More than ten years ago Vytenis Jakas, an artist, moved to a flat in one of the houses on Ožeškienės st. He liked the neglected space of the inner courtyard and he instantly felt there’s something interesting hiding in there.
The artist started doing research about previous inhabitants of the houses surrounding the yard and, in a few years, he began creating an open-air gallery by painting the residents' portraits from old pictures. The facades of the residential houses were converted into gallery walls and the history of the yard, closely intertwined with the Litvak landscape of Kaunas, was reborn again.
Photos by Karolina Černevičienė for Kaunas street art festival 'Nykoka'
The gallery is an ongoing project and other artists are welcome to join it (Kaunas street art festival ‘Nykoka’ used the gallery as one of its canvases in 2015, for example). They’re welcome to adapt the idea in their own yards, too. Here’s a short video captured during one of the block parties hosted by the residents. Vytenis Jakas is sharing some thoughts with the camera, and Rakija Klezmer Orkestar, a local klezmer-lovin’ band, is performing in the background. Don't forget to turn on the subtitles.
The Yard Gallery (E. Ožeškienės g. 21) is obviously open 24/7 - please remember to respect the privacy of the residents, especially in the evenings. It's also included into the Kaunastic map called ‘The Litvak Landscape’. Find out more about the latter here.