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Published: 8 november 2019 18:38

Kaunas finds a unique solution – turning its public transport into street art

Atia senienos, labas naujienos!
Kaunas city municipality / Atia senienos, labas naujienos!

Kaunas (Lithuania) has created a unique platform for street art. While waiting for the new trolleybuses to arrive, nearly 100 old trolleybuses counting their last months were turned into a running street art exhibition "Atia senienos, labas naujienos!" ("Bye Antiquities, Hi New Ones!").

"Street art is an important part of Kaunas identity. It is especially exciting that nowadays artists have a lot of space to realize their ideas and to color the city with unusual works. It is also interesting to observe the reactions of Kaunas residents and city guests as they see the exhibit passing by," stated Kaunas Vice-Mayor Andrius Palionis.

During the duration of the project, 80 old trolleybuses had been decorated in total. Each weekend, the gallery expanded with 1-2 new exhibits. The main theme connecting the artwork was Kaunas. The artists reflect it in different ways. Some used patterns of modernism architecture, the others created art that told stories about local rivers, city factories, authentic food, cafes or sports.

"Bringing drawings to life involves loads of work, therefore, we had to hurry. Most of the time it required working late hours. It was great not only to draw but also to watch more and more colored trolleybuses to appear. I loved listening to the opinions of Kaunas residents and seeing which drawing they enjoyed the most," told street artist Timotiejus Norvila-Morfai.

Moreover, it was not only Lithuanian artist that were involved in this unusual street art platform. Some trolleybuses were decorated by artists from other parts of Europe too.

"Atia senienos, labas naujienos!" ("Bye Antiquities, Hi New Ones!") is a traveling street art exhibition designed to say goodbye to old trolleybuses of Kaunas. A week ago, on a Sunday, the longest street of Kaunas became the biggest open-air street art exhibition. Most of the old colored trolleybuses were parked for the public to enjoy. There were lots of fun activities linked by the theme of the pattern of the trolleybuses. This project was a colourful way to say goodbye to the old trolleybuses before they’re being replaced by new ones.

Colored trolleybuses are not the only platform in Kaunas for street art. This year, the city launched the project "Gyvos sienos" ("Walls came alive") to help artists and wall owners who want to decorate their buildings find each other.

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