June 8, 2018
The 9th contemporary art fair ArtVilnius’18, which kicked off Thursday, has traditionally awarded the year’s best galleries and artists.
Since last year, ArtVilnius is naming as many as seven galleries to be awarded the prize. “The special feature of this year’s event is ‘Focus Baltic’, so I am happy that the list of winners includes artists and galleries from all the three Baltic nations. The jury had a truly difficult task of picking winners from 55 galleries and over 250 artists,” according to Diana Stomienė, the director of ArtVilnius’18.
The jurors were chaired by Andris Vītoliņš, the Prorector of the Latvian Academy of Art, and included the art historians Dr. Raminta Jurėnaitė and Dr. Elona Lubytė, the photographer-curator Donatas Stankevičius, and the artistic director of ArtVilnius Sonata Baliuckaitė.
“This year, the jurors were united in their choice and did not fight over which artists and galleries were the best. Although we reviewed the displays separately, when we came together and compared notes, we saw that our views were almost identical,” the jury chairman Andris Vītoliņš said.
ArtFair director Diana Stomienė
The best galleries at ArtVilnius’18 are (in alphabetical order): Alma (Latvia), Contour Art Gallery (Lithuania), Foku (Estonia), Galerie des Petits Carreaux (France), Kogo (Estonia), Piktogram (Poland), The Rooster Gallery (Lithuania).
Ivars Drulle from Latvia, represented by Alma gallery of Riga, was picked the best artist at ArtVilnius’18. The best sculpture/installation award went to Vladas Urbanavičius whose sculptural installation  “Compound 2” is part of The Path exhibition at ArtVilnius’18.
Ivars Drulle
The best young artist (under 35) of ArtVilnius is traditionally awarded a prize of EUR 1,000, established by the law firm Cobalt, the event’s Maecenas. This year, it went to Rimas Sakalauskas, represented by Meno Niša gallery in Vilnius. It is the second time the artist is recognised at the fair, having been awarded the best installation prize at ArtVilnius’13. The prizes for the best artists and installation were established by Nescafe Baltic.
ArtVilnius artistic director Sonata Baliuckaitė
The visitors of ArtVilnius’18 are also given a voice to pick their favourites. They can cast their votes by Saturday, 8 June, for their preferred galleries and artists who will receive monetary prizes from Volfas Engelman.
The 9th international contemporary art fair ArtVilnius’18 runs from 7 to 10 June at the Lithuanian exhibition and congress centre Litexpo.
Vilnius City Municipality is the patron of ArtVilnius’18. The Lithuanian Council of Culture is the event’s main sponsor.