“Menas be stogo” (Art needs no roof) is back: Vilnius has become a huge open-air art gallery


The project “Menas be stogo” (Art needs no roof) started today in Vilnius. At the very heart of the city, one hundred works of art will be exhibited for delight of residents and guests of the city for three weeks. Works offered by artists themselves will be displayed in outdoor advertising stands, while the virtual gallery Menasbestogo.lt will exhibit works of about 300 artists.

The project “Menas be stogo” was born a year ago after the first lockdown, with the aim to help artists affected by the pandemic. This initiative of the Vilnius City Municipality and the outdoor advertising company JCDecaux Lietuva received a record interest from creators and involvement of residents of the city, who embarked on the search for art in unexpected places of the city. Just like last year, all the works of art presented in the project can be purchased directly from the artists or the galleries representing them. Their prices ranging from several dozen to 10 thousand euros, are available on the virtual gallery.

Photo by Kastytis Mačiūnas

“This year, artists once again expressed great interest in the project, even though galleries are already open. This shows that the “Art Needs No Roof” project is necessary not only in the face of pandemic. The city needs art and artists need the city, so the project will continue. I invite residents of the city to enjoy art on the streets of Vilnius during the summer,” said the Mayor of Vilnius Remigijus Šimašius.

The website www.menasbestogo.lt has a map of the centre of Vilnius, which allows to easily find works of art of all the hundred project partners in stands of the outdoor advertising company JCDecaux Lietuva. According to expectations, residents of Vilnius will have a change to see all the works they are interested in by the 1st of August.

Photo by Kastytis Mačiūnas

One of the members of the “Menas be stogo” project team, who participated in the selection of works of art, the art critic Virginijus Kinčinaitis says that this year the artists presented many competitive works of art. “We have both new names and well-known creators in the project. It will be interesting to see how the works will blend into the urban environment and what new meanings and contexts the urban landscape will dictate to them,” – V. Kinčinaitis told.

“Works of art are often inspired by the public space and experiences in it, and they are closed in galleries after that. Therefore, this project gives artists more opportunities to be seen and heard, as “Menas be stogo” becomes a gallery that has no borders and is open 24 hours a day. I hope that this year, at least some of the works will also find new homes and owners,” said Žaneta Fomova, the head of the outdoor advertising company JCDecaux Lietuva.

Photo by Kastytis Mačiūnas

Participation in the project “Menas be stogo” is free of charge, all printing and exhibition costs of the works were covered by the project organizers the Vilnius City Municipality, the outdoor advertising company JCDecaux Lietuva and the retail chain IKI.

The works of art will be displayed in the city centre until the 1st of August, but the virtual gallery will also be available after that. The full route of the outdoor gallery is available online at www.menasbestogo.lt.