The twelfth edition of the Art Moves Festival started on 6 September in Toruń, Poland!

The International Art on Billboards Festival Art Moves is organised in Toruń for the twelfth time. This year the event is held under the slogan of “An impending disaster or a chance to save yourself and the world?”. Like every year, during the festival, we show the works of talented debutants and renowned international artists in the city space of Toruń. The festival will be ended at 8 October 2019.

Over the past few years,billboard art has become a cultural “must have”. Billboard exhibitions are being held from Teheran and Mexico City to Paris, Los Angeles and New York. Toruń is one of the pioneers of this trend – Art Moves is the first, and so far the only, cyclical festival promoting this kind of art in the world. “Billboards are unequivocally associated with advertisingall over the world, but not in Toruń – for a few autumn weeks the billboards become anti-billboards, as a manifestation of thought contesting consumerism as well as any forms of intellectual and spiritual submissiveness. England has its conscience-pricking Banksy, and we – thethought-provoking Art Moves festival” – Piotr Sarzyński wrote about the festival in “Polityka” magazine. – Now we work with those ubiquitous, open or hidden advertisements and propaganda – Rafał Góralski from Rusz Gallery, co-creator of the festival, says. Billboard art is like an antidote, a respite and time for reflection in this crazy hurried world. Billboards have a wide coverage, reaching everyone, being pro-democratic and egalitarian, going beyond the life andinformation niches people operate in. They change the city into a large art gallery where art can be usedfree of charge, 24 hours a day / 7 days a week, with no limits or barriers. – The festival has 3 levels of influence – Joanna Górska from Rusz Gallery, co-creator of the festival, says – we make up a theme and direct it to artists from all over the world, who respond to our question and create their own works. The best of the works are presented in the city space of Toruń. And people, inspired by these works, can find their own ideas for a festival theme. So, we combine what is global with what is local.

This year works relate to the leitmotiv of the entire event: “An impending disaster or a chance to save yourself and the world?”, and are presented on billboards, citylights and LED displays. This competition slogan can be treated as a metaphor of all the processes taking place in the world today. Will the world end soon? Will most species of plants and animals on our planet become extinct soon? Will there be an ecological disaster? Will most people live in extreme poverty, and will the world be constantly at wars? We are drowning in this kind of information that causes fear and paralyses. How to not slip into a depression and defeatism, how to treat the alarming data as a challenge and seek creative solutions? How to hear a wake-up call? How to find hope and energy for action? How to reject old destructive thinking and acting patterns and find new better solutions? How to not slip into pessimism and apathy and believe that a lot depends on us – our lives, other people’s lives, and lives of creatures that surround us? How to go beyond our personal perspective, beyond our own SELF, and notice that each one of us is a part of some larger wholeness – humanity and nature, and has an influence on this wholeness? How to think long term, not only about short-term benefits that turn out harmful in the long run? What good can we do for ourselves, the world, and those who will come after us?

As always, the festival consists of a competition phase and then a presentation of the artists invited by the organisers. The best works are presented on billboards. 539 artists from 68 countries entered the contest “An impending disaster or a chance to save yourself and the world?”. We received almost 1000 artworks from China, Armenia, Lebanon, India, Ecuador, France, Tunisia, Iran, USA and many others!


The jury panel composed of artists and curators, including:

Adam Niklewicz / artist / North Haven, Connecticut, USA

Mark Titchner / artist / London, Great Britain

Małgorzata Augustyniak / art historian, vice-president AMS SA / Warsaw, Poland

Rafał Góralski / artist, curator, Art Moves Festival director/ Toruń, Poland

selected 10 most interesting projects which are exhibited on billboards during the Art Moves Festival 2019. The jury decided to confer the main award of 5000 PLN to Dawid Celek from Poland.


Dawid Celek / Poland – the winner of the competition

The winning work depicts the paradoxes of contemporary culture. On the one hand, we believe in continuous progress and development, looking out to the horizon to see a so-called bright future. On the other hand, we are not able to get rid of thinking that something is wrong, that “the good times are already over”, expecting an impending disaster. The winning work breaks defeatism and pessimism, derived from the nihilist punk culture slogan No future that has infected the entire contemporary culture and is changing them into something inspiring and sobering – Now! future. Thus, it brings back our sense of realism and encourages us to roll up our sleeves and get down to work as it is not that there is no future for us, but our future is now, and today decides it.


Patrick Baumann / Switzerland

The work by Patrick Baumann from Switzerland, CHANGE/CHANCE, tells us that we need a change that is our opportunity to change ourselves and our attitude towards reality. We also need to go beyond our narcissism and start thinking not only about ourselves and our benefits, but also about our existence in the broader context. We are a part of some larger wholeness and community, and together we can more (the work I CAN, WE CAN).


Salma Abbassi / Tunisia

Maybe we should stop worrying about the fact that we have so many problems to solve, and start changing our perspective, as problems have always inspired people to develop (the work by Galeria Rusz Problems and Sources).


Joanna Górska (Galeria Rusz) / Poland

Rafał Góralski (Galeria Rusz) / Poland

It is high time to change our focus and priorities, to start listening, looking and acting again, to broaden our perspective and wide-angle point of view that includes what we have been ignoring and trying hard to remove from our field of vision (the works by Ying-Hsiu, Chen and Hsiang-Ying, Chen and Mabi “SELF” Lusala).


Ying-Hsiu, Chen and Hsiang-Ying, Chen / Taiwan

Mabi „SELF” Lusala / Czech Republic

Not only do artists come to grips with the festival slogan. Our spectators were also able to join in the creation – as part of Art Moves Workshop, where workshops for children was conducted. There are also special interactive billboards that allow recipients to take an active part in the festival.


In this edition of the festival, we exhibit the works by 22 artists from 11 countries:

Dawid Celek / Poland

Marek Maciejczyk / Poland

Patrick Baumann / Switzerland

Cristian Brinza / Moldova

Salma Abbassi / Tunisia

Paweł Miszewski / Poland

Łukasz Dukowicz / Poland

Mario Estevez / Mexico

Wei Su / Canada

Michael Mayevsky / Ukraine

René Gisler and Raphi Muntwyler / Switzerland

Lex Drewinski / Germany / Poland

Ying-Hsiu, Chen and Hsiang-Ying, Chen / Taiwan

Mabi „SELF” Lusala / Czech Republic

Wojciech Mazur / Poland

Taber Calderon / USA

Urszula and Filip Tofil (syfon studio) / Poland

Joanna Górska and Rafał Góralski (Galeria Rusz) / Poland


Festival programme

01.09 – 30.09 – exposition of artworks on citylights located at bus stops (the entire city)

01.09 – 30.09 – exposition of artworks on LED displays Kraszewskiego / Matejki Street, Szosa Chełmińska / Czerwona Droga Street, Skarbka Square)

05.09 – 09.10– exposition of artworks on billboards (Rapackiego Square, Wały gen. Sikorskiego Street, Szosa Chełmińska Street / City Market)

05.09 – 09.10 – Art Moves Workshop / workshops for kids / interactive billboards for children, teenagers and adults (Rapackiego Square)

06.09, 12 pm – opening of the festival (Rapackiego Square)

06.09, 12-13 pm – Galeria Rusz artistic performance (Rapackiego Square)


Art Moves Festival is held under the honorary patronage of Piotr Całbecki, Marshal of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Region and Michał Zaleski, President of Toruń

The festival has been co-funded by the Local Authorities of Kujawsko-Pomorskie Region and Toruń Municipality



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