Vilnius has been long established on the map of enamel art capitals, which is marked by an important event this year – the VIII International Biennial of Enamel Arts VILNIUS 2020. A couple of days before the holidays, the jury has today announced the winners of the biennial, selected from the works of 30 participants, which everyone will be able to see live after quarantine is over.
Meno Niša Gallery, which has been running for 18 years, organised its first biennial in 2005. In 15 years Vilnius has become a strong centre of enamel art, recognisable and well-known among Eastern and Western European capitals, enamel art professionals and fans.
According to Diana Stomienė, the head of the Meno Niša Gallery, it is a great achievement that the biennial was being organised and a catalogue was being published in the context of the pandemic to further promote enamel art and creators: “From the very outset, hundreds of enamel artists from more than 30 different countries and continents of the world participated in the Vilnius biennial of enamel arts”. Marytė Dominaitė, a long-term curator of the biennial and a famous jeweller, also emphasised that the international enamel art biennial contributes to the visibility of the city of Vilnius and the Goldsmiths’ Workshop, which is commemorating its 525 anniversary this year.
Curator Dominaitė selected 30 works from Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Georgia to participate in the International Biennial of Enamel Arts VILNIUS 2020. The works were submitted for evaluation to an honourable international jury consisting of the chairman Dr. Jurgita Ludavičienė (Lithuania), art critic, Dr. Pillė Veljataga (Lithuania), philosopher and art critic, and Dr. Irina Yu Perfilyeva (Russia), art critic. The jury communicated with each other by e-mail or telephone, discussing the participants and their works, and deciding whom to award prizes to.
“This whimsical, yet highly picturesque, ornate, attractive, and mysterious material again rediscovers its inexhaustible potential at the VIII Biennial. No matter how technically complicate enamel could be, it seems that this complexity is what attracts the authors most of all. It’s a kind of a competition with oneself, an attempt to overcome oneself, and a joy when this is succeeding”, says the chair of the jury Dr. Jurgita Ludavičienė.
By the decision of the jury, Šarūnė Žygienė, a long-term participant of the biennial, was awarded for new ideas in enamel art, Neringa Poškutė-Jukumienė was awarded for the conceptual enamel work, and the award for the traditional use of enamel technique went to Mantvydas Lasinskas. Official letters of thanks of the Mayor of Vilnius city were awarded to Dovilė Žydelienė for combining amber and enamel, Marytė Dominaitė for the relevance of idea, and Georgian artist Nikoloz Gamkhitashvili for the brightest debut.
Taking into account the current situation, the exhibition of the biennial of enamel arts VILNIUS 2020 at the Meno Niša Gallery, with the opening ceremonies, is postponed until a more favourable time. And while waiting for a live meeting with the best enamel artists, a catalogue of biennial participants is already in preparation at the printing house.
The organiser of the Biennial of Enamel Arts is the Meno Niša Gallery, working within the framework of the Vilnius Fine Crafts and Fairs Programme.
The project is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture
The gallery is sponsored by the Vilnius City Municipality
Currently, all of the works of biennial participants are available on the Auksakalių Gildija (Goldsmiths’ Guild) website www.auksakaliugildija.lt or on Facebook.com/auksakaliugildija