed in George Orwell’s politically critical dystopian novel 1984. The emigrated artist once based in Moscow now residing in Antwerp relates the novel with nowadays politics in the world and in particular with it in Russia. The project |1984| was made as a part of the MASieraad Master’s program, led by some of the most famous jewellery artists such as Ted Noten and Ruudt Peters.

The artwork combines objects – blocks, creating a unique puzzle. The blocks depicting words with opposite meanings pair up. They go together as a word with a bad connotation fits into the positive space of the other block and a word with a good undertone covers the first block’s positive space with its void. The artist developed a custom font so these materialized words would combine with each other. There are 2 sets of 4 pairs of these objects, either 3D printed with SLA or CNC cut into beech wood. 

During the creative research Niilo understood that the pieces were driven by a quotation from the book 1984. In Orwell’s novel its fictional evil government states absurdly with the intent of brainwashing citizens that “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.”

The gallery shares the artists Into Niilo’s statement as follows:

Some people say “life before 24th of February and after”. I share this chronology. I hardly can recall the life before it, but I remember my feelings clearly after the full blown war against Ukraine had started: searing pain, despair and guilt because of a wrongful, terrible mistake.

Propaganda in Russia had never been shy, but by now I feel completely dumbfounded. A full swing war is called a “special operation”, an unprovoked attack is called “a rightful defense.” Propaganda states that black is white and feeds people’s minds with shit. After the first weeks of the atrocities in official news, I couldn’t keep it to myself. I insist on my right to speak out about it.

I speak about propaganda, freedom of speech and fear because I want to be heard that yes, I am Russian, but

Russian ≠ state 

Russian ≠ Putin

I can’t speak on behalf of the majority but I can speak on my behalf.

So, on my behalf:

Stop the war. 

Release all political prisoners.

Russia will be free.

Kadi Kübarsepp

Α & Ώ

I wanted to talk about the beginning, the unfolding of all things, and the path ahead, along with the reasons for my outset. The length and destination of our journey remain unknown. We move forward. – KADI KÜBARSEPP

Kadi Kübarsepp is an Estonian jewellery artist known for her powerful and at times brutalist way of handling materials. She obtained her master’s degree from the Estonian Academy of Arts in 2011 and has been participating in exhibitions since 2003. Kübarsepp is particularly fascinated by the subjectivity of wearability questioned in contemporary jewellery art. Creating mainly sculptural performative pieces, she has been strongly influenced by the New Jewellery movement of the 80s, which, in a revolutionary spirit, liberated jewellery from the burdens of its historical materials, forms, and sizes. She is one of the 65 shareholders of A-Galerii, a member of the Estonian Association of Metal Artists, and of the Estonian Artists’ Association.

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MOURNING CLOAK BUTTERFLY. MOURNING CLOAK BUTTERFLY.

Mourning Cloak Butterfly wakes up early from its winter slumber, sleeps deep through midsummer, and remains awake for a long time in autumn.

Already in early childhood Ülle encountered the miraculous Mourning Cloak Butterfly.

The elderly paid attention to the butterfly as well.

The child could not yet grasp the meaning of its name, as only a delicate shadow was cast by it on the winged beauty.

Emotions and knowledge attached with time passing.

Gratitude to the dear departed ones remains.

The dark side of earthly beings, their envy and greed, are grief-worthy, not the dread before the unknown light. In this world, the Mourning Cloak Butterfly crosses forests and seas, luxuriates in the sun on a blooming meadow, and sucks up the juice and time given to it. With the Universe’s kind permission, journeys through the warmth of summer and the cold winter. Circling in a never ending pursuit of happiness.

The sun caresses people because they are so beautiful and kind.

Dear companions choose between light and shadow.

With the arrival of winter, the Milky Way in the sky, one can travel along it.

And people are so beautiful and kind… Hope remains.

ÜLLE VOOSALU

Ülle Voosalu’s exhibition MOURNING CLOAK BUTTERFLY celebrates the 70th anniversary of the jewelry artist from Tartu, Estonia. Voosalu graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts from the metalworking department in 1980 and soon after began exhibiting in 1981. She has worked as an artist at Tartu ARS and as a lecturer at Pallas University of Applied Sciences. Since 2001, she has been working as a freelance jewelry artist. Voosalu is a member of the Estonian Artists’ Association. The artist creates jewelry in an outstanding author’s technique, combining silver wire and gemstones into variously structured clusters. Her jewelry embodies wild joy of life and love for the beauty of nature. She crafts her pieces with the best wishes for the wearer.

The exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

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BARBORA LEXOVA/ JÜRI ROOSA

BARBORA LEXOVA

ŽOUŽELENÍ

The Czech word ŽOUŽELENÍ encapsulates the immersive, subjective experience of bliss and enjoyment evoked by sensory stimuli during interaction. It happens as imagination takes flight – runs wild, and surprises await around every corner. 

Lexovas oddly familiar interactive pieces are here to brighten up even the dullest of days, calling back every inner child to start playing again. ŽOUŽELENÍ offers an experience that’s anything but boring. It embraces the unexpected, and entertaining.

Barbora Lexová is the fourth-generation artist in her family. While specializing in jewellery, she embraces a versatile approach, unbounded by specific media or sizes. Influenced by the ASMR phenomenon, she navigates between softness and the peculiar, alongside an attraction to semi-fictional creatures. Lexova obtained her bachelor’s degree at the Academy of Arts Architecture & Design in Prague and completed her master’s at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Last year, she deepened her understanding of contemporary jewellery through an internship at Galeria Reverso.

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JÜRI ROOSA

CLOUD GAZING

Have you ever spent an entire day watching clouds?

Not at all?

As a child?

Can’t remember?

Cloud gazing can be done both on clear skies and under uniformly gray skies. All you need to do is stop by the windows of A-Gallery facing Pikk Street. The only downside is the constant stillness of the clouds there. But me, I managed to see their formation –  initially a lazy calm, later increasingly nervous movement and then all their unexpected changes.

What would life be without clouds! – JÜRI ROOSA


Jüri Roosa (1964) is an Estonian metal artist who began his professional journey in 1994. This year marks both his 60th and 30th anniversaries. Roosa introduces himself in a colorful manner: “From 1984 to 2004, I was a rock musician, a bass guitarist (ed. Gunnar Graps’s Group, Magnetic Band, Vanemõde, among others). Currently, I mainly operate in the Fe gallery. I work with both new and recycled steel, copper, aluminum, and other materials. I wear glasses and am almost bald.” The artist’s positivity and ironic sense of humor radiate through his playful depictions of animals and nature. In contrast to their naivety one can imagine the metal whining under a shear cutter, and see sparks flash during the making of.

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NEVER AFTER

A shirt from a lover

A gift from a friend

A few stitches from an other

A path without an end …

Decaeon has come to stay.

“Never again!” she swore as she disappeared into the waves.

NEVER AFTER – an installation about an endless winter. 

The exhibition consists of jewelry and objects inspired by decorative techniques from the Mediterranean. Rich colors and the decadent charm of the abundance of material reflect the desire for eternal life: suffocating and charming at the same time, like the bittersweet love from fairy tales …as much a balm as a poison.

In these works, curses and eternal love are intertwined, sharing a glimpse into a drowning world where memories of better days are all there is.

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Pilvi Tammoja is an Estonian interdisciplinary artist. She has a bachelor’s degree in fashion design and a master’s degree in jewellry art (cum laude) from the Estonian Academy of Arts. At the core of Tammoja’s opulent, space-burying installations are masterfully crafted, detailed works whose materials vary from silk thread to cast iron.

The exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

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TRANSMISSION A-Galerii 30

TRANSMISSION, as a term, signifies the act of transferring: in practice, it refers to the conveyance of force, energy, and control. It also encompasses the transfer of thoughts and ideas, from one entity to another. Thus, every belief encompasses transmission, an intelligent organizing energy that can catalyze change.

The title TRANSMISSION in this exhibition’s context arbitrarily interprets the English term and emphasizes on the part ‘mission,’ highlighting purpose-driven and responsible action.

Memory is selective; objects retain and aid in our recollection. Jewellery is remembered, and through it, people and time. Throughout history, jewellery has been a carrier of memory. With this focus, we turn our gaze to a time when the entire art scene in Estonia was undergoing significant changes. Figuratively speaking, it was a time when doors were closing and opening—some slammed shut with a bang, others were gently kicked wide, all with a touch of arrogance and sincere enthusiasm.

The TRANSMISSION exhibition evokes a period from 30 years ago. On May 10, 1994, in the premises of the present-day HOP Gallery of the Estonian Artists’ Union, situated at Hobusepea 2, a distinctive gallery devoted to art jewellery was inaugurated through the financial backing and collaborative effort of 33 artists. The core of this exhibition consists of the works of these artists from the 1990s. Despite the relatively homogeneous closed learning and development environment, their jewellery creations were explorative and distinctive. Among them are artists who have since passed away, but fortunately, many talented new artists have emerged. Do we also find influences and traces of the 1990s in the works of these younger creators—contemporary ideas intermingling with those from the past? What has been added over time, and what has been lost? The curators do not deny that, in compiling the exhibition, they sought similarities and kinship rather than conflicts, with a hidden desire to witness transmissions and inspirations stemming from the pivotal jewelry art of that era.

The exhibition aims to pay homage to the pioneers, to all fellow travelers, and extends wishes of strength to those continuing the mission of A-Galerii. Today is tomorrow’s yesterday.

Exhibition curators: Tiina Käesel and Maria Valdma-Härm

Exhibition design: Maria Valdma-Härm

Graphic design: Rasmus Lukas

The exhibition features video clips from the ERR archive: “Estonian Jewellery” (parts 1 and 3, year 1990), director Tiina Pork, consultant Tiina Käesel.

The exhibition is supported by the Estonian Cultural Endowment.

Thanks to: Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design and Ketli Tiitsar.

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SENSORY SPACES

Elize Hiiop’s solo exhibition SENSORY SPACES explores the relationship of external and internal spaces. The jewellery series depicts real places and objects that have acquired symbolic significance for the artist over time. Familiar architectural elements are presented in altered sizes, and through the harmony of their repetitions and overlaps, new miniature worlds have emerged.

Several spaces that inspired the works now exist only in the artist’s memories. Emotions, scents, sounds, and light evoke vague and romanticized sceneries. There are places or objects that became valuable through human touch – a grandmother waiting on the steps in front of the house, who has now passed away; a daughter practicing piano in the mornings, who has started an independent life; or the snow castles built with her father in childhood, which disappeared with the first thaw. There are also places that have inscribed themselves deeply in her soul over the years, like the home in Kalamaja or the studio in the old town, and some that persist as flashes before her eyes through bright realization or experience.

The exhibition gathers location-based memories into a tangible form, creating a time capsule that can be revisited now at any chosen moment. The jewellery pieces took form  as brooches, allowing the cherished places to be carried with oneself. A piece of jewelry worn close to the heart is like a bridge that maintains a strong connection between the inner and outer worlds. The dominant material used is porcelain, accompanied by ebony, silver, bone, coral, and cotton paper.

Elize Hiiop (1977) is an Estonian jewellery artist and designer who graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with a degree in jewellery and blacksmithing in 2005. She has participated in numerous exhibitions in Europe, China, Mexico, and the United States, and her works are in various private collections. Hiiop is dedicated to exploring the possibilities of porcelain as a material, focusing on 3D printing with organic additives in recent years.

Thanks: A-Galerii, Estonian Cultural Endowment, Estonian Academy of Arts, Lovisa Luka Hiiop, Lauri Kilusk, Meriti Ilves, and everyone who supported with kind words or deeds.