On 6 July, awards ceremony and opening of the juried exhibition “Martinsons Award” marked the end of the 2nd Latvia International Ceramics Biennale. The biennale was part of the Latvian centenary programme and was organised with a view to developing contemporary ceramics as a discipline, promoting cooperation among the Baltic states and commemorating the artistic legacy of Pēteris Martinsons, who is widely considered the father of Latvian contemporary ceramics.
From 2 to 6 July, for the second time in the Baltic states, Latvia International Ceramics Biennale underscored the importance of ceramic art with a number of events held in Rīga, Sigulda, Ogre, Daugavpils, Rēzekne, Lūznava and Panevėžys (Lithuania). The biennale opened in Rīga when its organisers, jury members of the international competition “Martinsons Award” and curators of contemporary ceramics exhibitions from the three Baltic states gathered for a press conference and discussion at the Latvia 100 Information Centre in the National Library of Latvia. On the opening day of the biennale, exhibitions of contemporary ceramics from Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia were opened at the Latvian Railway History Museum and Pullman Riga Old Town Hotel. The biennale programme continued with ten other ceramics exhibitions, which were opened in Latvia and Lithuania, and the 10th international scientific conference “Person. Color. Nature. Music”, which was held in Daugavpils.
As homage to Pēteris Martinsons (1931-2013), a distinguished Daugavpils-born ceramic artist, the biennale programme featured the second internationally juried competition “Martinsons Award”. 395 applications were received for the internationally juried exhibition, and the jury selected artwork by 94 artists from 29 countries. At the opening ceremony of the exhibition at Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre, an international panel of judges gave out Gold (EUR 5000), Silver (3000) and Bronze (EUR 2000) awards in national and international categories, distributing the total of 20 000 EUR in prize money. The National Gold Award was won by Juta Rindina, a distinguished Latvian ceramicist. Meanwhile, Silver and Bronze Awards in the National category went to young artists – Kristīne Nuķe-Panteļejeva and Kaspars Geiduks, respectively. Internationally, the jury was most impressed by the work of Akiko Taniguchi, a Japanese artist, who received the International Gold Award. Silver went to Sara Dario, an Italian artist, while bronze was earned by Rūta Šipalytė from neighbouring Lithuania. The jury also gave honourable mentions to Andris Vēzis (Latvia), Helmie Brugman (the Netherlands) and Kimie Ino (Japan). A special surprise was prepared by Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian companies who supply materials to ceramic artists. Elīna Titāne, an outstanding Latvian artist, received honourable mention from the jury and a EUR 200 gift card from “Keramserviss” Ltd. Estonian artist Annika Teder became the recipient of a EUR 200 gift card from Estonian company “Kerako” whereas Lithuanian artist Rytas Jakimavičius received a EUR 200 gift card from “Keramikams.lt”. Opening ceremony of the “Martinsons Award” exhibition was enhanced by a performance “Vinyl Recorder” from Israeli artists Roy Maayan and Liat Segal and a performative installations “Future Memories: A Feminine Study of the Fortress” from Belgian-Romanian artist Ana Maria Asan. These projects were presented at the Nikolai Gate and the Culture and Information Centre of Daugavpils Fortress.
Another event within the framework of Latvia International Ceramics Biennale and the new exhibition season at Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre is the one-man show “The Fortress Exhibition” by Dainis Pundurs – the National Gold Award winner of the 2016 Martinsons Award. In addition, every visitor to the art centre will have an opportunity to see an installation “Girl in Blue” by a Dutch artist Marie-Josee Comello who won the International Gold Award at the 2016 Martinsons Award.
This year’s Latvia International Ceramics Biennale is officially over, but all its exhibitions, which were opened in Rīga, Ogre, Sigulda, Rēzekne, Lūznava, Daugavpils and Panevėžys (Lithuania), are still available:
Exhibition “Contemporary Lithuanian Ceramics. The Collection of International Ceramic Art Symposia in Panevėžys”
Exhibition “Estonian Contemporary Ceramics. What Holds Me”
Latvian Railway History Museum, 2a Uzvaras Boulevard, Rīga
Exhibition “Latvian Contemporary Ceramics”.
Pullman Riga Old Town Hotel, 24 Jēkaba Street, Rīga
Ceramic and graphic art exhibition “Towers” by Pēteris Martinsons (1931-2013).
“Sigulda Tower”, 6 Ausekļa Street, Sigulda
Exhibition “Reflections” by Valda Podkalne and Harald Jegodzienski.
Ogre History and Art Museum, 36 Brīvības Street, Ogre
Exhibition “Ķīpsala Ceramics”.
Ceramics Pavilion of Panevėžys Civic Art Gallery, 3 Republic Street, Panevėžys, Lithuania
Exhibition “My Townsfolk” by a Dutch artist Jacomijn Steen.
Lūznava Manor, Rēzekne district, Lūznava
Exhibition “Latgale Ceramics. Ceramics in Latgale”
Latgale Culture and History Museum, Atbrīvošanas aleja 102, Rēzekne
International juried exhibition “Martinsons Award”.
“Fortress Exhibition” by Dainis Pundurs.
Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre, 3 Mihaila Street, Daugavpils
The event is part of the Latvian centenary programme and is organised by Latvian Centre for Contemporary Ceramics and Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre.
Supporters: Daugavpils City Council, State Cultural Capital Foundation, Estonian Cultural Capital Foundation, Lithuanian Cultural Capital Foundation, Latgale Regional Development Agency, governmental joint-stock company “Latvian National Forests”, Israeli Embassy, “Sigulda Tower”, Turaida Museum Reserve, Pullman Riga Old Town Hotel, Lūznava Manor, Valmiermuiža Brewery, joint-stock company “Antalis”, Keramserviss, “Lode” Ltd., Latvian Mobile Phone, “Kerako”, “Keramikams.lt”.