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'Baltic Tale' exhibition of illustrations opens in Tallinn

The Estonian poster for
The Estonian poster for "Baltic Tale," which runs from March 7-31 in Tallinn. Source: (Baltic Tale/Facebook)

"Baltic Tale," an international exhibition opening Tuesday at the Estonian Children's Literature Centre in Tallinn, introduces three artists from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and their approaches to illustrations and storytelling.

Three independent artists would like to share their own versions of the "Baltic Tale" with visitors — a tale told in pictures inviting everyone on a journey through Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with children's book illustrators Ulla Saar, Elīna Brasliņa and Lina Itagaki.

The goal of the exhibition is to try to encourage children to read more books. Although the exhibition utilizes various mediums, it is books that remain the center of attention; the artists want to appeal to young readers with their work and invite them to enter their illustrations' and books' worlds. The three artists consider it an honor to be able to create new memories and give faces to children's heroes.

"Pencils and I have a long history together that may contain blood, sweat and tears, but we've come a long way and we know each other through and through," Saar explained about her approach to illustrating books. "We get along swimmingly by now. When I work on a book, I try to proceed from the text and catch the tone of it in my drawings; to support and elevate it rather than compete with it."

Itagaki, on the other hand, works differently. "When I draw, I usually never make sketches," she said. "I try to finish every drawing — adjust it 'til I like it. And when I start, I usually have a very vague idea or no idea what I will draw, so when I finish it is always a surprise for myself. I really like coloring with simple felt-tip pens, pencils, ProMarkers — mixing them, adding many layers of them, and in the end I do not know myself how I made it. I do not like to plan; I love to improvise!"

"Baltic Tale" opens at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7 and will run through March 31, following which the exhibition will travel on to Riga and Vilnius. The Facebook event for the Tallinn exhibition can be found here.


Ars Baltica is a cultural initiative that gathers and provides information about the latest in the art and culture sector in the Baltic Sea region. It highlights the importance of network-building and the implementation of multilateral cultural projects. Ars Baltica was founded in the early 1990s on the initiative of the Ministries of Culture of the Baltic Sea Region. Since then, it has supported international cultural cooperation, advocated the significance of art and culture on the political level, and promoted cultural life around the Baltic Sea and beyond.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: Ars Baltica

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