Select galleries, international art institutions, mega-sized installations and performances, discussions about art collecting – all this and more is part of the international contemporary art fair ArtVilnius’17 in its eight edition. The event runs June 8 through 11 at LITEXPO.
ArtVilnius’17 will introduce 55 galleries, 200 artists from 20 countries (ranging from Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania to Belarus, the Netherlands, Russia, Italy, and France), and exceptional collections featuring artworks by world-class artists.
ArtVilnius is the only art fair in the region which, over the eight years of its existence, has expanded consistently and established itself in the local and the regional art market. Numbers attest to that: last year, 21,000 people visited the fair. “We have assembled a circle of collectors who visit the fair each year and buy art; this year, we founded the ArtVilnius art club, the first of its kind in Lithuania. We are partnering with the country’s most prominent business companies that have themselves purchased many an artwork,” says Diana Stomienė, the head of ArtVilnius and president of the Lithuanian Association of Art Galleries.
Alongside the main programme, where galleries will showcase the best of their offerings, ArtVilnius is organizing a special project zone and many additional events. Video art will be in focus at this year’s fair. A collection of works from one of Europe’s oldest video art festivals, “Videonale – Festival for Video and Time-Based Arts”, is to be brought from Bonn, Germany. Jonas Mekas, the outstanding Lithuanian-American artist, is also showing his new film at the fair. The Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow MOCAK returns with a new project, while the fair’s exclusive partner Lewben Group and its Lewben Art Foundation is presenting a collection of Lewben Art Foundation works by famous foreign artists, including a winner of the prestigious Turner Prize.
Estonia is featuring prominently at ArtVilnius’17, represented by three contemporary art galleries. Estonia’s contemporary art platform NOAR is bringing an installation by Juhan Soomets, the winner of the Baltic Young Artist Award. Curators from the Vilnius-based art and education centre Rupert have put together a selection of works by its residents produced specifically for the fair.
“We are particularly proud of PATH, our annual international exhibition of large-scale sculptures, installations and performances, which has attracted a record-number of applications from aspiring and established artists this year. We took pains to select the best work by creators from Lithuania, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, and Ukraine,” enthuses Sonata Baliuckaitė, the fair’s art project director. This year, PATH programme is particularly rich with performances by the likes of Raul Rajangu (Estonia), Erik Alalooga (Estonia), Sarah Hadou (Germany), Mindaugas Navakas, Petras Mazūras, Monika Dirsytė (Lithuania), and others.
Awards and discussions
ArtVilnius’17 will continue its tradition and award best galleries and best artists in their respective fields. The monetary prize for the best young artist has been provided by the law firm Cobalt, maecenas of the art fair. Visitors will also have a say in electing their favourite gallery and favourite artist who will be awarded prizes by Volfas&Engelman. ArtVilnius’17 visitors will be invited to a number of discussions and lectures. A rich programme of educational events and creative workshops is also part of this year’s fair.
ArtVilnius sees as its mission not just to foster and promote the art market in Lithuania, but also to establish Vilnius as a regional cultural hub. During the fair, visiting artists and guests have the chance to explore the art scene of Lithuania and Eastern Europe, as well as to discover the charm of the city.
Patron of ArtVilnius’17 – Vilnius City Municipality, main sponsor – Lithuanian Council for Culture, main partner – Litexpo, exclusive partner – Lewben Group, maecenas – Law Firm COBALT.