Estonian Artists Go to the World

In January 1994 Estonian Artists' Association joined the International Association of Art/ Association Internationale des Arts Plastiques (IAA/AIAP), active at the United Nations organisation. The association was established at the same time with the United Nations in 1945. At present the IAA/AIAP Estonian Committee is chaired by Owe Büttner (previously, by Mati Karmin and Paul Allik).
The IAA/AIAP covers the whole world, including European, Asian, African, American and Australian countries. The association has over a hundred member states (including the former Soviet republics), and countries with observer status who have not acquired the full membership for the lack of financial resources.

Professionals and nonprofessionals
According to Owe Büttner, the affiliation fee is small - it really is a symbolic payment.
"Both the world organisation as well as its national committees aim to protect and strengthen culture, mediate art, increase the cooperation between artists, organise study trips and provide professional development opportunities," said Owe Büttner. Ties with organisations and foundations that support art worldwide are of great importance, too.
However, the above written should not be interpreted in the way as if only professionals can join the IAA/AIAP. "It also covers nonprofessional creative activities - for instance, African redwood engravers can also become the association's members. Otherwise, a part of the world would remain unnoticed," Owe Büttner introduced the nature of the association.

Information is exchanged at congresses
The IAA/AIAP has divided the world into six regions; Estonia is included in the European group together with other former Soviet republics. Member states are informed of each others activities at annual regional congresses; the world congress assembles at a five-year interval.
During its short period of membership, Estonia has participated in European congresses in Paris 1994 and in Krakow 1995. Estonian also wanted to participate in the world congress in Mexico, but the money remittance was so slow that the participation was cancelled. Major exhibition projects usually take place in the cities, where congresses are organised.
According to Owe Büttner, the IAA/AIAP does not work with individual artists, but carries out its activities through major projects, where individuals are invited to join in. Estonians actively participated in a worldwide music, theatre, concert and artistic event "Copenhagen - European Cultural Capital 1996".
Hopefully, Estonians will be represented at the world exhibition of artists in Paris the next year.