July 9, 2016

On 9 June, Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Centre Litexpo opened International Art Fair ArtVilnius’16 with dozens of galleries presenting hundreds of artworks from all over the world. The best artists and galleries were awarded during the opening ceremony.

During the official opening, Mrs. Diana Stomienė, director of ArtVilnius’16, shared her delight that this year’s art fair is presenting 60 galleries from 12 countries and offering a rich complimentary programme. “This year, our guest country is Poland, which is visiting Vilnius with 10 Polish galleries and two institutions – Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow MOCAK and Łaźnia Centre for Contemporary Art. My sincere thanks go to the Polish Institute in Lithuania and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Poland who have greatly contributed with interesting and intriguing artworks”, said Diana Stomienė.

Five awards were given out on the opening of ArtVilnius’16. All winners were selected by the panel of judges composed of art critics Ernestas Parulskis and Virginijus Kinčinaitis, and art critic, researcher and vice-rector at Vilnius Academy of Arts.

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Maecenas of the art fair Law Firm COBALT presented its award to the Best Young Artist (under 35) at ArtVilnius’16 for whom a EUR 1,000 prize has been established. This prize went to Beatričė Mockevičiūtė, presented by 5 Malūnai Gallery of the Vilnius Academy of Arts (VDA). According to Julijonas Urbonas, member to the panel of judges, it is not enough to look at this artwork; the author should be also hung next to it for a complete revelation of the artwork. Other winners of the art fair received traditional prizes established by Nescafe Baltic and the Centre for Contemporary Art.

One more VDA’s gallery Artifex enjoyed a great deal of attention as “Kill(ed) for Peace” by Severija Inčirauskaitė-Kriaunevičienė was awarded for the Best Sculpture/Installation at ArtVilnius’16. The artwork is outstanding for revealing the strong contrast between peace and war.

Polish artist Zuzanna Janin, presented by Warsaw-based gallery local_30, was awarded as the Best Artist of ArtVilnius’16. Parulskis, member of the panel of judges, described the drone transformed by the artist from Volvo 240 as being an organic message interconnecting locality and globality.

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Minsk-based gallery Y (Belorussia) became the Best Foreign Gallery of ArtVilnius for the second year in a row. The members of the panel of judges pointed out that the local stories in the gallery’s exposition were transfigured into global ones with the help of certain artistic resources.

Young gallery of architecture Nulinis Laipsnis (0º) was announced as the Best Lithuanian Gallery. It was the unanimous decision of the panel of judges. This gallery presents architecture as a means of creative expression.

Winners in two more categories will be announced on the last day of the art fair, on 12 June. Voting for the Best Gallery and the Best Artist audience awards will take place during all days of ArtVilnius’16.

Patron of ArtVilnius’16 – Vilnius City Municipality, main sponsor – Lithuanian Council for Culture, main partner – Litexpo, exclusive partner – Lewben Group, maecenas – Law Firm COBALT.