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'Art Needs No Roof' - only a suitable public spot that gets a lot of traffic, Source: Vilnius Municipality / Sauliaus Žiūros

Vilnius’ bus stops host the city’s largest art gallery

Vilnius’ bus stops host the city’s largest art gallery

The splendid initiative that turns advertising spaces into art canvases is back for its third edition

‘Art Needs No Roof’ (Menas be stogo) is the name of the largest outdoor art gallery in Vilnius. But don’t search for it on a map of the Lithuanian capital – you won’t find it. Its floor space is the whole city and its signposts containing the works of art are the public bus stops.

The project was born two years ago, after the first quarantine, to help artists affected by the pandemic. And now in July, it is set to return for its third edition. The recent initiative of Vilnius City Municipality and the outdoor advertising company JCDecaux Lietuva has attracted record interest from creators and the involvement of citizens, who have embarked on art discoveries in unexpected places in their city.

Idea born during pandemic restrictions

The ‘Art Needs No Roof’ project aims not only to help professional artists be more widely seen but also to act as a network for partnering and selling works. All works involved in the project must be sold and their prices quoted publicly. This project was born to support developers in times of change.

"There will never be too much art in the streets of Vilnius. This tradition, born during the closed galleries due to the pandemic, enlivens the city perfectly now, so we are continuing it,” explained Remigijus Šimašius, the Mayor of Vilnius.

The project is attracting a lot of interest, with more than 500 professional artists submitting their applications each year. From them, the commission will have the difficult task of selecting 100 works that will be printed and exhibited in outdoor advertising planes in the city.

Several hundred more works will be displayed in the virtual gallery, which you can consult here with a map of locations.

Participation in the project is free of charge, all printing and exhibition costs of the artworks are covered by the project organizers - Vilnius City Municipality, JCDecaux Lietuva and the project partner IKI.

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