Explore the city’s art galleries
Photo by Galeria Dana

Explore the city’s art galleries

Whether you're looking for young emerging artists or established ones, the art galleries in Iași feature exhibitions all year round.

From classic to contemporary art, the city’s galleries create a cultural scene unlike any other in the cities outside Bucharest. Take a tour through the main ones to discover how artists in Iași and beyond see the world.

We’ll start off with more of a permanent exhibition that’s displayed at the entrance into the University Palace. The murals in the Hall of Lost Steps, painted by Sabin Bălașa, stand out through their composition vigor, chromatics and themes. This is a unique, poetic, place.

In the city center, on Lăpușneanu Street, you will find the “Dumitru I. Grumăzescu” Antique Galleries, which is more than a place. It’s the sum of experiences and passions of the one who gave the galleries their name. With over 50 years experience as a collector, Grumăzescu has brought together in this magical place many of the stories of the past, and you’ll feel it straight as you enter the door. Among them, the smallest book in Romania which is 3×3 mm, of Eminescu’s “Luceafărul” poem, jewelry and decorative unique items. This place is not only a gallery and a museum, but also hosts plays in its “pocket theatre”, the first in Romania, and other events such as book launches and music events. It’s a must-see.

The U.A.P.R Art Galleries are 100 metres away on the same street. The exhibitions of paintings and contemporary art in these galleries, hosted in the Istrati House, invite the viewer to meditate and interrogate. There are actually two galleries inside the same building, „N. Tonitza” and “Th. Pallady”.

The Dana Art Gallery is close by too. With a focus on promoting young artists, Dana is an established brand since 2006 and highly appreciated. Farther away in the north of city you’ll find Borderline Art Space, a newer gallery that’s committed to promoting art that addresses current social and political issues and to acting as an educational environment.

In the industrial area of Iași, you can visit the most awarded art gallery and producers in the city. Art Georgies differentiates itself through the unique techniques used. Over 200 artists from Iași and all over Moldavia are working on these marvelous works of art. Read down below to find out more.

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Photo by Iulian Aruxandei

Since 1978, the Iași Branch of the Union of Visual Artists in Romania has been operating in Casa Istrati (Drossu), built in the 19th century.

The institution continues the tradition of the “Fine Arts Union” with the central principles of encouraging the freedom of expression of professional artists and supporting without exception all its members. The exhibitions organized by the Union create a unique artistic environment, over 350 members being directly involved in the cultural and educational life of Iasi. The exhibitions of painting or contemporary art organized regularly in the Galleries „N. Tonitza ”and“ Th. Pallady ”from Istrati House urges the audience to meditate and interrogate. On the balcony of the building, two winged chimeras identify the building as a space of creation.

Strada Alexandru Lăpușneanu 7-9, Iași 700259
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Photo by Galeria de Arta Dana - Facebook

Dana Art Gallery is an established ieșean brand since 2006, with a focus on promoting young artists.

Through its artists, curators and critics, the gallery aims to exhibit a large expo landscape, from the academist modernism to conceptual art, object art and ready-made. Located in a house that you’d not guess is an art gallery, Dana hosts exhibitions all year round, so you’re sure to find something during your stay.

Strada Profesor Petru Cujbă 17, Iași 700259
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Photo by tranzit.ro

Tranzit.ro is an independent network of NGOs supported by the ERSTE Foundation in Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and since 2012, in Romania.

With a tricephalic structure, tranzit.ro has permanently opened spaces in Iași, Bucharest and Cluj, all led by collective groups of artists and independent curators with a vast experience in contemporary art. The network’s activity includes a wide range of activities linked to the artistic experience: exhibitions, conferences, publications, workshops, collaboration projects with art institutions in Romania and abroad, and residence programs for artists, curators and theorists. The space in Iași is located on 7-9 Lăpușneanu Street.

Strada Elena Doamna 37, Iași 700259
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Photo by Borderline Art Space

Borderline Art Space is promoting contemporary art produced in diverse social, political and borderline situations, and fosters critical discourse on present problematics and poetics.

Borderline Art Space is interested in exhibiting both emerging and established artists and, while contributing to the development of artistic institutional structure, takes pride in its commitment to an educational role.

Strada Belvedere 18, Iași 700555
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Photo by Art Georgies

The history of the “Art Georgies” Galleries began in 1992, in Iași, out of passion for the art of decorative mosaïc.

Nowadays, they are the most respected Romanian brand in this sector, due to the extensive experience of the authors and to the items’ top quality. The brand has shops and galleries in Iași and Bucharest. The “Art Georgies” Galleries on “Ștefan cel Mare” Boulevard are located in a historical monument building belonging to the Catholic Episcopal Ensemble in Iași. Over 200 artists from Iași and all over Moldavia are working on these marvelous works of art.

The unique techniques have brought them international fame. They won gold medals at international exhibitions of inventions in Brussels, Moscow and Iași with the Art Georgies mosaïcs. The design is notable through the rich colour and the increased resistance compared to other existing materials on the market. Another gold medal was received in 2012 in Geneva, for the development of a multi-layer glass manufacturing method.

The Art Georgies works are diverse, with various techniques and themes. The decorative mosaïc of different materials, the stained-glass windows, the merged glass, the painting on different materials are only some of the techniques used. The artists from Art Georgies also create paintings, decorative objects, furniture items or lighting pieces. The themes encountered in their creations are inspired mainly by iconography, but also by Renaissance or Post-Impressionist paintings.

The mosaïc of “Saint Parascheva” on the façade of the Metropolitan Palace in Iași and the impressive mosaïc in the pronaos of the Old Metropolitan Cathedral (“Saint George” Church from the Metropolitan ensemble) are the most impressive achievements of the Art Georgies artists. Their imprint can also be found on stained-glass windows and mosaïcs in numerous religious places in Romania or abroad. Greece is one of the main countries that appreciate the mosaïc type products and Ukraine is an excellent market for the icons painted on melted glass in extrudate forms.

The uniqueness of the “Art Georgies” Galleries” on “Ștefan cel Mare” Boulevard, opened in July 2014, is given by the great concept of tea & coffee gallery. The espresso is the star, with that intense flavour specific to Italy, while the infused teas are varied. The galleries have a wide terrace with retro furniture on the “Ștefan cel Mare” pedestrian boulevard. The atmosphere is many times completed by cultural events and live folk, blues or jazz music concerts, making it a complete artistic product. In front of the galleries, near the terrace, the magnet-jewellery of the brand is sometimes exhibited – the famous Volkswagen car, plated with gilded mosaïc, almost a symbol of the pedestrian sidewalk.

Calea Chișinăului nr. 32, Iași 700064
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The “Dumitru I. Grumăzescu” Antiquities Galleries can be seen as an expression of the experiences and passions of the one who has given their name.

In 1992, Dumitru Grumăzescu opened this antique store on Lăpușneanu Street, one of the most circulated streets of Iași, based on over 50 years of experience as a collector.

In the core of the Antique Store are books and literature. The biggest collection of Eminescu volumes, emerged from Dumitru Grumăzescu’s passion for the great poet, can be found here. The Lilliput book collection is unique, the main item being the smallest book in Romania. Its size is 3×3 mm, with Mihai Eminescu’s poem, “Luceafărul” (Evening Star) written inside, which can only be read through a microscope.

The “Grumăzescu” Antique Store can be easily taken for a museum or an art gallery. Paintings and icons decorate the room’s walls, the big portrait of Mihai Eminescu being placed in high regard. The windows of the antique store will make you feel the atmosphere of the past; the multitude of jewellery and valuable decorative objects present here, often reconstitute the specific features of past decades. The collections of mechanical music instruments also speak of long forgotten times.

Numerous exhibitions, book launches or music events are organised in this artistic and cultural universe. A special form of artistic events are the monthly meetings of epigrammatists of Iași, members of the “Păstorel Teodoreanu” Free Academy. The reunions dedicated to satire and humour represent a tradition of over two decades. The “Veronica Micle” poetry hall shelters the fans of the lyric genre, such as the Virtualia poetry club.

The special personality of the antique store is completed by the presence of the first “pocket theatre” in Romania, an unconventional, short, interactive theatre genre. Great actors such as Horațiu Mălăele and Ion Caramitru have evolved on this scene.

The treasures gathered in the “Grumăzescu” Antique Store are offered by their owner to the entire world. The gallery received famous guests such as King Michael I of Romania or the Moldavian poet Grigore Vieru. Mr. Grumăzescu exhibits his collections in numerous exhibitions in the country, but also abroad, being invited to Corsica with a collection on Napoleon’s life. As a matter of fact, Dumitru Grumăzescu plans to arrange his huge collections as a public library.

Flower fight on Lăpușneanu

The event took place until the 1940s, on some summer Sundays, with the purpose of favouring the meetings between the ladies and the gentlemen of the city. A parade of hundreds of girls walked from Traian Hotel towards Copou hill, festively dressed and accompanied by band music. The dressed-up suitors were waiting on the sidewalks, holding flowers, and when a girl liked a gentleman, she accepted him to accompany her on the way; sometimes the girl expressed her attraction by offering a flower to a young man. The event ended with a jolly fight with flowers among the participants, followed with the amusement of the relatives and passers-by, and which, most of the times, led to marriages. The parade of vintage costumes still continues this tradition nowadays.

Strada Alexandru Lăpușneanu 24, Iași 700057
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