Vilnius Academy of Arts, despite the difficult international circumstances, continued the international artists' workshop "Border as a Place 2022" at the Mizarai Practice and Recreation Centre in Lithuania. The event was attended by professors and students from Lithuanian, Estonian, Norwegian and Icelandic fine art academies. The seminar culminated in a one-day exhibition at the Druskininkai City Museum Gallery on 19 March 2022.
Border as a place 2022 is an ongoing international event of the KUNO network. The first workshop took place in Estonia in August 2019, where students and lecturers from art academies explored issues of place and border in the political context.
This year's event, which took place in Mizarai in Druskininkai Municipality, explored life and art in the natural, political and imaginary borders and peripheries. "Mizarai is close to the border with Poland and Belarus, and being close to the border, especially in these difficult times, stimulated the discussion even more, when just a few kilometres away in the Belarusian training ground, we hear the thundering explosions, and the Lithuanian-Polish border is crossed by the people of Ukraine who are fleeing from the horrors of war," says Dr. Marius Daraškevičius, a lecturer at Vilnius Academy of Arts, points out that the ongoing war in Ukraine highlights even more themes that artists discuss and reflect on in their work.
The week-long seminar brought together 18 students and 7 lecturers, including renowned artists and art experts (Prof. Henrik B. Andersen, dr. Vytautas Michelkevičius, assoc. prof. Bjarki Bragason, prof. Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir, assoc. prof. Dirkjan van der Linde and prof. Kirke Kangro). The seminar also included guest speakers Sandra Adomavičiūtė from the Open Lithuania Foundation and Krzysztof Czyżewski from the Borderland Foundation, Poland, who explored border themes, narratives and emerging issues. The seminar "Border as a Place 2022" included lectures, discussions, field trips and meetings with local residents.
At the end of the meeting, all participants organised a joint exhibition of work inspired by the themes of the seminar. The culmination of the workshop, a one-day exhibition, took place on Saturday, 19 March, in the gallery of the Druskininkai City Museum.
KUNO is a vibrant and ambitious Nordplus-funded network of 18 Nordic and Baltic art academy communities. The network's main goal is to create one art academy without borders. By working closely together in various activities, the Nordic art academies aim to promote university-based art studies and a free, independent approach to creativity. Vilnius Academy of Arts is the oldest art academy in the Baltic States and coordinates the KUNO network until 2025. All students and teachers at Vilnius Academy of Arts have the privilege to benefit from the unique message and synergy of cooperation between 18 Nordic and Baltic art academies.