On September 15, the Kaliningrad Art Gallery unveiled the 10th anniversary of the Baltic States Biennial of Graphic Arts Kaliningrad – Koenigsberg 2011. Alexander Avdeev, the Minister of culture of the Russian Federation opened the event with a welcome address. Svetlana Kondratyeva, the Minister of culture of the Kaliningrad region, gave a speech emphasizing the importance of this large international event, shaping the image of region. More than 300 works of art from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and Russia were presented to the jury. The work Mont Blanc in the dry-point technique by the Lithuanian artist Ruta Spelskyte became the "Grand-prix" winner of this year. The artist will be given an opportunity to bring her personal exhibition to Kaliningrad.
Especially the works from Denmark and Finland received a very warm appreciation from the viewers. The three major awards went to Sabine Vekmane (Latvia), Raul Meel (Estonia) and Juho Karjalainen (Finland). The prize for the "Best curatorial work" was awarded to Elena Shipitsyna (Russia). The prize for "The Best Exposition Design" went to the curator Lars Malkmkvist (Sweden). The jury awarded a special prize to the Kaliningrad artist Vladimir Shcherbakov in occasion to his contribution to the development of graphic arts in Kaliningrad. Several “Special Diplomas” went to Kuutti Lavonen (Finland), Michael Struck (Germany), Victoria Pitirimova (Russia) and Sirje Eelma (Estonia).
All works are created in various techniques of printing art, highly appreciated in contemporary culture. The Biennial exhibition succeeded in marrying the European conservatism and precision to Russian emotional and soulful nature. According to many visitors, graphic arts are an integral part of contemporary culture, responding to the rhythms of modern life. This project has already won wide adherence among the general public. The professional level of works is growing every year. Not only have such biennial exhibitions given the artists a chance to seek international attention: they also establish a dialogue between different cultures, thus creating a huge field for cooperation and mutual understanding.
This year the competitive part of the Biennial is accompanied by a parallel exhibition which comprised the "Graphics of the Silver Age" exposition from the Omsk M.A.Vrubel Museum of the Fine Arts; an exposition of Paulisa Liepy, the 9th Biennial Grand-prix winner, and the works by the previous years’ prize-winners, which are now in possession of the Kaliningrad Art gallery. The 10th Biennial is going to become a major event on the cultural map of modern Europe. According to Galina Zabolotskaya, Director of the Kaliningrad Art gallery, the next Biennale is opening up its borders of creative cooperation thus expanding its international dimensions.
For future exhibitions, the organizers highlight that they "will be glad to continue our successful cooperation with our immediate neighbours, the Baltic Sea States, and with our friends – meaning ARS BALTICA and the NordicCulture Fund, who have supported our Biennials over many years."
"Culture includes not only culture and arts, but also the way of life and system of values. In this sense culture becomes the major power for intellectual renewal and human perfection." (European Council Report on European Cultural Policy)