Year of Bear exhibition opens featuring works by Social Work Center clients

The Social Work Center's
The Social Work Center's "My Bear" exhibition at the Tallinn City Office bureau in Freedom Square. March 22, 2022. Source: Tallinn City Government

Tallinn's Social Work Center on Tuesday launched the exhibition "My Bear" at Tallinn City Office's service bureau, featuring bear-themed works of art created by the center's clients and staff. The exhibition is dedicated to Estonia's 2022 Animal of the Year, and timed to coincide with World Bear Day on Wednesday.

"It is very positive that in addition to providing social services, the staff of the Social Work Center also pays attention to the emotional well being of its clients," Deputy Mayor Betina Beškina (Center) said according to a city government press release. "People who do not have their own homes or loved ones need support and care just like everyone else, and enjoyable activities together help to provide this."

Beškina noted that the center has organized other exhibitions in the past, but this time, the bear theme, dedicated to the brown bear being chosen as Estonia's 2022 Animal of the Year, is "particularly warm and affectionate."

Tallinn Deputy Mayor Betina Beškina (Center) and the Social Work Center's Signe Freienthal (right) at the opening of the "My Bear" exhibition at the Tallinn City Office bureau in Freedom Square. March 22, 2022. Source: Albert Truuväärt/Pealinn

"We want our clients to have something pleasant in their lives, even in difficult times — to take their minds off their worries and sooth their souls," said Social Work Center director Kersti Põldemaa, adding that one way to do so was to offer opportunities for arts and crafts.

"In the past, our exhibitions have featured both individual and collective works, but this time we were dedicated to creating together," Põldemaa explained. "All techniques were allowed, and the results are three-dimensional and diverse."

In all, 60 pieces were created jointly by center clients and staff, some of which are now on display at the exhibition.

The Social Work Center's "My Bear" exhibition at the Tallinn City Office bureau in Freedom Square. March 22, 2022. Source: Tallinn City Government

Operated by Tallinn's Social Welfare and Health Care Department, the Tallinn Social Work Center provides services to underprivileged individuals and the unhoused.

"My Bear" will remain open at the Tallinn City Office service bureau opposite Freedom Square through the end of April.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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