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Community Connections Through Glass Artworks

As soon as in the autumn, the premises of Kaunas District Museum in Raudondvaris are to welcome contemporary glass art. Here, the international festival Vitrum 2020 Pulse will present one of its exhibitions: “Clear Space”. When researching the connections with the environment and themselves, the authors selected from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia by means of open call have interpreted (in)transparency in their works.

The Vitrum Festival started exactly twenty years ago, when the first exhibition “Vitrum Balticum” in Kaunas in 2000 brought together Lithuanian and Latvian glass artists. “Step by step, the event has undergone significant transformation and expanded. We can note that all these events were attended by a permanent core of glass artists, which consisted of a close community of glass artists – glass makers from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, who also represent the higher schools of glass art in these countries,” – says Raimonda Simanaitienė, the founder of the Vitrum Festival and art critic.

Anna Varnase "Social Spaces"

Over the course of twenty years, transformations have taken place not only at the festival. Currently, Lithuania, as well as Lithuanian artists, are members of the Baltic States, but also of the whole European family: they travel extensively and make international connections. Many contemporary glass artists use glass material in their work by supplementing it with other materials, building installations or becoming authors of interdisciplinary art. The anniversary exhibition “Clear Space” invites everyone to look at the material nature of glass and seeks to maintain a specific connectivity in the Baltic states community. It also aims to consider our connection with the environment and ourselves, along with our aspirations in various aspects of life: starting with personal relationships and ending with our approach to technology, climate or nature.

Maret Sarapu "Closet Ostrich" (fragment)

The participants in the open call for the “Clear Space” exhibition submitted works created during the recent three years by using glass, and the international commission has selected nineteen authors. The commission consisted of the following members: dr. Raimonda Simanaitienė (Lithuania), art critic, founder of the Vitrum festival; dr. Paloma Pastor Rey de Viñas (Spain), chairperson of the International Committee of Glass Museums and Collections (ICOM-Glass), director of the Technology Glass Museum in Spain; Asa Jungnelius (Sweden), visual art author and lecturer at the Konstfack Academy of the Arts, Stockholm. This year, the (in)transparency selected as the festival topic has resonated in the artworks for the Vitrum Festival in several ways. Marta Ģibiete and Anda Munkevica will surprise us with unexpected shapes and scales. Valda Verikaitė and Domas Ignatavičius will turn household items into fragile pieces of art. The artworks by Gintarė Stašaitytė and Irina Peleckienė will offer us to gaze at the reflection. The new technologies will embody in the objects created by Julija Pociūtė and Anna Varnase, while Ance Stipniece and Maret Sarapu will invite us to feel the interplay of light. Colored transparency will use its voice in the artworks by Paulius Rainys, Inita Emane and Audronė Andrulevičienė. Meanwhile, Artūras Rimkevičius, Tiina Sarapu, Remigijus Kriukas and Eeva Käsper will welcome us to see through the glass. Merle Kannus and Eglė Pilkauskaitė will demonstrate the experiments on the flat surface. Contrasting in their bold ideas and transparent fragility, all these works of art will take over the halls of Kaunas District Museum.

During the opening of the Vitrum 2020 Pulse exhibition “Clear Space” in the courtyard of Raudondvaris manor, Mantas Mikutavičius will surprise you with an installation that he created specifically for the festival, as well as an unprecedented performance of hot glass exploring glass production processes. The two-month long exhibition “Clear Space” is to be complemented by family education activities, excursions and meetings with artists. The exhibition “Clear Space” at the festival Vitrum 2020 Pulse will run in Kaunas District Museum in Raudondvaris from October 9 to December 13.

The project is partly funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture and Kaunas City Municipality.

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