Artist book HANSEartWORKS 2021


HANSEartWORKS is an international exhibition project. It is designed as a group exhibition with a representative character and is an integral part of every International Hanseatic Day. The aim is to provide a forum for contemporary art in and from the member cities of THE HANSA.

Since 2007, HANSEartWORKS has positioned itself as a qualitatively noteworthy element of the International Hanseatic Day. For the curated group exhibition, the member cities propose artists who have an artistic connection and a connection to the life of the applying city. The works of art will be presented at a central exhibition venue during the Hanseatic Day, but if possible also beyond. If possible, the exhibiting artists should be on site during the International Hanseatic Day. They receive a certificate of participation from the organising city. After the conclusion of the event, the organising city shall publish suitable documentation of the exhibition. Furthermore, during the development of the HANSEartWORKS concept, the organising city will check whether the project can/should be designed in such a way that it is suitable as a travelling exhibition.

For the implementation, a working group (WG) was founded, which actively supports the respective hosting city. Guidelines were adopted for this purpose.

The working group not only provides administrative support in the planning, tendering and application process. As advisory members, the WG includes representatives of the Hanseatic cities that hosted the last Hanseatic Day and the next three Hanseatic Days and exhibitions/projects. The jury of the host city makes the final selection from the applications, taking into account the recommendations of the jury members of the WG. The WG therefore also includes at least three artists based in different Hanseatic cities and different countries, who support the organising city in the artistic realisation. It is expressly desired that Hanseatic cities register further artists for the WG at any time.

HANSEartWORKS was decided unanimously at the delegates' meeting of the International Hanseatic Day 2006 in Osnabrück at the request of Marion Steitner from the Dutch Hanseatic city of Doesburg. The visual arts thus became a building block in the programme planning for International Hanseatic Days. The first exhibition took place in 2007 in the Westphalian Hanseatic city of Lippstadt. The decision of the Assembly of Delegates and the personal commitment of Marion Steitner were the decisive factors for a successful start. It is also thanks to Marion Steitner that Jan Hoet could be won as an advisor for the early years. At the time, he was the founding director of the MARTa Museum in the Hanseatic city of Herford (Germany).

The success story from the beginnings to the present day is due in particular to Alfred Wübbena, Osnabrück. He has had a decisive influence on HANSEartWORKS from the very beginning as chairman of the project group and in 2018 initiated the adoption of "Guidelines HANSEartWORKS" and their inclusion in the "Guidelines for the Organisation of the Hanseatic Day". This means that HANSEartWORKS has moved from a project status to become a fixed component of all future International Hanseatic Days.

Artist's book "Connecting Values"

In 2020, the Union of Cities THE HANSA acknowledged the values of the historical Hanseatic League and today's union with the "Brilon Declaration" and committed itself to regular exchange. The artist's book "Connecting Values" is part of this exchange process. Using the means of free art, HANSEartWORKS artists are asked to reflect on the development of the network of cities over a long period of time. The title of the book encourages us to look back and see the connections between the European Hanseatic cities as they are today, and to search for values that could unite THE HANSA in the future.  

Each year, an artist from the current HANSEartWORKS exhibition is invited to artistically explore the values of THE HANSA on one page of the book. The artwork will be presented at the respective HANSEartWORKS exhibition. The artist's book will be donated to the European Hanseatic Museum in Lübeck at the end of the book project in over 200 years.

"Made in Hansa": HANSEartWORKS call for entries for the exhibition at the 44th International Hanseatic Day in Gdansk

The call for entries is addressed to artists from the member cities of the Union of Cities THE HANSA. The entries will be submitted exclusively by the member cities. The member cities will make a preliminary selection for which each city will set its own submission deadline. The deadline for submission by the member cities to the organisers in Gdansk is on 8 January, 2024.

Call document

Review of previous exhibitions

HANSEartWORKS 2023_City of Torun

In 2023, Toruń was the organizer of the 43rd International Hanseatic Day. One of the accompanying events was the 17th edition of the HANSEartWORKS exhibition entitled Following the Common Path. This publication is a post-exhibition catalogue, presenting works by artists from New Hanseatic League cities. The works were made especially for this event, and have not been published before or presented at other competitions. Their concept was based on a combination of traditional forms of artistic expression, taking into account new technologies and the use of new media art. The works combine the historical tradition associated with the historic Hanseatic League and an innovative approach to the theme, which is to depict the new relationship of cities fused on the grounds of architecture, law, communication, trade, mobility, development, travel, but above all the old Hanseatic conventions and new meetings.

Catalogue for download


HANSEartWORKS 2022 was all about performance: artists and artist groups from 13 Hanseatic cities opened up the Cultural Forum "Alte Post" and the surrounding urban space with a wide variety of performative actions. The artistic interludes were based on this year's motto of the Hanseatic Day, "In the flow of time".

The Performance Lounge was not only a place of action but also a meeting place that invited visitors to linger. In the evening, people shook a leg to experimental sounds.

Download the exhibition catalogue.

HANSEartWORKS opening 2021

The exhibition aimed to look at the values of the Hanseatic League and thus make visible the "common and valuable gold" that lies outside the commercial value of gold. 30 artists from Estonia, Russia, Latvia, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Poland, Germany and Sweden took part in the exhibition. Conceptually, the exhibition was divided into two parts: In the "Riga Art Space", works, installations and objects with imaginative forms of expression and technical solutions outside the boundaries of traditional art were shown. The second part of the exhibition in St. Peter's Church showed works in classical techniques. For the first time, a HANSEartWORKS concert also took place in this exhibition space.

Video documentation "Hanseatic New Gold"

Presentation of the exhibition (pdf)

Altstadt Brilon - Rathaus

For the 14th edition of the HANSEartWORKS exhibition as part of the 40th International Hanseatic Day in Brilon, artists were invited to submit films and/or photographs of places, people and dreams in their Hanseatic city.

Due to the Covid pandemic, the exhibition was shown as a virtual exhibition. In addition to the virtual exhibition, a 30-minute film documentary about the art project was produced.


Wolfgang Streblow
Head of the HaW working group 

Richard Palermo 
Deputy head of the HaW working group