“Art at Sea. What? Yes, of course!” – an art project of state-run upper secondary schools

Music and theatre are considered self-evident parts of contemporary culture, and so is art. For some reason, however, in Estonia art seems to be of secondary importance. School plays an important part in changing this attitude. It is one thing to impart knowledge of the role of art in society through centuries, but it is also important to arouse young people’s interest in visiting art galleries and in trying out to produce pieces of art themselves.

In addition to the regular exhibitions in the school building and at Haapsalu Town Gallery, Läänemaa Ühisgümnaasium has now become engaged in a larger project, which involves students of state-run upper secondary schools.

There are several reasons for launching such a project:

–        to esteem young people’s creativity and attempts to express themselves,

–        to appreciate the significance of art,

–        to educate the beholder by exhibiting art in public places,

–        to convey the concept of state-run upper secondary schools through art projects,

–        to value Haapsalu as a seaside resort,

–        to draw attention to the condition of the seawater on the coast of Haapsalu (shallow and stagnant water become overgrown and covered with reed),

–        to give the people and visitors of Haapsalu an additional reason to take a walk on the beautiful promenade.

Ripen works of art: 

1. „Crystal Forest“ – Jõgevamaa Gymnasium

Wood, acrylic

Art students: Jessica Järvelt, Rezete Karu and Marilin Kuusk

The technical consultant and helper with wood processing: Varmo Ojamets.

Teacher:  Anne Jaama

The sculpture represents the biggest treasure that Estonia has – wood. We should value and draw more attention to it. Today, forests cover up to 55% of our country’s territory but it is possible that this number might start to decrease quickly unless we start taking the condition of our forests more seriously. We are dreaming about such Estonia where even our grandchildren know what the word “forest” means and they can also walk there any time – to pick berries or go skiing in winter. Since we did not want to waste the valuable material that we are drawing everyone’s attention to, therefore for making our sculpture we used only the production waste of the local wood industry. For painting we used acrylics.

2. “Sea on Sea” – Võru Gymnasium

plastic glass and polystyrene foam

Art student:  Annabel Sulg

In my work I refer to one of the world’s biggest probleem – global warming. If it goes on, the sea, emerged like a second sea. The climate warms up, sea levels are rising every year, about 0.6-0.9 cm. In my work I am imagining the second layer of the sea.

3.SwanLake” – Viljandi Gymnasium

Polystyrene, black and white colour, pieces of glass, vinyl

Art students: Brita Potter ja Kerli Mitrofanov

Teacher:Ene Runing

The sculpture is devoted to Pyotr Tšaikovski because he used to spend his summers in Haapsalu. “Swan Lake” is undoubtedly one of his most famous works. And we think that swans would suit in the water very well. We will make two swans out of polystyrene foam facing each other. One of them is black and the other one white. To add some originality we will cut some patterns into the wings and to give some colour we will add some colourful glass shards but plastic will be the main material.

4. Kalevipoeg’s sword – Noarootsi Gymnasium

Wood, glass, pipe insulation, steel

Art students: Dinara Khalilova, Doris Altmets, Daniel Mets, Gerda Reeder, Silver Aaron Kask

The sword is ten times larger than a real epee, and is shown stabbing downward in the water.  The statue has two meanings.  First, it represents Haapsalu’s fencing tradition, which is very important for Estonian sport history.  It is an homage to Endel Nelis, the founder of the fencing tradition in Estonia.  Secondly, the large sword symbolizes the strength of the mythical hero Kalevipoeg, whose legend has a physical connection with Haapsalu, Noarootsi, and Võnnusaar Peninsula, a peninsula in Noarootsi.

5. “Leaver” – Läänemaa Gymnasium

Polystyrene foam, Makroflex, acrylic

Art student:  Kaarel Koit

Technical consultant: Aime Koit, Väino Ülend

Teacher: Tiiu Randmann-Mihkla

Nowadays many young and also older people who have graduated school in their homeland go to live abroad. People leave because they cannot find a job in their field or are not pleased with the salary offered for that job. They frequently go and stay there, leaving behind their home, family, friends and the familiar living environment. They often go across the sea… This is a problem as our population is ageing and if migration continues, there won’t be any young and healthy workers. The sculpture points exactly at that problem.

6. ”Unicorn” – Viljandi Gymnasium

Different plastic (CD-s, vinyl, colour ,etc)

Art students: Deivi Tobreluts, Marleen Kuusik, Karl-Eric Alert  

Teacher: Ene Runing

Our inspiration was a mythical creature unicorn who used to symbolize wild nature, purity and grace. Nowadays unicorns have become a symbol of courage to differ from the others. We also took inspiration from an old saying ‘’One man’s trash is another’s treasure’’ and used as many recycled resources as we could.

7. “Disappearing values” – Läänemaa Gymnasium

Wood, glass, metal

Art students:   Kristiina Teinemaa, Karl-Christoph Rebane, Kaisa Kuusik, Kevin-Jarl Jaani

Technical consultant: Markus Randmann, Väino Ülend

Teacher: Tiiu Randmann-Mihkla

The existence of human society is possible when morals and ethical norms are followed. Although the accepted codes of behaviour and customs have been formed into the law by each country, it could be presumed that the main values are obvious for each person as at a very young age a child is taught what is right and what is wrong, which behaviour is worth a praise and which is worth dispraise. The sea sculpture “Disappearing values” should symbolise how the world today is receding from humane values and beliefs.

8. „White Boat“ – Pärnu Koidula Gymnasium

Polystryene foam, mantage foam, cloth, plastic, wire, acrylics

Art student: Karl Kaisel

Teacher: Heleri Saks

This piece of art depicts the citizen of the 21st century consumer society, who has been drowned as a results of his inconsiderate behaviour. His body has been occupied by pure and innocent new generation who uses the decaying corpse to sail toward the new and bright futuure.

9. „Deluges of Thoughts“ – Pärnu Koidula Gymnasium

Polystryene foam, wire, PVA glue, newspaper, montage foam, aerosool

Art student: Alex Tähemaa

Teacher: Heleri Saks

The author wishes to convey emotions which may be evoked by our own thoughts. The idea of deluge thoughst arose from the confiuson in the mind and the need to undo the lost thread. The consept of the work is given in a minimalistic way. The selection of colours also reflect the sence of anguish caused by the confusion in the mind.

10. Noarootsi Gymnasium


Art students: Lisette Raudsepp, Erki Aas, Kristin Jurnas, Sille Kokarev, Cärolyn Aromets

Styrofoam, pipe insulation, cable

This is a double sculpture (the other is located on Noarootsi Peninsula at Österby beach) with stylized hands pointing to each other.  This symbolizes the long awaited connection between Noarootsi and Haapsalu.  However, the most the people can hope for is a cold winter to make an ice road over the sea.

11. „Catastrophy“ – Võru Gymnasium


Art student: Unn Krigul

This work is ready-made, which means that it is composed of materials bought from the market. Artwork’s main idea is to show global problem, which is not recognized in everyday life  easily, especially far from the sea in South-Estonia– the pollution of the sea. Work also shows that this pollution is not a small problem any more but factor that endagers many species not only our beautiful view.