Vilnius Academy of Arts (VAA) alumna Akvilė Malukienė won Public Choice of Nordic & Baltic Young Artist Award 2020 for her artwork "Flowers"

Her artwork reflects the dependence of beauty on the dimension of time, the experience of beauty through its finality and the illusion of eternity. Public voting took place from 9-20 December on the competition’s website, with almost 600 people choosing their favourites.

In 2020 Nordic & Baltic Young Artists Award was held already for the fifth time. The competition featured 77 young artists this year, including 13 graduates from 14 Estonia, 17 Finland, 15 Latvia and 31 Lithuania, who submitted close to 300 entries. A Public Choice award winner, revieled based on public online voting, received a monetary reward of 500€.

About Akvilė Malukienė


I am Akvilė Malukienė, an artist living and working in Vilnius. I graduated from Vilnius Academy of Arts, Bachelor of Painting in 2013. and this year in 2020 I graduated with a master’s degree in painting. What is important to me is the choice of the creative material itself, which determines the creative process and the inner need within me to experience creativity as strongly as possible.I also believe that a lot of information is encoded in the material itself. In a way, I feel like I’m working with fossils. Probably, that explains why I like artists like Anselm Kiefer, Jean Dabuffet, Louis Borges, Kazuo Shiraga or Pierre Soulages. They are dominated by a strong aspect of materiality, processiveness, corporeality, which also responds to my tendency to experiment with various materials. I perceive the image and its creation very bodily, sensorily, the image is like a second skin, an extension of the body. And this sensuality is for me a way for the world to perceive and unfold as a woman- artist. For me, the physical birth of a painting is an act of “grounding” that speaks of the soil- woman archetype. As a result, instead of the usual brush, I take a plow my paintings with it. Instead of paint – clay. When I want to glue and tear off the cosmetic masks from myself in an even more intense creative process, it reminds me of the act of self-unmasking, and when that is no longer enough I start cooking tar. Creativity becomes an act of creation, act of domination.

Akvilė Malukienė

Grand Prix winner: Kristine Krauze-Slucka (Latvia)
Painter Award winner: Laura Vela (Latvia)

The international jury of the competition in 2020 included Anne Klontz (USA/Sweden konstfack), Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger (Helsinki Uniarts), Anni Anttonen (Helsinki Uniarts), Pire Sova (Estonian Academy of Arts), Andra Orn (fNordic Baltic Art Center NOBA, contemporary art platform, Andris Vitolinš (Latvian Academy of Arts) and  Marija Marcelionytė-Paliukė (Vilnius Academy of Arts). 

The Nordic & Baltic Young Artist Award is a unique competition in the region’s art scene aimed at boosting the professional activity of young artists and providing art enthusiasts with a unified and holistic opportunity to discover talent from nearby countries. The competition’s website provides an overview of current trends in the art scene. In addition to photos of the artworks you can find information about the artists and the background stories of the works. The competition is organised by the Nordic Baltic Art Center NOBA with the art universities in the Baltic & Nordic region.