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NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

This year's winner of the Young Painter Prize (YPP) competition announced Dominykas Sidorovas as this year's best young painter in the Baltic states. MO Museum, where the winners were announced on 18 November, also offered a special prize – the "MO Award" – which went to Kazimieras Brazdžiūnas. By the decision of the evaluation jury, a special mention was awarded Erika Povilonyte.

For thirteen years now, YPP is continuing to be one of the key events for young artists from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The last stage of the YPP competition involved fifteen finalists whose works will be on display in MO Museum until 30 January 2022. 

This year’s YPP winner Dominykas Sidorovas was awarded a two-month residency in Nordic Artist Centre Dale (Norway) along with the 11,000 NOK monthly stipend. Dominykas also received a 3,000 EUR cash prize and the opportunity to hold a solo show in Pamėnkalnis Gallery (Vilnius). The YPP winner’s painting will be added to the collection of the Lithuanian National Museum of Art.

“Each year, the YPP winner is decided only a few hours, sometimes minutes before the announcement. The participants, audience, organisers and the jury thus have to spend all this time in the state of suspenseful excitement. And we are indeed particularly excited about this year’s winner Dominykas Sidorovas. The jury said about his artwork that “it’s a unique contemporary new visual language, it’s taking an image of an everyday objective like a chair and turning it into unfamiliar and striking visual representation.” We are happy that Dominykas artwork will now join the collection of the Lithuanian National Museum of Art and thus become part of the history of painting in the Baltic states,” said the YPP organiser Julija Dailidėnaitė Palmeirao.

MO Museum offered the “MO Award” – a special cash prize of 1,000 EUR which went to Kazimieras Brazdžiūnas who won the sympathies of most of the MO founders and staff.

Kazimieras Brazdziunas artwork

“All these young creatives and newly discovered talents are now part of the future generation of artists in the Baltic states. They all need to be noticed in order to find access to wider audiences. This year we are extremely happy to host them in MO Museum where the visitors will be able to not only see their work but also learn about their aspirations,” said the MO Museum Director Milda Ivanauskienė.

The list of this year’s YPP finalists: Arnolds Andersons (LV), Gytis Arošius (LT), Kazimieras Brazdžiūnas (LT), Aurelija Bulaukaitė (LT), Siiri Jüris (EE), Madara Kvēpa (LV), Lisette Lepik (EE), Edvinas Mikulskis (LT), Erika Povilonytė (LT), Indrė Rybakovaitė (LT), Justīnė Seile-Urtāne (LV), Greta Šležaitė (LT), Dominykas Sidorovas (LT), Denisa Štefanigova (EE), and Mantas Valentukonis (LT).

An opportunity to see the work of young artists

“One of the key benefits of the YPP competition is that the artists, viewers, curators and art critics get the unique opportunity to see the work of the youngest artists who will soon become major players in the art field of the Baltic states,” said YPP organiser Vilmantas Marcinkevičius.

He also added that the reputation and continuity of YPP are all due to the active participation of artists from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

The YPP project is ongoing since 2009 and is now one of the key art events in the Baltic states. Its mission is not only the introduction of up-and-coming artists to wider audiences, but also helping art collectors and curators discover new talent in the Baltic states. The YPP competition is open to art students and graduates up to years old. 

Jury work at the competition

During this year’s competition, young artists were assessed by an international jury: Arild H. Eriksen (art historian, Director of Residency Centre at the Nordic Artists’ Centre Dale), Gabrielė Radzevičiūtė (curator, MO Museum), Karin Laansoo (Director of the Estonian KAI Art Centre), Deimantas Narkevičius (filmmaker, video artist, sculptor), Zane Tuča (Latvian painter, the YPP 2013 winner), and Mėta Valiušaitytė (art historian).

The Patrons of  Young Painter Prize: Mindaugas Raila, the family of Nicolas Ortiz and Bajorunas/Sarnoff Foundation, Dali Van Rooij Rakutyte, Lewben Art Foundation.