Nuart is a modern international street and public art organization based in Stavanger, Norway. Stavanger has hosted the Nuart Festival in the city since 2001. The festival is considered to be one of the world’s leading celebrations of street art.
Nuart is a not-for-profit event run by a small group of idealistic volunteers, vandals, and bored art professionals. The not-for-profit event is purely dedicated to street art, in all its forms. It is one of the oldest official “street art” festivals in the world and invites many national and international artists. The pieces are permanent (and legally) made in the city landscapes.
Nuart Festival provides an annual platform for national and international artists outside of the traditional art establishment. From the first week of September, an invited international team of street artists, urban interventionists, and graffiti writers leave their mark on the city’s walls.
They are creating one of Europe’s most dynamic and constantly evolving public art museums. The event aims to stimulate debate by challenging entrenched notions of what art is. As well as who it is for, and what it can be. Many associated artworks can be found in Stavanger, in Utsira and in Oslo.
The aim of NuArt Festival
Nuart street art festival has left treasures all over Rogaland county in the last few years. You can find pictures made by international street art artists in cities and the countryside. The most famous image in 2020, called Lovers was made by the artist Pøbel in Bryne.
The Nuart Festival follows the ethos behind the Nu team’s desire to provide an annual platform for national and international artists who operate outside of traditional systems. Outsiders, if you like. The event aims to stimulate debate by challenging entrenched notions of what art is, and more importantly, can be.
Nuart aims to provide an internationally relevant, challenging and dynamic environment for artists, students, gallery-goers, and the public alike. It’s an event that seeks to reflect the culture as well as participate in helping define it. The world’s leading artists have free reign to express themselves.
Nuart continues to pioneer a new breed of art exhibition that is neither institutionalized nor commercial, giving the artists freedom to express themselves fully. Without the usual restraints of corporate preferences, the event consistently brings out the best in its invited guests. From the first week of September, an invited international team of street artists started to leave their mark on the city’s walls, both indoors and out, creating one of Europe’s most dynamic and constantly evolving public art events.
The Location of Nuart Festival
Located on the western coast of Norway and known to many as the energy and oil capital of Europe, Stavanger has slowly been gaining global attention for the city’s art and culture. It is now considered one of the world’s leading destinations for street art by fans and enthusiasts.
When visiting Stavanger for the first time, one might be struck by the high amount of street art present in and around the city center. For a small town dominated by old-fashioned wooden architecture, Stavanger contains an unexpected density of street art. It is almost impossible not to notice the many murals, stencils, and paste-ups while walking through the streets downtown. This coastal city, with its 18th and 19th-century wooden houses, seems an unlikely location as a leading destination for street art. Still, this city hosts works by some of the top practitioners of the street art movement.
Thanks to the annual street art festival Nuart, new public works by many of the leading artists in the field have popped up every year since the festival began focusing exclusively on the street art form in 2006. In recent years, the city of Stavanger has become one of the must-visit European street art hot spots for some of the freshest street art and mural artworks.
The festival consists of a series of citywide exhibitions, events, performances, interventions, debates & workshops surrounding current trends and movements in street art. Nuart’s Street Art Walking Tour takes you through more than 15 years of Nuart Festival’s impressive street art history. And the evolution of Stavanger into one of the world’s leading destinations for street art. While the street art map is a great way to navigate your way around the city and locate the street art and murals. Sometimes it’s good to take a tour and hear the history and stories behind the works.
Nuart runs 90-minute private tours for groups of all sizes and ages. The tour is showing a selection of works both small and large from the festival across the city.
Private street art tours start from 3000NOK for the first 15 people, plus 100NOK for each additional person. The tours are both available in both English and Norwegian.
How NuArt festival is organized
Each year the NuArt festival invites a selection of international and national street artists and muralists. NuArt invites different artists to create different artwork spread across Stavanger. Artists are provided with either outdoors on the streets or indoor spaces to create their artwork.
The organizers of the festival attempt to locate new walls for each edition of the festival, a large number of works from previous NuArt editions can still be seen around the city. Some weathered by the coastal climate, others still looking surprisingly fresh considering their age.
Works from as far back as 2008 are located right across Stavanger – from the city center to the Harbour, there is plenty of quality Stavanger Street Art to be discovered.
The Nuart festival traditionally takes place around the last week of August / first week of September.
Examples of Previous Artworks
Unlike some cities where street art is focused on one or two areas in the city. You can expect to find street art right across Stavanger, including the city center.
Wander around the cobbled pedestrian streets of the city center’s shopping district and find works by Norweigan street artist Martin Watson, US artist NDA Streetart, Dabs and Myla, Logan Hicks, John Feckner, UK street artist Ben Eine, JPS, SPY, Niels Shoe Meulam, Ernest Zaxharevic, Slava Ptrk, and Belgian Stencil artist Jaune.
Be sure to look up and down too when walking around, as there are a number of altered street signs by New York-based artist Dan Witz still to be seen.
Miniature concrete-looking tower blocks by German stencil artist EVOL who transformed a number of street-level electrical boxes.
Visit Øvre Holmegate, named as Stavanger’s most colorful street, where all the buildings have been painted in vibrant colors. Here you will spot some beautiful life-size wheat-pasted work by New York street artist Swoon plus works by artist David Choe.
London street artist’s Ben Eine’s typographic mural work from the 2012 edition of the NuArt street art festival is still going strong.
The work of South African street artist Faith47, painted in Stavanger for the 2013 edition of the NuArt Festival.
The Belgian-based Spanish artist’s artwork is found hidden away in Stavanger. The small sculptural works are often installed high above eye level. So, be sure to look up when walking around the city.
This large blue whale is one of two large street artworks in Stavanger by Belgian street artist ROA, who visited the city in 2013.
A Norwegian street artist based in Stavanger. Pøbel, meaning hooligan, is a pseudonymous Norwegian street artist based in Stavanger. This lifesize stencil work was sprayed back in 2010 by fellow Norwegian artist Østrem. The artist is also believed to have painted the pieces’ letters, which are starting to slowly fade as the elements wear out the paint on this piece.
Polish duo ETAM Crew painted this large-scale mural titled “The first day of school” back in 2014 and is still looking fresh.
A new addition as of 2017 to the Stavanger Airport in Sola, just outside the city. The mural shows the work of Portuguese artist Add Fuel. Add Fuel received an invitation from the NuArt team to add his work to the two existing street artworks that greet you, travelers, on their arrival at Stavanger Airport. The artwork at the airport is a rework mural of the traditional ‘Rosemåling’ patterns taken from the Rogaland region in Norway.
Australian artist Fintan Magee painted this work titled ‘Monument to a Disappearing Monument’ for the 2016 edition of the festival. Magee spent two weeks working across the two 50m silos on this dual mural that is one of the largest works to date created in the city.
This wonderful work by Portuguese artist Vhils is a little tricky to locate. It took us three visits to track this piece down, exploring all the side streets and laneways. Be sure to save a copy of Stanvager Street Art which will help you locate all the works featured.
In 2017, NuArt festival has been extended to Scotland, where they have another run of the festival in Aberdeen. Nuart Aberdeen is an incredible celebration of street art, held in the city in April. The city plays host to the world’s leading street artists, who adorn its walls with murals, exhibitions, and art installations.
The multi-award-winning festival came about thanks to a partnership with Aberdeen Inspired, Nuart in Stavanger, Norway, where it began back in 2001, and Aberdeen City Council. The festival has received support from a wide range of local partners, including Burness Paull, The McGinty’s Group, Crown Decorating Services, and Scotia Access Services.
Nuart Aberdeen links the two cities, which share a legacy of being gateways to the offshore oil and gas sectors. Also, they can now enjoy a wider cultural partnership, celebrating art that has its roots in graffiti, murals, stencil art, and activism.
In the past, Adrian Watson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired, has said that the festival:
“Nuart Aberdeen has left an incredible legacy in our city that can be enjoyed by residents, businesses and visitors all year round. It has changed the perceptions of both locals and visitors to Aberdeen and achieved worldwide acclaim. Over the summer, many thousands of people go on to enjoy the free guided walking tours which take place between April and September. And not just local people, but visitors from across Europe. As well as around the world who will spend time discovering everything that the city center has to offer.”
Nuart Aberdeen and Awards
The now-iconic festival has produced dozens of compelling and inspiring street artworks by internationally acclaimed street artists. The festival weekend consists of a packed weekend of events, film screenings, talks, walking tours, and workshops. All of which have collectively engaged tens of thousands of residents and visitors alike. However, it is the permanent legacy that remains which sets Nuart Aberdeen apart from any other cultural event in the city. Similar to NuArt in Stavanger, NuArt Aberdeen, it is possible to freely explore year-round.
Arguably one of the world’s best celebrations of street art, the festival has already won numerous awards. Research has revealed that 98% of the visitors rated the festival as excellent or good. While 96% of visitors said they would recommend the event to friends and family.
NUART is a street art festival organized annually in Stavanger. The annual independent international contemporary street and urban art festival came to life in 2001. Since 2005, the festival has focused exclusively on street art, making the event one of the oldest there is. The festival is based in Stavanger on the west coast of Norway.
Nuart consists of a series of citywide exhibitions, events, performances, interventions, debates & workshops surrounding current trends and movements in street art practice by some of the world’s leading practitioners and emerging names. Street art as a genre has developed significantly over the past few years. Nuart is a leading festival on a world basis. The festival is concerned with identifying, promoting, and presenting both pioneers and emerging talents within the scene. The artists who attend the festival are among the most acclaimed and progressive public art practitioners in the world.
The art ranges from situationism, graffiti, post-graffiti, muralism, comic culture, stencil art, and activism amongst many other things. It is without a doubt the most exciting development in visual art for decades. A “movement” has caught the general public’s imagination, collectors, auction houses, and curators the world over.