An international jury of the Nordic Baltic Young Artist Award has made a selection and announced the winners of the award, the Grand Prix goes to Latvian artist Laura Aizporiete for her large scale installation “Garage 119”. The Young Painter Award goes to another Latvian artist Ingrida Ivane for her 4,8 x 6,4 meters massive painting “34 29”.
The winner of the Grand Prix and the Young Painter Award will receive monetary prices of 2000 € and 1000 € accordingly.
NOBA Award (Nordic & Baltic Young Artist Award) is a unique international art competition in the region that involves young talents at the beginning of their professional career. In 2022 the 7th edition of the NOBA Award presented overall 80 emerging artists with 156 artworks from art academies in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland.
According to the jury member Andris Vītoliņš, Art Academy of Latvia Vice-rector and the painting department professor, the winners works are impressive already in scale, but also in technical execution.
Founder of the NOBA award Andra Orn adds that usually the competition has been a close contest, but this year both awardees beat others by a significant majority of points. “The jury members saw a general potential in these artists to stand out in the international perspective, dealing with topics and themes that are relevant.”
For Laura Aizporiete, receiving the NOBA Award Grand Prix is not the first significant acknowledgement. In 2022 she graduated Art Academy of Latvia, Visual art department painting faculty with the Vilhelms Purvitis Excellence Award. In 2020 she was nominated for XII Young Painter Prize and 2018 for SEB Painting Prize.
Laura Aizporiete says that as painting has become the closest and most engaging medium for her, she is trying to distance herself from its most traditional forms. “I believe that paintings can be created by using many different materials, including crystals, dust, rust, wood etc. I am interested in experimenting with various materials, substances, and chemicals, regularly exposing my works to many external unpredictable factors and trying to allow breathing space for unexpected outcomes. As of February 24, when I experienced an emergency evacuation from Kyiv, Ukraine, I have reassessed my interests, priorities and opportunities in art as a form of communication. At the moment I am focusing on memorial art and responsibly socially active art,” she adds.
The winner of the Young Painter Award, painter and textile artist Ingrīda Ivane has held eight solo exhibitions in Estonia and Latvia so far and participated in more than 50 group exhibitions also internationally. For a number of years, she has explored various topics surrounding houses, buildings, and homes and created a range of works from internationally commended tapestries to installations and live painting performances. For the exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Art Academy of Latvia, she built a separate, enclosed space in the Arsenāls exhibition hall in Riga where she more than two months, painted and repainted the walls using Soviet tones and ornamental motifs before settling for a white exhibition cube where the visitors could peel off the layers of paint covering its walls.
Her latest work, which was submitted to NOBA Award competition, “34 29”, is a 30-square-meter painting aiming to develop a better understanding of what houses mean to people and what it means to lose a home. In her artwork, she used a painting technique she developed to better mimic the way people notice things and form visual memories.
The prize for NOBA Award Public Choice 2022 was handed out a few weeks ago to a Lithuanian artist Laura Marija Salkauskiene for her artwork Emptiness and energy II. The award included a 500 euro monetary prize.
NOBA Award 2022 international jury included the dean of Oslo National Academy of the Arts, art historian and curator Sarah Lookofsky, associate professor at Umeå Academy of Fine Arts Per Nilsson, rector of Iceland University of the Arts Fríða Björk Ingvarsdóttir, Taina Erävaara and Dr. Vesa Taatila from Turku University of Applied Sciences, Anne Klontz from Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design, Andris Vītoliņš from Art Academy of Latvia, Pire Sova, gallerist of Estonian Art Academy, Ieva Skauronė, rector of Vilnius Academy of Arts, lecturer at Uniarts Helsinki Harri Monni, Helsinki Art Museum (HAM) and, Helsinki biennial 2020 head curator Pirkko Siitari and Andra Orn from NOBA.ac.