NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

Nordic & Baltic Young Artist Awards 2019 were announced last Sunday in Riga, Latvian National Museum of Art. Among the 301 competing artworks, the Grand Prix was handed out to Finnish artist Rag Elnyg. In addition to Public Choice award, the best Young Painter and Best Young Photographer were recognized as a first-time award.

Rag Elnyg, the winner of Grand Prix was traditionally chosen by an international jury. Elnyg won the sympathy of the jury with mixed media artwork “Titled” because someone used “untitled” already. The Grand Prix award endorses the artist with 2 000 Euros and a unique opportunity to showcase his work at ArtVilnius fair and Tallinn Art Week in summer 2020.

Grand Prix: Rag Elnyg ”Titled” because someone used ”untitled” already”, 2019

Jury member and Professor at Uniarts KuvA/Praxis-Master Programme Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger comments the winning work: “Rag Elnyg’s artistic practice makes the audience face multiple transformations: transformation of body, of language, of sound, of objects and transformation of artwork from studio to exhibition space. His way of working is extremely bold and open.”

2019 is the first year to give out the Young Painter Award of 1000 euros, which went to Latvian artist Janis Šneiders. His series of paintings, “The Place”, talks about the inner and outer structures of space, using a simple visual system such as grid, perspective, light and darkness. The artist has already held two solo exhibitions in Linköping and Riga. 

Jānis Šneiders “Climb”, 2019, from the series “Place”

With the support of Fotografiska Tallinn a special award for the best was handed out to Lithuanian Ignas Pavliukevičius for his installation “What the other I want”. Rain Tamm, co-founder of Fotografiska Tallinn, was impressed by the mixed multimedia usage in the work of Pavliukevičius. “Nowadays when borders between photo, video and film have become blurred, Pavliukevičius showed a fresh approach to connecting the static with motion. Fotografiska Tallinn is interested in showing young talented regional artists beside the globally renowed – we believe in innovation and new approaches,” he added. The winning artist will have a unique opportunity to hold a solo exhibition in Fotografiska Tallinn.  

Ignas Pavliukevicius “What the other I want” ,2019

More than 2200 votes were cast in this year´s Public Choice award, which went to Lithuanian artist Rasuole Jautakyte for her sculpture “Objects for body. Simulation of mental disorders. Paranoia, 2019”, receiving a 500-euro prize.  The artwork addresses uncertainty and paranoia,  an instinct or thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of delusion and irrationality.

Rasuole Jautakyte “Objects for body. Simulation of mental disorders. Paranoia”, 2019

Nordic & Baltic Young Artist Award competition featured a record number of 301 artworks by 97 young artists, including 13 graduates from Estonia, 25 Finland, 26 Latvia and 33 Lithuania. NYBAA is grateful for the work as a Member of the Jury: Anne Klontz (USA/Sweden konstfack), Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger (Helsinki Uniarts), Anni Anttonen(Helsinki Uniarts), Pire Sova (Estonian Academy of Arts), Andra Orn (contemporary art platform NOAR.eu), Andris Vitolinš (Latvian Academy of Arts), Milda Dainovskytė (Vilnius Academy of Arts ) Aušra Trakšelytė (Vilnius Academy of Arts). 

The Nordic & Baltic Young Artist Award is a unique regional competition for young artists founded by Nordic and Baltic Contemporary Art Platform NOAR.eu and regional Art Universities. The competition gives a boost to the professional career of young artists and concentrates valuable information about the new talent in the region. The competition website www.nbyaa.eu provides a good overview of current trends in the art scene, with information about the artists, background stories and purchasing options.


Take a look at the gallery of the award ceremony

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