On the 4th of November, 2016, the Baltic Young Artist Award will be awarded for the first time, starting an annual tradition in Baltic cultural life. The Baltic Young Artist Award was formed in order to introduce the newest generation of artists to professional environments and the wider public, and to support their creative endeavours in starting a successful professional operation. The initiators of the award are the contemporary art platform NOAR and the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation (LMCAF), which was founded by the ABLV Charitable Foundation and the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation, in cooperation with the Art Academies of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
53 graduates of the Baltic Art Academies competed for the award. The brightest new talents were judged by an international jury – Leslie Moody Castro, independent international curator in the USA and Mexico; Juste Kostikovaite, Vilnius Academy of Arts, curator for Nida Doctoral School; Keiu Krikmann, Estonian Academy of Arts, gallerist; Andra Orn, NOAR, Member of the Board; Helēna Demakova, curator of the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation’s programme Art in the Public Space; Kaspars Vanags, ABLV Charitable Foundation, Head of Arts Programmes; Andris Vītoliņš, Art Academy of Latvia, Head of the Department of Painting.
The first Baltic Young Artist Award winner was revealed to be Estonian artist Juhan Soomets for his installation The Artists’ Room. The people’s choice award* will be chosen from all the competitors by an online vote on balticyoungartistaward.eu from the 24th of October to the 1st of November.
The Baltic Young Artist Award prize ceremony will take place on the 4th of November at 3pm in the Latvian National Museum of Art in the Kupola Hall. At the ceremony there will be the opportunity to hear the cultural publicist and historian Kirill Kobrin’s lecture Success in art – what does it mean and does it really matter? After the ceremony, award winner Juhan Soomets’ installation The Artists’ Room will be opened in the Latvian National Museum’s 4th floor exhibition hall until the 27th of November.
“Work on the developing museum of contemporary art collection has already been in process for more than ten years, and we now already know what the future Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art building will look like; we will have to work intensively to bring it to fruition. The works of Baltic artists will be among those which will form a fundamental part of the museum’s contents. In order to support young professionals in establishing their position in the art world, which is a time full of challenges in the first few years after graduation, we need not only financial support but also exhibition opportunities and contact with the other important players in the art environment – museums, curators, collectors,” says Romans Surnačovs, board member of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation, of the award.
LMCAF will award the winner 2000 EUR in prizewinnings after taxes and will organise an exhibition of their work in cooperation with the Latvian National Museum of Art. The winner of the people’s choice award will win a 500 EUR prize. Meanwhile, NOAR will give the artists recommended by the jury the opportunity to present their works online, allowing art collectors to become familiar with them.
* One voter each from Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania will be drawn at random to receive a gift certificate for a return journey for four people from our official transport partner, Lux Express, on any of their direct routes. Additionally, 15 voters will win gift certificates for two people.