The artist is present – contemporary art residencies in schools
On January 12, 2023 the opening event of the project Artist is Present – Contemporary Art Residencies in Schools, initiated with the support of the EEA grants program , took place at the Riga Art Space gallery hosting the Decolonial Ecologies exhibition.
As part of the project, seven artists spent a lot of time at schools across Latvia in 2023, including the cultural regions of Kurzeme, Vidzeme, Zemgale, Latgale and Sēlija as well as Rīga, the Latvian capital.
As part of the project:
• Artists held residencies at schools, introducing students to contemporary art and developing ideas by way of research and mutual collaboration. This resulted in collective pieces of contemporary art which will be displayed at the International Contemporary Art Festival Survival Kit 14.
• All of the artists and students partaking in the project will also meet at a creative summer camp held in 2023 in Valmiera.
• As part of a special mentorship program, Latvian artists, together with the TENTHAUS art collective from Oslo, Norway, are gaining experience and practical know-how on working with students and teachers in the long term.
• The results of the project – methods and creative techniques – will be collected in a special teaching aid / publication that will come in handy for Latvian teachers as they create content for learning about and integrating contemporary art into the study program in the time to come.
Since 2013, LCCA has been working systematically in creating educational programs for children and youth audiences in the center’s exhibitions and the Survival Kit festival, making guides, print materials and tours as well as conducting creative workshops. In 2019, LCCA launched the Take Your Class to the Master Class project with the support of the Creating Content for the ‘Latvian School Bag’ program of the State Culture Capital Foundation. As part of it, eleven artists visited more than 30 schools across Latvia, and they were met particularly warmly in the regions where contemporary art is all but inaccessible. The idea of the project The Artist is Present is based on the experience acquired during these journeys and is propelled by the artists’ desire to create closer and more sustainable ties with the student audience.
The artists partaking in the project: Kristīne Brīniņa, Vika Eksta, Gundega Evelone, Anda Lāce, Eva Vēvere, Artūrs Punte, and Maksims Šenteļevs. The project is managed by Māra Žeikare.
The project The Artist is Present – Contemporary Art Residencies in Schools (No.EEZ/2022/2/27) was started in the framework of the Local Development, Poverty Reduction and Cultural Cooperation program of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism for the 2014-2021 period as part of the open call “Support for the Creation of Professional Art and Cultural Products for Children and Youth”. The project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through EEA Grants. The total eligible costs of the project is 228 713.36 EUR, of which the EEA covers 194 406.36 EUR while the national co-financing is 34 307.00 EUR. The project aims to promote the participation of Latvian children and youth into processes of contemporary art.
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Kristīne Brīniņa (1987) is a Latvian independent choreographer and dancer who lives and works in Latvia. Graduated from the Dance Department of the Latvian Academy of Culture and studied at the University of Liepaja in the New Media Art program. She has created several solo works and collaborates with different field artists and communities. Brīniņa has participated in international projects in Latvia, Cyprus, Turkey, Norway, Luxembourg, Iceland, USA and Korea. Kristīne and her performances have been nominated for the Latvian Theater Award “Spēlmaņu nakts” and the Latvian Dance Award. In 2021 and 2022 Kristīne won the Liepaja Culture Award for research-based creation of original works in Liepaja’s urban environment, synthesizing forms of expression that promote diversity and development in Liepaja’s performing arts. And in 2021 she won the Dance.lv magazine editorial award for visible and topical activity in the dance industry, inviting to re-evaluate artistic tasks and boundaries. Kristine’s works are based on everyday life situations, which are transferred into art forms in a careful and fragile way, with seemingly simple movements and actions. Performers can be stage professionals, as well as people whose everyday life is not related to performing arts. Kristine calls this process the “documentary dance method,” a method where movement becomes central to documenting life itself in the most human way. Since 2014, Kristīne lives and works in Cīrava, where she is actively involved in the accessibility of art in the Courland region.
VIKA EKSTA (1987) is an artist based in Riga, Latvia. In her long-term projects, Vika combines the documentary and fictional. Most of her work reflects upon the artist’s personal experiences – be it an exploration of a fictional identity or of a Latvian rural landscape. Vika’s choice of medium depends on the idea of the project. She is skilled in photography, analogue photo lab work, performance for the camera and audiovisual archive research. Vika is the winner of the ADC Young Guns, FK Portfolio and Riga Photography Biennial awards for young Baltic photographers, and has been nominated for the Purvītis Prize. Since 2014, she has participated in exhibitions in Latvia and abroad, including at the Latvian National Museum of Art (2020), kim? Contemporary Art Centre (2019), Gallery Alma (2019), ISSP Gallery (2018), Kaunas Photography Gallery (2017). Her work is held in the collections of Latvian National Museum of Art, Latvian Museum of photography and private collections.
Gundega Evelone (1988) is a multidisciplinary artist. Although she holds an MA in Sculpture from the Art Academy of Latvia, her practice spans various mediums that are called upon as required in order to create an ever more encompassing staged version of reality that strives to wholly involve and influence the viewer. Currently the artist is moving in two distinctly opposed directions – she explores the human element in different social and historical situations while working with such fundamental concepts as ‘space’, ‘matter’ and ‘existence – nonexistence’, trying to find connections in her work between the real, tangible world and each individual’s subjective perception. Gundega Evelone has participated in more than 50 different art projects in Latvia and abroad both as an author, as well as curator.
Latvian artist Anda Lāce (1982) was born, lives and works in Riga. Anda Lāce obtained a Master’s degree in Painting at the Art Academy of Latvia, studied at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has participated in exhibitions in Latvia and abroad since 2003, and since 2005 she is organizing solo exhibitions. Alongside painting Anda Lāce has been a co-author, a stage designer and a participant in several “Drawing theatre” shows. The experience of the independent theatre environment has served as one of the roots for her subsequent interest in performance art. Lāce’s performances have taken place since 2010, most frequently in close cooperation with contemporary classical music composers. The paintings, performances, experimental installations, and sculptural formations of the artist are interconnected and mutually complementing types of art practice. Since 2019 Anda Lāce is curator of the socially engaged Sansusī Wellbeing Residency. Her works can be found in the collection of Latvian National Museum of Art, as well as in private collections in Europe.
Eva Vēvere is a visual artist working in various media, including installation, process-based events, still and moving image. Since 2009 active with Poetic Robotism projects – a series of interactive installations and performances focusing on architecture of time and deconstruction of different aspects of life, connected both to the mundane reality and philosophic issues. In recent years, her exhibition activity has also included group shows at the Latvian National Museum of Art, annual Survival Kit festivals organized by the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art and experimental collaborations with professionals from the fields of contemporary dance and music.
Arturs Punte (1977) is a poet and media artist from Riga, Latvia; co-founder of “Orbita group” (orbita.lv) – a creative collective of Latvia-based Russian poets and artists whose works are dedicated to dialogue between various creative genres (music, video, etc.) and cultures. He was graduated from the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in 2004. Punte writes poems in Russian and Latvian, and also creates audio-visual works, such as various soundscapes, poetry videos and audio-visual installations. Punte as a co-member of “Orbita” has organised four “Word in Motion” festivals of poetry video and multi-media art in Latvia (in 2001, 2003, 2007 and 2011); issued three audio compact discs and a collection of poetic video clips on VHS (2001) and DVD (2005); created several multi-media poetry installations for public exhibition; produced a number of bilingual (Russian-Latvian) books. He has also worked as an editor of many poetry books. Punte’s poetry has been translated into various languages: English, German, Italian, Slovak, Serbian, Estonian, Finnish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Georgian as well as a number of other languages.
Maksims Shentelevs born 1978, is an architect and sound artist from Riga, Latvia. In his works based on field recordings artist researches topics of deep listening, sonic meditation and sound ecology. Performer and sound artist in theater as well as lecturer and workshop conductor. Works with sound for films, animation, contemporary dance, theater, performing arts and installations. Founder of international sound art platform www.bernurits.com , which focuses on site-specific research and improvisations in-situ.
Anda Lāce – Antūži Elementary School, Jēkabpils municipality
Gundega Evelone – Bolderāja New Primary School in Rīga, Rīga municipality
Vika Eksta – Aglona Secondary School, Preiļi municipality
Kristīne Brīniņa – Liepāja Catholic Elementary School / Liepāja Secondary School № 15, Liepāja municipality
Eva Vēvere – Jelgava Spīdola State Gymnasium, Jelgava municipality
Artūrs Punte and Maksims Šenteļevs – Strenči Primary School, Valmiera municipality
Project manager: Māra Žeikare
Project coordinator: Lība Bērziņa
Coordinator of the educational program: Kristīne Ercika
Head of communications: Terēze Šulca
Art mediators: Aija Putniņa, Evelīna Andžāne, Lana Zujeva un Mariona Baltkalne
Tenthaus Art Collective has been working together in various constellations since 2009. The collective is characterized by an open, process-oriented form of participation and collaboration. They focus on local contexts exploring collectivity and inclusion through different forms of engagement . Tenthaus began as an artists-in-schools project and over a decade later they continue to maintain strong relations to the community and works to cultivate and nurture its enviornments. Today Tenthaus encompasses both a project room and an exhibition space, a mobile studio, and a wide range of curatorial projects. As a collective Tenthaus reimagines themselves and what it means to be artists working with the public, and what makes a relevant socially engaged practice today. The collective works with discursive events, radio, research, exchanges, workshops and exhibitions with an international orientation. Each of its members brings a distinct set of skills, practices and cultural knowledge,and the distinctive result of their collaborations and collective discussion is visible through their work .
More information: https://www.tenthaus.no/about/
About Tenthaus team:
Project coordinator at Tenthaus. Ida is a dance artist from Larvik, Norway. She holds an MFA in Art and Public Space from Oslo National Academy of the Arts, and BA (hons) Dance Theatre from Laban in London, where she lived and worked for many years, before relocating to Oslo. She is interested in collaborative and multi-disciplinary processes, and her work is often site-, time- and/or audience specific.
Project coordinator at Tenthaus with responsibility for workshop and school contacts. Responsible for accounts and administration at Tenthaus. Matilde is a MA student in Art and Cultural Management at Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany. She was born in the North of Italy where she studied Art History at the University of Milan, with a focus on contemporary art. She has long experience working in galleries both in Milan and Lecco (Italy).
Founding member of Tenthaus, board member, member of Radiorådet. Ebba Moi was born in Örebro, Sweden in 1971. Her artistic practice is mainly within socially engaged art; working as an artist and curator in various self-initiated projects and collaborations, such as Tenthaus. She has made several public art commissions and exhibitions locally and internationally, using public space as a base for her practice. She is currently board leader of Norsk Billedhoggerforening and head of Master Art and Public Space program at the Arts & Crafts department at KHIO.
Founding member of Tenthaus, Director of the board. Helen is a visual artist was born in and raised in Liverpool UK. Eriksen is a visual artist and educator living and working in Oslo. She studied literature and languages at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, before studying visual art at the National Art Academy in Oslo, Norway and public art at the Oslo School of Architecture. „My work started as a sculptural investigation of space but has become increasingly orientated towards the investigation of the artist´s role within society.”
Belen Santillán is an art educator in Tenthaus. Belén is an art educator from Ecuador, South America. She took institutional roles (as researcher, museum director, and educator) as a chance to think about institutional practices: how exhibitions are made, which is the place for art education at museums, and how contemporary art can be approached in diverse contexts.
(b. 1994 in Belgium) lives and works in Oslo. They have graduated from the MA Autonomous Design at KASK School of Arts, Ghent. They also studied Fine Art at LUCA-arts in Ghent and Media Art at ASP in Warsaw. Some of the methods central to their practice are rituals, rewriting, appearances, and graffiti. They investigate self-organized dissemination via small-press and video, and alternative exhibiting approaches such as off-site and online. They invite you to travel along and explore the value of process-oriented art, open scripts, and the spiritual experience of the journey. Stan is a member of Tenthaus collective where they garden the gallery since 2019. Most recently they have exhibited at Nitja, Lillestrøm, Komplot Brussels, and Street Art Oslo. Since 2018 they perform an annual participatory spring ritual with Bart Van Dijck. Other collaborators include Cincio Odd Couture, Sadrie Alves, and Kier Cooke Sandvik. standhaene.be / @stan.dhaene
The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA) is a non-governmental organization that has been promoting the development of contemporary art processes in Latvia and abroad since 2000, with a focus on the critical and creative appraisal of events in today’s society. The LCCA organizes art events and exhibitions, runs research and educational projects, as well as produces publications that address modern social and creative processes, inclusivity and the reexamination of past events. The LCCA finds cooperation with local and international artists and institutions to be of particular importance, and this is reflected in the nomadic scope of the center’s activities — exhibitions, education programs and other events are held across museums, schools, libraries, abandoned buildings and urban spaces. One such event is the international Survival Kit contemporary art festival. The LCCA is likewise developing different programs and projects that promote the values of an inclusive society and an engagement with different audiences.