Open call

Tallinn Applied Art Triennial is an international contemporary craft event, highlighting works from different fields of applied art and design. The main exhibition will take place from 5 October 2024 to 16 February 2025 at Kai Art Center in Tallinn, Estonia. The concept and theme for the exhibition is “The Fine Lines of Constructiveness”. The curator of the main exhibition is Maret Sarapu. The call for the main exhibition was open to artists and designers living or working in the Baltic and Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland).

The fine lines of constructiveness

Constructiveness is something clear, straightforward and optimal. All things superfluous have been cut. It can be found in ideas and acts that are contributing to development and creative progress, to reconstruction when all has been lost. Constructiveness emerges when means are scarce, energy low or when we need to be gentle with one another. It can also appear in natural clear-mindedness. Reconstruction perhaps refers to something that needs to be done after the war is over, at the same time, it is a process we go through constantly, every day, on a smaller or larger scale. We address chaos and traumas and try to find solutions.
Constructiveness does not mean merely “pointing to the sore points in society” but then just stopping there.

Applied art and making by hand is something people often turn to in order to find a release. Solace can be found in thinking without articulating, in the surrounding atmosphere or the people who have gathered to make something together – by making an object, another world is unconsciously created in the process. A better world can also be created intentionally, by consciously seeking and making practical choices along the way. Constructiveness in art means a willingness to experiment, innovate and make something new, to look for unexpected collaborations, to approach issues in a practical manner.

What are the ways and possibilities to construct something, to take things forwards and to be creative? How to invigorate our mind, body and soul? How is constructiveness reflected in love? How is resilience expressed between ruins?

We are seeking works that showcase individual or collective methods to move towards solutions. These can include resilient and empowering preservation craft skills inherited from ancestors. Or developing a series of artworks – thinking and finding resolve in the process. Settling on what is the most important.

We invite encounters with objects that provide us with ideas and stamina to live a better life. We seek strategies and models. We know that not all questions have definitive answers and there is no one single path suitable for everyone, but still, there are ways that lead to functioning, effective and constructive results.

Rise up! But not to the barricades.

Photo: Terje Ugandi


Maret Sarapu (1978) is an artist and curator based in Tallinn. She has graduated from the Department of Glass Art at the Estonian Academy of Arts (BA 2002, MA 2005). She has taken additional professional courses and been in artist residencies both in Estonia and abroad, including at the Creative Glass Center of America (USA), the Glass Centre of Sunderland University (UK) and GlazenHuis (Belgium).

She has curated and organised numerous glass art exhibitions in Estonia. Since 2017 she is one of the core team members of the Tallinn Applied Art Triennial. Sarapu is also the curator of the triennial’s main exhibition in 2024.

In addition to exhibitions in Estonia, Sarapu has also participated in group exhibitions in Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Denmark, Russia, Germany, Turkey, USA. Sarapu’s artworks belong to a number of public collections: Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design (Tallinn, Estonia), Museum of American Glass (Millville, NJ, USA), Museum of Modern Glass Art (Eskisehir, Turkey) etc.

Her works have won prizes in national art competitions and are on display in several public buildings. These achievements have given Sarapu the experience of creating conceptually rich, aesthetically pleasing and thought provoking compositions as well as equipped her with valuable insights and skills related to large-scale projects and collaborations.

In her work, Sarapu is mostly inspired by everyday life. Often, her aim is to achieve mental well-being and find harmony between intelligence and emotions. In her process, Sarapu alternates between thinking, writing, working in the studio and collaborating with material, which leads to results that give both the artist and the viewer a possibility to make conclusions and generalisations.

As a curator she is interested in constructiveness and the questions of how a constructive and progressive approach can be expressed in applied arts, how art and contemporary craft can serve as a powerful source of perseverance, both in the act of creation and in the messages and symbolism they convey. And how by tapping into the resilience and strength of the human spirit, these creative forms can inspire individuals to push through challenges and find meaning in their struggles.


Submitting digital materials to the open call


If you have questions, please contact Merle Kasonen: info [ätt]

  • Deadline
  • Requirements for authors
  • Requirements for works
  • How to participate
  • Selection

The open call closes on 15 March 2024 at 23.59 and submitting applications later is not possible.

Requirements for authors

The call for the main exhibition is open to artists and designers living or working in the Baltic and Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland).
Professional artists, art students, both individuals and groups, are welcome to participate. The artist(s) must hold the copyright to their work, and the work must not have been created under an academic supervisor.

Requirements for works

9th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial exhibits works of contemporary craft and/or design exploring themes like constructiveness, resilience and sustainability centering notions such as reconstruction and moving forward in the broadest sense. Artworks can be presented either in physical or digital form.

Each artist may propose an individual work, installation or a series of works. Works belonging to a series may have been created in different periods on the condition that they make up a conceptual whole. Artworks must not have been created under an academic supervisor. The maximum height of a work is 4 metres, hanging works must not exceed a weight of 30 kg.

Submitted artwork or series of artworks must be identical to the work to be exhibited.

How to participate

Applications must be submitted via Typeform. Submission is free of charge.

To apply, the following information must be submitted via Typeform:

  • information about each artist (name, e-mail, country)
  • title of work/ series
  • concept (no more than 1000 characters with spaces)
  • 1–5 digital photographs. Format of the photographs: jpg, 72 dpi, at least 210×297 mm or 6300×8700 px (the maximum size of each file is 10 MB). Artworks must be photographed against a single-colour background. The photographs should show both a general view and a detail of the work. Please title the file as follows: Name of the Artist_Title_Author of the Photo.jpg
  • materials used in the work/ series
  • dimensions of the work/ series
  • year of completing the work/ series
  • name of the maker/ technical executor of the work (if different than the author)
  • other relevant information (regarding exhibiting etc.)

The exhibition, featuring between 20-25 artists will comprise works submitted via open call and those chosen by the curator. 

Application deadline is 15 March 2024. Artists participating in the open call will be notified of the result no later than 12 April 2024.

All artists who participated in the open call have been sent an e-mail with the results on April 12. If you have not received an answer, please check your spam folder.

The open call is now closed


For artists selected by the jury
DEADLINE: 1 March 2017

For artists selected by the curator

  • Deadline
  • Transportation of the works
  • Exhibiting the works
  • Requirements for works
  • The use of photographs
  • Artist fee

Artworks must arrive in Tallinn no later than 04.09.2024.

Transportation of the works

The transportation of works from the Baltic and Nordic countries will be covered by the Triennial.
Artworks must arrive in Tallinn no later than 04.09.2024. Artworks will be shipped from Tallinn no later than 23.02.2025 and claims will be accepted until 23.03.2025.
Artworks must be shipped in a secure and protective packaging. The same packaging material must be usable for returning the work as well. If this condition is not met, the Triennial reserves the right to invoice the author for packaging materials.

Exhibiting the works

Exhibiting of the artworks will be handled by a professional exhibition designer, installation team and Triennial Society. Triennial Society in collaboration with Kai Art Center will ensure the safety of artworks during installation, exhibiting and deinstallation, provides video surveillance and by concluding additional insurance contract for the period of installation, deinstallation and exhibition, based on the insurance value provided by the artist.

Requirements for works

The work or series of works sent to the exhibition must be identical to the work or series of works selected by the curator.

The use of photographs

The artist will allow the organisers to use his or her photographs in the (digital) exhibition catalogue, Triennial’s website and social media channel and in the media for the purpose of marketing the exhibition.

Artist fee

Each artist or artist group participating at the main exhibition will receive a fee of 500€ (including all relevant tax).

Each artist or artist group participating at the main exhibition will be provided with a licence agreement.

The Triennial will not cover production costs.


01. Open call deadline

The open call closes on 15.03.2024 at 23.59 and submitting applications later is not possible.

02. The selection of the works

Artists participating in the open call will be notified of the result no later than 12.04.2024.

03. Additional information

Selected artists provide additional information by 30.05.2024.

04. Transportation of the works

Artworks must arrive in Tallinn no later than 04.09.2024. Artworks will be shipped from Tallinn no later than 23.02.2025.


The triennial is organised by the NGO Tallinn Applied Art Triennial Society.