"You just have to start": Exhibition project NURIA aims to strengthen cultural scene

"Beauty – in all its facets" – this is the motto of the exhibition NURIA, which will open on June 10, 2022 in Ilmenau's Parkcafé. A total of 43 artists from all over Thuringia will be presenting their works for three days: from photography to sculpture to video installation, a wide variety of styles and art forms will be represented. The exhibition is organized by students of the TU Ilmenau as part of a media project. Their goal: to make art accessible to everyone and to strengthen the regional art scene.


When Kaja, Sophie and Lara visited a small exhibition in one of Ilmenau's countless student clubs in 2019, they were delighted by the friendly and relaxed atmosphere – but above all by the creativity and talent behind the works of art: On the TU Ilmenau campus alone, there are numerous students who are artistic in a wide variety of ways and regularly share their works on social media.

How can these talents also be made visible locally and artists and those interested in art be networked with each other? How can the atmosphere of the small show of works be transferred to a larger setting? And what is the best way to present the beauty of an artist?

These questions never left the three students. Thus the idea of NURIA was born: an exhibition in Ilmenau that gives Thuringian professional, hobby and occasional artists of all ages a platform, but also encourages people interested in art to try out their own creativity and to enter into dialogue with the artists.

To set up and promote the exhibition, the young women used their own talents as students of Applied Media and Communication Science and found the right framework for their project with Kulturelle Koordinierung e.V., the TU Ilmenau's cultural organization – and the necessary financial support with the student council and the City of Ilmenau.

Practical experience during studies

While the first NURIA could only take place virtually due to corona, this year artists and art lovers can meet in person for the first time in the newly renovated Parkcafé.This was made possible by Celina, Alexandra, Beverly and Nathalie, also students of Applied Media and Communication Science, who, following the success of NURIA 2021, have set themselves the goal of setting up an exhibition in 2022 as part of a media project – this time in presence:

We think it's a great idea and would be very happy to contribute to making NURIA a permanent feature of Ilmenau's cultural scene.

In order to achieve this goal, they have been taking care of the selection of artworks, sponsoring, the location, the supporting program and public relations for the event since November 2021 – and are already gaining a lot of practical experience in their field, which they can have credited as academic achievement.

The interest of the artists for their project is huge. Once again this year, all interested parties had to apply with a photo of their work and must be born or live in Thuringia. Around 80 applications were received. 43 of them were selected for the exhibition including two drone videos by Dino. Dino was convinced to apply by roommate Nathalie:

I was never sure if my photographs and films were right for an art exhibition, but now I'm very happy to have applied.

Dino is also excited to see the others' artwork:

I think it's super cool that all mediums and styles are exhibited at NURIA.

Space and inspiration to become artistically creative yourself

After more than six months of preparation, the makers of the exhibition are also looking forward to opening the exhibition on Friday, June 10, at 7 pm. At the opening, Dino and the other exhibitors will tell the stories behind their work and answer questions from the audience. The event will be framed by music and a poetry slam. On the following days, the exhibition can be visited between 10 am and 6 pm.

In addition, Alexandra and her fellow students have organized workshops again this year to give others space and inspiration to try out their own artistic skills: "Whether artistically experienced or a complete amateur, everyone is welcome at the workshops," says Alexandra. The topics of the workshops are as diverse as the exhibition itself: From collages of fabric and paper combined with calligraphy to spatial drawing and line art on handmade paper to surrealistic acrylic painting with masking techniques – a workshop with Vivien Lorenz. "For me, it's more about the ideas and motifs than the technique and precision," she says: "My inability to depict things very photorealistically is perceived by many as my (intentional) style." But in art, she says, there is no right and wrong:

There is freedom to express what you want. You just have to start, try things out and practice, and then you'll eventually get technically better.

This statement also reflects the motto of this year's exhibition "Beauty - in all its facets": "Everyone has a different way of looking at things, and everyone defines beauty differently," says Alexandra. "We look forward to many visitors at NURIA and an exciting dialogue!"

More about the NURIA exhibition

NURIA on Instagram

Registration for NURIA workshops

Tickets for NURIA