Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Artupunktura: Transforming Zagreb into Autumn Art & Culture Hub

September 21, 2021 - Zagreb's initiatives to produce a diverse and cultural year-round tourist programme continue. Meet the new art and culture addition for autumn - Artupunktura. 

I have had lots of conversations with visiting digital nomads in recent months in Zagreb, and it is always interesting to take in the fresh perspectives of new arrivals, especially the things that surprise them about the city. And there seem to be some common themes. 

Fantastic Internet, extremely safe, unbelievable English spoken by almost everyone are encouraging findings, especially as they are among the most important as the shift to remote work continues. I have also been pleasantly surprised to hear how much they enthuse about the culinary scene in the Croatian capital. The nature, trees and parks all get a mention of course, but there is also one aspect of Zagreb which is becoming increasingly noticed.


(Photo Bosko i Kreso)

The art and culture scene. 

From its vibrant street art to small open-air concerts in picturesque squares, these nomads have commented that there is always something seemingly happening in Zagreb when they stroll its very walkable streets. 

And the fact is that Zagreb has become a destination with a much higher focus on art and culture in recent years, with numerous festivals and smaller initiatives all playing their part in adding to the diverse art scene. 


(Photo Bosko i Kreso)

Zagreb - perhaps more than any other destination in Croatia - has enjoyed more success in transforming itself into a year-round destination. The phenomenal success of Advent in Zagreb brought significant tourism to the capital at a time of year when it would normally be sleeping. And more initiatives are being introduced to connect the rest of the tourism calendar. 

Walking along Ilica, Zagreb's longest street which connects directly to the main Ban Jelacic Square, was an unexpected joy. A street normally associated with one-way traffic and frequent trams in both directions had been reclaimed by artists, performers, and the people. It is part of the Ilica: Q'ART project, an initiative to take art out of institutions and bring it closer to citizens.  

A wonderful atmosphere. 


(Gallery Rally)

And an atmosphere taking place all over the city at the moment, with the arrival of a new art festival for the Zagreb calendar: Artupunktura (Artupuncture in English). As the dedicated Artupuncture website explains:

Zagreb is a living, breathing organism. Its streets throb with people's energy; its parks and squares echo the footsteps of its inhabitants and visitors like a heartbeat. They are the ones for whom Artupuncture is intended – a collaboration of partners and friends of culture and creation, aimed at awakening the city's vital energy through joint artistic activities at specific locations in the city. The Artupuncture project approaches the individual as a unique artistic and social phenomenon, serving the beauty and value that comes from the signatures of the authors behind the work. These works, strategically arranged in numerous sites around us, will write another story of Zagreb.


(ALU Perspective)

Artupuncture is the latest initiative from the Zagreb Tourist Board and its partners to promote art and culture in the city, a strategy which is already paying dividends as the artsy side of the Croatian capital is becoming increasingly recognised. This latest initiative brings together a synthesis of various artistic events in the city, awakening the vital energy of specific points of Zagreb through inclusive art and culture. It aspires to a large, holistic, all-encompassing social process, where are provides vision and healing. 

As with acupuncture, an injection of Artupuncture art and culture helps to alleviate stress and provides therapy through Zagreb art. Artupuncture provides a clear connection and tourism, with an emphasis on contemporary culture. It is a very inclusive project, which is helping to redefine the urban cultural scene.  

The ultimate goal is to establish Zagreb as an autumn destination for art and culture. With the influx of low-cost flights to Zagreb (there will be more than 40 budget flight destinations by next summer), the city is growing in attractiveness as a city break, and the Artupuncture offer will only add to the capital's attractiveness. 

Artupunkura kicked off on September 13 in this year's inaugural edition. With events taking place literally all over Zagreb this autumn (some of which have finished), this vibrant festival is turning the city into a living and breathing artistic and cultural entity in the season of falling leaves. The project, run by the Zagreb Tourist Board, has brought together the following diverse partners and projects:

1. “Art & the City – The Art Has Spoken” project is painting the streets of Zagreb with art.


(ALU Perspective)

2. The ALU Perspective – New Generation project is presented by an exhibition of final-year students and graduates on the ground floor and first floor of the building, the ALU Park and the Sira Gallery.

3. The Ilica Gallery Q'ART project is moving art out of institutions and bringing it closer to the citizens.

4. 9 decades / 9 arcades, the work of BOIR studio, portrays the transformation of Zagreb’s main marketplace over the last nine decades, displayed in nine arcades.


(Art Zagreb)

5. Prostoria 10, an exhibition celebrating 10 years of passion for the design and manufacture of furniture in Prostoria.

6. The interactive cultural event Gallery Rally networks ten galleries in Zagreb and actively involves visitors in their tour.

7. Founded in the midst of the 2021 pandemic, and conceived as an upgrade to the 36 Mountains Festival, 36 Mountains Studio is a place to promote contemporary art.

8. This year, Art Zagreb will present six galleries, which is the largest number so far.

For the full programme and more information about Artupuncture 2021, visit the official website, which is available in English, German, Italian and Croatian


(Art Zagreb)