NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

Nordic & Baltic Young Artist Award (NBYAA) main prize in 2018 was assigned to a young Latvian painter Elina Vitola. 

Winner of the competition Elina Vitola, currently preparing a show in Careva Contemporary Gallery, graduated Art Academy of Latvia just last spring. “Winning this award is certainly a surprise, all I have ever won before was a toothbrush, when I was 17,” she laughed. The winner of NBYAA and Public Choice Award winner is rewarded with monetary price of 2000€. She is also invited to participate in ArtVilnius next year and Tallinn Art Week in 2020.

Her art piece, Common Issues in Painting and Every-Day Life 5, consists of 20 meters long rolled up painting and a sofa, covered in painting of the same motive. The motive constantly repeats itself and its inspired from outdated upholstery fabric. “With this work I tried to get better at painting and hoped to find out the value of different stages of artistic practice,” she added.

Public Choice award of NBYAA was assigned to a young artists Laima Antonova, who finished her sculpture-studies in Vilnius Academy of Art a few months ago. Her sculpture Transformation of Everyday Life was born while she was trying to find a consensus between being a mother and sculptor. A Public Choice award winner receives monetary reward of 500€.

NBYAA Public Choice Laima Antonova, Nordic & Baltic Young Artist winner Elina Vitola


Both prizes given out in Art Academy of Latvia, at NBYAA award ceremony “Breaking the Walls” focused on breaking the barriers between the audience and artists as well as on challenges contemporary art scene is facing. Performance “Breaking the walls” was carried out together with professor Kristaps Zariņš, Rector of the Art academy of Latvia and professor Andris Vītoliņš pro-rector of the Art Academy of Latvia.  


All together 95 young talents attended NBYAA in 2018 – 20 from Estonia, 25 from Finland 13, from Latvia and 37 from Lithuania. To check out the works from young talents, visit

“Nordic & Baltic Young Artist Award has established a significant position in our region’s art scene by now. Around 200 pieces of art participated in the contest and each year there are more and more emerging artists entering art scene. NBYAA gives young talents international visibility and support they need for following their calling,” commented jury member and coordinator of NBYAA Andra Orn. “I am really glad that UniArts from Helsinki joined the competition this year, it is a good opportunity to see the different character of art young talents are creating in each country,” she added.

International jury of Nordic & Baltic Young Artist in 2018 included Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger (Uniarts Helsinki), Jurij Dobriakov (Vilnius Academy of Arts), Andris Vitolinš (Art Academy of Latvia), Keiu Krikmann (Estonian Academy of Arts) and Andra Orn ( contemporary art platform). Nordic & Baltic Young Artist 2018 was supported by Captalia Latvia and Loze & Partners.

NBYAA, started in 2016, brings together the best works from the graduation shows in Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on a unified platform, making the selected artworks better visible to collectors, curators and art lovers of the Baltic and Nordic region, and support the newest generation of artists in their professional endeavors. NBYAA is coordinated by contemporary art platform in cooperation with Art Academy of Latvia, Estonian Academy of Arts and Vilnius Art Academy, with University of the Arts Helsinki joining in 2018.

Professor Kristaps Zariņš Rector of the Art Academy of Latvia, Janis Loze (Loze & Partners), NBYAA Public Choice Laima Antonova, NBYAA winner Elina Vitola, Juris Grišins (Capitalia), Professor Andris Vītoliņš Pro-rector of Art Academy of Latvia