At first glance, Vilnius may not look like the type of place that’s full of eye-catching street art. However, if you know where to go, you’re bound to find urban murals by Millo, Os Gemeos, Tank Petrol, and many others. One of the local street art paintings has even been making rounds in the international media. The town’s street art often includes intricate details that play with lines and geometric forms, or messages that fit well with the building or area surrounding a given work of street art. Grab this map and discover the work of locals and visiting artists.
In Greek mythology, the Titan Atlas was tasked with holding the sky on his shoulders. While in architecture, an atlas is a support structure sculpted in the form of a man, often used in place of a column. Two of them by Lithuania’s Ernest Zacharevic now hold the western end of Liubartas’ bridge in place.
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The art is constantly changing in this underground pedestrian passageway, especially since it’s one of the five places in Vilnius where you don’t need a permit to spraypaint. Both beginners and professionals can be found perfecting their skills here, and are protected from bad weather. You might get lucky and see the magical dragons, wolves, and warriors by Senpai Kensei, or the unique faces with a tribal touch by Funkie Freshie.
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A work by Polish graphic artist Mariusz Waras, known in the street art world as M-City. True to his style, the piece on Vilnius’ Palace of Trade Unions plays on depth and form with black and white colours, echoing an industrial style
Gedimino pr. 29A
Local artist Paulė Bocullaitė painted Frida just opposite the sculpture of Lithuanian writer Žemaitė. As Ms Bocullaitė herself put it, if the two would have ever met in real life, Frida would inquire as to why Žemaitė’s wearing a headscarf, the Lithuanian’s response would centre around identity, and from that moment on they’d have plenty to talk about.
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Manchester’s Tank Petrol is known for his portraits of women, one of which appeared in town after the Vilnius Street Art Festival. Both the woman and the eagle on her right slowly vanish, as if becoming free. The wall is ideal for the piece – one of Vilnius’ oldest prisons is on the other side
Konstitucijos pr. 23
The Lithuanian artist Adomas Žudys experiments with combining digital and street art. This work was commissioned by Vidmantas Martikonis as a new and unique addition to his private collection – a portrait created with digital technology, transported onto a building.
If you decide to walk along the Neris River, take a few extra steps and get to the rowing centre next to Žirmūnai Bridge. It’s where the street art magic happens – both Lithuanian and foreign artists use the wall as their canvas. Don’t forget to take a photo – the works here have a tendency to change.
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Before you enter the Arts Printing House (aka Menų spaustuvė) for some contemporary theatre and dance performances, stop by and explore the building’s wall, which is covered in foliage, butterflies and something unexpected. The circle of life captures the spirit of the experiments happening behind the walls.
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One of the first works that appeared in town during the Vilnius Street Art Festival still sits on an Odminių Street’s wall. Lithuanian artist Jurgis Tarabilda says that streets can become a free art gallery and this piece is here to demonstrate that a painting on a city wall isn’t necessarily the work of vandals.
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The walls surrounding the square that houses a statue of Frank Zappa are lined with street art in a variety of styles and colours. As you stand facing the statue, make sure to also head in the direction of the building on your right to check out its walls.
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This piece decorates the entrance to the Pasaka cinema, who also commissioned it. The rather sinister-looking characters of Alice in Wonderland have their eyes on whoever is coming through the cinema’s door.
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An old transformer station has been transformed! The community of the independent Republic of Užupis gave their wall over to artists who turned it into a fascinating sight. Currently, a mythical art piece embodying forces of nature resides on the wall. Pay close attention to Martynas Šnioka’s signature style and look for more of his works around the city.
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The contemporary decor and design studio Gyva Grafika brought colours to the industrial district of Naujoji Vilnia. The Sparrow that found a home on a some lofts captures the essence of the district well – flowers blooming through concrete, garden scents mixing with the railway tars, and the everlasting hope for the spring revival.
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This piece by Lithuanian artist and director Aušra Bagočiūnaitė depicts people going to see a play at a theatre. Joining them are the play’s characters, who look a lot like puppets – no wonder, because the Vilnius Puppet Theatre Lėlė is just on the left.
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The street artist duo from Warsaw created this painting on this empty Kauno Street wall – a firewall that was supposed to separate two adjacent buildings. The second building was never constructed, leaving a perfect canvas for street art.
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The Italian artist Millo is said to usually depict urban scenes – cities and people within them. His work on the building opposite Halės Market is no exception. The town that sprung up on one of the neighbourhood’s most prominent walls is teeming with life.
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The duo from São Paulo are among the top names in street art. They dropped by during the Vilnius Street Art Festival to pay respect to their Lithuanian grandfather, who’s pictured sitting in the palm of a giant in this mural.
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It is fair to say that this work of street art is a true local superstar. Originally, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin shared a kiss, but the initial painting was vandalised and later changed. You may have seen it in the New York Times or in one of many other international media outlets, but seeing it live is well worth your time, too.
The corner of Drujos and Aušros Vartų streets hosts three distinct works by Polish artists, which match incredibly well. Krik Kong is the author of the middle piece and the bald guy you see in his work is a recurring character. To the right are Seikon’s precise lines, and Szyman’s work is the first on the left.
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A little community goes a long way. To brighten up their day and to revive the dull district of Naujininkai, the locals dedicated a wall to street art. Today, a cute kitten on a bookshelf makes each day better for hundreds of people waiting for their bus. Look for the names on the book spines – they are dedicated to the authors who lived or worked in Vilnius.
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Open Gallery is a project by the Art Factory LOFTAS – the town’s hippest event space and cultural centre. The interdisciplinary project brings together many forms of urban expression in the industrial district of Naujamiestis, including street art and visual installations.