The Nordic and Baltic Young Artist Award is a one-of-a-kind international competition that showcases the works of the 2023 graduates of the Estonian Academy of Arts, Pallas University of Applied Sciences, Art Academy of Latvia, Vilnius Academy of Arts and Helsinki Uniarts.
According to Andra Orn, one of the initiators of the competition and founder of the art platform NOBA.ac, NOBA Award hosts a record number of participants this year: 21 from Estonia, 38 from Finland, 40 from Latvia and 43 from Lithuania. “The outstanding number of attendees indicates that it is essential for graduates to be part of the regional art community. Also, visibility and accessibility are very relevant as it is difficult to succeed without them nowadays. Participating in the competition allows art academy graduates to stand out among the public, wider audience, and specialists in the field and to find new opportunities in the international arena. “Participating in the competition also provides an opportunity to compare the creators of neighbouring countries and their artworks,” adds Orn.
Margus Meinart, head of the painting department of Pallas University of Applied Sciences, commented that some specific themes were drawn among the artworks of Pallas graduates. Several graduates, for example, touched on childhood and related memories in their thesis; these memories were discussed through loss and regret, and they were also looking for common ground. Is it a sign of troubled times, a search for security and love?
Besides the traditional techniques such as painting, drawing, graphics and sculpture, the competition includes video works, installations, and performances. “The art enthusiasts have a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the work of young artists from the Baltic Sea region. In addition to voting for your favourites, some competition works are available on the NOBA platform. Acquiring the artwork of young artists can turn out to be an excellent investment in the future,” confirms Orn.
Public voting lasts until 26 November on the art platform NOBA.ac, which introduces all the artworks and the young artists participating in the competition. The artist whose work gathers the most votes will receive a Public Choice reward – a monetary prize of 500 euros.
In addition to the Public Choice award, the competition hands out other recognitions. The winner of the Grand Prix of the Nordic and Baltic Young Artist Award competition receives a monetary prize of 2,000 euros, and the winner of the Painting prize is recognised with a monetary prize of 1,000 euros, in addition to several awards in the form of art residencies and exhibitions.
The winners of those awards are selected by an international jury, which includes Anne Klontz from Konstfack University of Art, Latvian Academy of Art professor Andris Vītoliņš, Vitols Contemporary art collection founder Maris Vitols, EKA gallerist Pire Sova, head of Pallas Art School Pallas painting department Margus Meinart, Vilnius Art Academy rector Ieva Skauronė, Uniarts Helsinki lecturer and artist Harri Monni, professor Per Nilsson of the Umeå Art Academy, Taina Erävaara from the Turku Art Academy, Maarja Loorents, co-founder of Fotografiska Tallinn and head of exhibitions, Marti Manen, curator and director of The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation in Stockholm, and Andra Orn, founder of the NOBA.ac art platform.