Presentation of Creative Results of the Educational Program ,,Connecting the Margins" at the Gallery ,,5 Malūnai'' of the Vilnius Academy of Arts

,,Connecting the Margins" is a collaborative educational program developed by Vilnius Academy of Arts, Central Saint Martins (University of the Arts London), and the Ukraine Center in Vilnius. The program is based on creative and innovative exploration and examination of urban spaces and related cultural practices.

From October 28 to November 4, contextual and situational educational sessions took place, drawing inspiration from the experiences of Ukrainian teenagers and young people in Vilnius – a city they sought refuge in due to the ongoing Russian military invasion. Collaborating with practicing artists, curators, and educators, participants in the educational sessions used writing, visual, sound, and other creative forms to develop their reflective and analytical skills, enabling them to observe, read, and creatively think about their immediate living environment. The workshops were focused on a specific location and centered around Vilnius Railway Station. For Ukrainian children living in Vilnius, this provided an opportunity to create fantastical worlds, tell new stories, and propose alternative images reflecting the place and its functioning. Throughout the entire educational program, the boundless enthusiasm, joy, and creativity of the young people emerged.

Every day from 10 am to 4 pm, artists and instructors led creative workshops for Ukrainian youth. Markas Klišius (Central Saint Martins) invited them to experience Vilnius and reconsider their relationship with the environment by asking the question: How did I end up here? Answering this question allowed them to move on to creating new narratives. Silke Lange (Central Saint Martins) led photography reading and impression recording sessions, exploring the importance of personal perspective in the surrounding environment and attempting to capture it. Sound artist and illustrator Cecilia Noiraud (Hungry Eyes Studio) invited young people to experience Vilnius Railway Station by collecting sounds and later processing them to create a collective narrative for the entire group. In the graphic laboratory workshop led by Marija Marcelionytė-Paliukė (Vilnius Academy of Arts), participants were inspired to rethink conventional, direct ways of visual creation, suggesting the creation of a portrait of a character active in their city using wooden letters. Jelena Škulienė and Aleksas Gailieša (Vilnius Academy of Arts) brought everyone together for a collaborative textile project in which each participant left their body shape, stitching, application, print – in other words, the emotions accompanying them in Vilnius and their experiences during the week of creative workshops at the Academy.

The results of the educational program ,,Connecting the Margins" are presented alongside all participants in the installed exhibition, which will open on November 9, 2023, at 6 pm at the Gallery ,,5 Malūnai" of the Vilnius Academy of Arts (Malūnų St. 5). The exhibition will run until December 8.

Creators of the educational program: Markas Klišius (Central Saint Martins), Silke Lange (Central Saint Martins), Marija Marcelionytė-Paliukė (Vilnius Academy of Arts)

The creators of the program thank the Ukraine Center in Vilnius and its employees, especially Jevgenija Bessmertnaja, Deimantė Kuprelienė, and Olesia Cholodova, whose efforts made this project possible.

Participants: Rozaliia Zrazhevska, Kateryna Lemtso, Valeriia Kholodova, Anastasiia Romanko, Oleksandra Udodova, Anastasiia Suprunenko, Danylo Kosogov, Ivan Borovyi, Mariia Harmash, Myron Yakovliev, Zoriana-Lana Zhovtenko, Arina Borysova, Rehina Lynnyk, Bohdan Ptychkin

Workshop leaders during the program: Markas Klišius (Central Saint Martins), Silke Lange (Central Saint Martins), Cecilia Noiraud (Hungry Eyes Studio), Marija Marcelionytė-Paliukė (Vilnius Academy of Arts), Jelena Škulienė (Vilnius Academy of Arts), Aleksas Gailieša (Vilnius Academy of Arts)

Project sponsors: Vilnius Academy of Arts and Central Saint Martins (University of the Arts London)