ArtVilnius’23 Closes: The Public Has Chosen Its BestOctober 17, 2023
ArtVilnius’23, the largest contemporary art fair in the Baltic States, ended on Sunday at the Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Centre Litexpo. More than 300 artists took part in the 14th edition of the fair. 70 art galleries and institutions displayed their works. Throughout the weekend, fans flocking to the fair had the opportunity to vote for their favorite gallery and artist.
Just before the end of the fair, the winners selected by the audience were awarded cash prizes and diplomas. The title of ArtVilnius’23 Audience Select Gallery was awarded to the gallery that took part in the fair for the first time, TÜTAR Gallery from Tallinn.
“Our stand was super popular and well-visited all three days, we really didn’t expect that. We brought very photorealistic works to Vilnius, many visitors couldn’t believe that they were paintings, they wanted to touch them, we talked to people a lot about them. This is very valuable attention. We felt really welcome at the Vilnius fair, and both the visitors and the team were very friendly. I think this experience at our first international fair is a very good one,” said Mailis Timmi, co-founder of TÜTAR Gallery, upon receiving the award.
The title of ArtVilnius’23 Audience Select Artist went to Evelina Paukštytė, a painter of exceptional imagination. Her works were presented by GODÒ Gallery. “If I were younger, I might have seen this award differently, but now I know that any success happens only when you work hard. It doesn’t happen overnight, in a week, it isn’t a sudden change after one exhibition. I really put a lot of effort into making it happen. It’s always nice to be rewarded, and it doesn’t matter who chooses you, whether it’s the jury or the audience. We received a lot of visitors and nice feedback, and I was surprised that Lithuanians are becoming quite open – they appreciate, they express their emotions,” said E. Paukštytė, the audience’s best artist of ArtVilnius’23.
Over the three days of the fair, more than 70 events took place – presentations, discussions, and performances. All of them reflected the theme of this year’s fair – performativity. The project zone and the international sculpture, installation, and performance exhibition Path were great places to see both established artists and new and interesting faces.
Projects created especially for the fair were presented by Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Center, Vilnius Contemporary Art Centre, MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, and Stasys Museum in Panevėžys.
“We always emphasize the educational and informative function of ArtVilnius’23, but at the same time we also say that selling works of art is also art,” Diana Stomienė, the organizer of the fair and the director of ArtVilnius, said at the end of the fair. She said that it is still very difficult to estimate the sales of artworks at the fair. Some of the works went to the buyers’ homes on the same day, while some are still being measured, and the buyers are deliberating and thinking. She has no doubt that it is not easy to decide in a few hours whether a piece of art will fit a particular space.
The decision to bring back the Young Collector’s stand to the Art Fair program this year has indeed paid off. The stand featured small format artworks priced up to EUR 500. As many as 8 works were sold at the Young Collector’s stand. Art lovers bought and took away works by painter Monika Plentauskaitė, Vita Opulskytė, and Rūta Matulevičiūtė.
ArtVilnius’23 was organized by the Lithuanian Art Gallerists’ Association.
The fair’s director is Diana Stomienė and the artistic director is Sonata Baliuckaitė.
ArtVilnius’23 is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.
Under the patronage of Vilnius City Municipality.
The Maecenas is the law firm COBALT, and the main partner is the Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Center Litexpo.