2017 year in review and plans for 2018

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Triad Walk: Nida Art Colony>Forrest>Death Valley by Raul Walch during 7th Inter-format Symposium, 2017. Photo by Andrej Vasilenko
When we look back on 2017, we realize that we have done an incredible amount of work! We have finished some long term projects and started new ones. We have knit new partnerships and walked through Nida again, drawn new maps of knowledge and thought about newness, and compared old mythological history with contemporary stories. We wish to thank those who follow and support us, and participate in our events! With this review we take a glimpse at the past year and anticipate the plans for the new one.
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Climbing Invisible Structures. Ritualised Disciplinary Practices in Social Life. Part 4: Lillestrøm. Exhibition view, Akershus Kunstsenter, Lillestrøm, Norway, 2017. Photo by Andrej Vasilenko 

The exhibition “Climbing Invisible Structures. Ritualised Disciplinary Practices in Social Life. Part 4: Lillestrøm” took place on 10th of February–12th of March at Akershus Art Centre in Lillestrøm (Norway). This was the fourth and the last exhibition of a two-year-long residency and exhibition project involving six institutions in three different countries: Iceland, Lithuania and Norway. The project pointed to a wide range of ritualised practices, connecting actions by people who lived a long time ago with contemporary rituals.

Artists: Mo Abd-Ulla, Eglė Budvytytė, Tanya Busse, Victoria Durnak, Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir, Berglind Jóna Hlynsdóttir, Saulius Leonavičius and Vida Strasevičiūtė, Robertas Narkus, Augustas Serapinas and Kristin Tårnesvik
Curators: Eglė Mikalajūnė and Samir M’kadmi
Project manager: Rasa Antanavičiūtė
The opening of the WHEN THE SEA LOOKS BACK (A Serpent’s Tale) exhibition. Photo by Julija Navarskaitė

Nida Art Colony invited to the exhibition The Many Headed Hydra #02: WHEN THE SEA LOOKS BACK (A Serpent’s Tale) on 16th of July–27th of August. The show worked as a series of evocations and a radio magazine with international contributions, which engaged the sea and intercultural mythology, merging them with contemporary issues. The exhibitions attracted 2176 visitors.

Contributors: Bryndis Björnsdottír, Cooltūristės, Ieva Epnere, Daniel Falb, Sonja Gerdes, Ulrike Gerhardt, Golden Diskó Ship, Emma Haugh, Suza Husse, Almagul Menlibayeva, Sondra Perry, Virgilijus Šonta, Elsa Westreicher
Curators: The Many Headed Hydra (Emma Haugh, Suza Husse)
Project manager: Rasa Antanavičiūtė
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The opening of the WHEN THE SEA LOOKS BACK (A Serpent’s Tale) exhibition in Berlin. Photo by Emma Haugh
After an iteration at VAA Nida Art Colony this summer, the group exhibition When the Sea Looks Back (A Serpent’s Tale) moved to Berlin on 20th of October–16th of December. The show re-surfaced at the interdisciplinary art space District Berlin, run by the exhibition’s curators The Many Headed Hydra. The collective was founded by the artist Emma Haugh and the curator Suza Husse. The exhibition was supplemented by new artists and their exclusive works.
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If the Sky Falls, Smoke Walk by Ruth Proctor during 7th Inter-format Symposium, 2017. Photo by Andrej Vasilenko 

The 7th Inter-format Symposium Along Lines took place at the Nida Art Colony on 19th-22nd of May. Over three days and nights the transdisciplinary symposium engaged in a dialogue between artistic, philosophical and scientific research with presentations and performances in the woods, between moving dunes, inside the various spaces of the Colony and on the coast lines (on the seaside and lagoon). This geological sight permanently generates cracks and traces.

Participants: Awst & Walther, Zbynek Baladrán, Vitalij Červiakov, Christoph Fink, Nikolaus Gansterer, Morten Norbye Halvorsen, Ines Hochgerner, Sven Johne, Lina Lapelytė, Ruth Proctor, Karen O’Rourke, Artūras Raila, Astrit Schmidt-Burkhardt, Marcus Steinweg, Raul Walch, Jessica Warboys
Curators: Vytautas Michelkevičius and Thomas Thiel
Interactive documentation: http://alonglines.nidacolony.lt/
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Nida Doctoral School “Tweezers and Squeezers”. Photo by Julija Navarskaitė

The fifth Nida Doctoral School, themed “Tweezers and Squeezers”, ran from the 21st to the 26th of August at the Colony. This time a multidisciplinary group of practice- and theory-based doctoral candidates together with distinguished international tutors and invited speakers focused on the methodological approaches and research methods in art, design and architecture. The summer school had 15 selected participants from 9 different European universities. Two of them, the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture and the University of the Arts Helsinki, are partners of this programme.

Invited speakers and tutors: Dr Joanne Morra, Dr Marquard Smith, Prof Dave Beech, Prof Adrian Rifkin, Dr Kęstas Kirtiklis, Dr Sofia Pantouvaki, Konstantinas Bogdanas.


Nicola Godman (SE/CA)
Dalia Mikonytė and Adomas Žudys (LT) / Neringa Municipality grant holders
Wolfgang Bender (AT) / residency exchange programme with Vorarlberg land of Austria
Liza Baliasnaja (LT/BE) & Sidney Barnes (UK/BE)
Curatron residency
Evy Jokhova (EE/ UK)
Emma Haugh (IE/DE) and Suza Husse (DE)
7th Inter-format Symposium Along Lines residency
Ruth Proctor (UK/DE)


The exhibition Eyes that See Everything by NAC resident Małgorzata Żurada. Photo by Laurynas Skeisgiela
On 4th of February  the Nida Art Colony invited to the audiovisual concert “Aliens in Nida”. Three musicians Petras Vyšniauskas, Saulius Astrauskas and Vytautas Germanavičius as well as photographer Gintautas Trimakas presented works by NAC resident V. Germanavičius, who has been working here in January and February.
On 22nd of February resident, artist Sybille Neumeyer gave an artist talk at Klaipėda Faculty of Vilnius Academy of Arts.
On 1st–17th of March project space Sodų 4 exhibited a solo show Eyes that See Everything of NAC resident Małgorzata Żurada.
On 31st of March Liza Baliasnaja (LT/BE) and Sidney Barnes (UK/BE) presented a dance performance “Figures”, which was created during their one-month residency at Nida Art Colony.
On 26th of April  the artist Raul Walch (DE) took part in the “Brick” art days organized by the Šakiai “Žiburys” high school. This time art days theme was “Emty”. The artist gave a workshop in which students painted images captured with smartphones.
On 7th of September–21st of October Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Center hosted the exhibition It's the Frame Not the Painting by former resident Jay Gard. The show curated by Giedrė Malūkaitė.
On 19th of October the artist Matilde Duus (DK) gave an artist talk, also presented her artist-run exhibition space “The Nordic Embassy” (Copenhagen) at Klaipėda E.Balsys art gymnasium.
On 24th of October Ditte Knus Tønnesen (DK) gave an artist talk about photography, photo cameras and her oeuvre to pupils of Neringa art school.
On 10th of November–2nd of December  POST gallery (Laisvės al. 51A, Kaunas) hosted the show “HUB” by former resident Tomas Martišauskis.
A workshop to the second graders of the Neringa high school by Kristina Skaldina
In 2017 Nida Ar Colony carried out the educational workshop project “Kaleidoscope: Design and Fiction”, which explored the influence of design technologies on society and its values. The project was intended for students aged 7 to 18. The last year saw 10 meetings during which Nida Art Colony’s A-I-R programme participants hosted workshops for the students of Neringa high school, Nida Art School, Klaipėda E. Balsys Art School, and Klaipeda Faculty of Vilnius Academy of Arts.
On 14th of March the artist Marianna Maruyama (US/IT) gave a workshop called “The Art of Naming” to the students of the Neringa high school.
On 20th of April the artist Maurícia Barreira Neves (PT) gave a workshop called “What does my body tell to you?” to the students of the Neringa high school.
On 10th of May the artist Vitalij Červiakov (LT) gave a workshop on making psychogeographical maps with the 6th grade students of Neringa high school.
On 11th of May the dancer and movement therapist Kristina Skaldina (LT) gave a workshop to the second graders of the Neringa high school. The artist tried to integrate body and mind, as well as knowledge acquired at school thought body experience.
On 25th of May the artist Lina Lapelytė (LT) gave a workshop titled “Music not music“ at Nida Art School. During the meeting, she discussed with students about John Cage and field recordings.
On 28th of September the artist Tomas Martišauskis (LT) gave a workshop titled “Photo globe” to the  students and teachers of Nida Art School. Using an image of a chosen location, the group designed a three-dimensional globe. During the workshop, Tomas discussed sculpture and its notion of spatiality.
On 17th of October Paulius Petraitis/Paul Paper (LT) gave a zine making workshop in the Klaipeda Faculty of Vilnius Academy of Arts.
On 15th of November the artist Marija Nemčenko (LT/UK) gave a workshop to the tenth-graders of the Neringa high school. Marija discussed about comprehensive (self)representation naratives. Students took pictures of relevant places and talked about the meaning of them.
On 7th of December the artist Neja Tomšic (SI) gave a workshop titled “Tea for Five” to the tenth-graders of the Neringa high school. The artist together with the students discussed the history of the tea trade, tea rituals, and how tea trade impact values of society, organized a tea ceremony.

On 12th of December the artist Teodora Nikčevic (ME) together with  the 8th grade students of Klaipėda E. Balsys Art School created and binded an art-book.


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The “Info point” installation by Saulius Leonavičius. Photo by Linas Ramauskas 

The idea of the KIOSK emerged at the end of 2016, but only in 2017 this temporary small project space, intended for the cold season, hosted six shows. Nida Art Colony regularly presents art works and projects by the Colony’s residents in a small wooden hut/stall located on the town’s main (Taikos) street. The project is partially funded by Lithuanian Cultural Council and Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. The patron of the project Andrius Tamaliūnas.

On 20th of March‒9th of April Saulius Leonavičius’ (LT) installation “Info point” was exhibited at the KIOSK.

On 13th of April‒7th of May Wolfgang Bender’ (AT) installation “Everything” was exhibited at the KIOSK.

On 11th‒19th of May Linas Kutavičius’ (LT) installation “Amber Beamer” was exhibited at the KIOSK.

On 26th of October‒26th of November Evy Jokhova’ (EE/UK) installation “Lighthouse” was exhibited at the KIOSK.

On 24th of November‒26th of December Tanja Lažetić’ (SI) installation “The Witch is not at Home” was exhibited at the KIOSK.

On 31st of December‒21st of January, 2018 Marija Nemčenko’ (LT/UK) installation “How to bake a swan?” was exhibited at the KIOSK.
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Students’ practice “Eco Playscape Design” of the Design department at the VAA Vilnius Faculty. Photo by Julija Navarskaitė

In 2017, the Colony hosted more than 20 international student practices of Vilnius Academy of Arts, which brought together guest tutors from the Denmark, Latvia, Finland, Austria, and other countries. Look through some of the most memorable albums:


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Seminar “Reconstituting Rurality” organised by Rejmyre Art Lab. Photo by Vytautas Michelkevičius

Our partners an artist-run organization Rejmyre Art Lab organised a special seminar entitled “Reconstituting Rurality” on 7–10 of May at Nida Art Colony. Over a three-day period the seminar included a combination of presentations and practice-based exercises exploring contemporary experiments in rural public art.

On 5th of August Nida Art Colony hosted the week-long Summer School themed “Cultural Landscapes”. The project was carried out in collaboration with the Directorate of the Curonian Spit National Park and the Faculty of History of Vilnius University. The 15 selected specialists and students of heritage protection, architecture, and art history disciplines focused on the topic of cultural landscape. Photos.

On 8th of September Nida Art Colony hosted the International Academic Conference “Life Between Waters: Neringa Architectural Heritage and Everyday Life”, organized by the 25-year-old ICOMOS National Committee of Lithuania, Neringa Municipality and Architect Algimantas Zaviša Charity and Support Foundation. During the Conference VAA Nida Art Colony was awarded as the best recreational architecture in 2016!

Nida Art Colony presented its work at the ELIA’s (European League of Institutes of the Arts) conference “Making a Living from the Arts” on 14–15th of September in Amsterdam.


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The 8th VAA Nida Art Colony Log covers NAC’s activities during September 2015 – April 2017. This issue addresses various notions of newness.

After the two-year-long residency and exhibition project “Climbing Invisible Structures. Ritualised Disciplinary Practices in Social Life” Nida Art Colony released the catalogue, in which you can find documentatons of all the shows and texts by exhibition curators Eglė Mikalajūnė and Samir M’kadmi, as well as by the art critic Agnė Bagdžiūnaitė.

The second issue of Station to Station  “All that Art”  was released by TransArtists last year. It featuresnumerous podcasts, sounds and texts by artists and residency organisers about their experiences, and sometimes expectations, of what can happen to art (works) in the broadest sense of the word produced in artist-in-residence venues. You can also find a text by our artistic director, Associate Prof. Dr. Vytautas Michelkevicius!


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Still image from the video by Dalia Mikonytė and Adomas Žudys
VAA Nida Art Colony has been collaborating with the AiR Krems residency programme by exchanging artists since 2013. Last year the Lithuanian artist duo Pakui Hardware (Ugnius Gelguda and Neringa Černiauskaitė) spent a month as residents at AiR Krems. The Colony hosted the Austrian artist Ines Hochgerner. The Artistic Board of AiR Krems has selected the Lithuanian artist Irma Stanaitytė-Bazienė for a residency period in Austria in August and September.

In 2012 Nida Art Colony and Neringa Municipality Council established the annual Neringa Municipality Grant for professionals in the fields of visual and applied arts, design, architecture, art history, theory, and criticism. The artists Dalia Mikonytė and Adomas Žudys won the scholarship last year.

In September Nida Art Colony launched, together with 8 partners, the Inter-PAGAN network, which transcribes as “Inter & Pan-disciplinary Arts & Grounded Anthropocene Network”. The network is dedicated to one year of curatorial, artistic or cultural research and exchange between art and culture organisations from Baltic-Nordic countries, Poland and Scotland. Inter-PAGAN aims to develop shared understanding, competence in practice, research and pedagogy about the intersections of localized cultural heritage traditions with contemporary art, music, new media, heritage-craft and politics in Northern Europe. The partners will gather in physical and online meetings to share local contextual research, culminatingin Nida Art Colony’s 8th Inter-Format Symposium in June 2018.

Since July 2017 Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts has been involved as a partner in the project “4Cs: From Conflict to Conviviality through Creativity and Culture”, which is a cooperation project in the framework of the European Union's programme “Creative Europe 2014-2020”. The aim of the four-year project is to explore how art, culture and creativity can become powerful resources for critical reflection on new forms of conflict and dealing creatively with the conflicts affecting today’s Europe.

At the end of last year Nida Art Colony has started a new collaboration with the art institutionContemporary Image CollectiveMedrarNile Sunset AnnexArtellewa Art Space and MASS in Cairo and Alexandria. In 2018 Nida Art Colony will develop a joint resident exchange programme with MASS Alexandria.


The diplomat, artist, scholar and member of the Lithuanian Parliament Arūnas Gelūnas has started his term as a Member of the Nida Art Colony Board!

Our former colleague, curator of the A-I-R programme at Nida Art Colony Živilė Etevičiūtė has assumed a new position as Cultural Attaché at the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania to the Kingdom of Sweden, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Denmark.


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This year together with you we are looking forward to these upcoming events:

20–24th of June: the 8th Inter-format Symposium On Rites & Terrabytes

20th of July – 31st of August: the summer exhibition. Participants: Špela Petrič, Petras Išora and Ona Lozuraitytė, Lina Lapelytė and others. Curator: Vytautas Michelkevičius

26th of August – 2nd of September: the 6th Nida Doctoral School “…naked on the beach…” on presentation of artistic research.

In March Nida Art Colony will start the project “Paradigm Shift: From Traditional to Creative Industries” together with Kuldiga Municipality in Latvia.

In April: the exhibition of drawings Dark Drawnin Vilnius. Curator Ian Damerell

New projects at the KIOSK project space.


If you have reached this last section of the 2017 review, you have probably realized that we have done quite a lot over this year. All of this would not have been possible, or would have been much smaller in scale without our partners and sponsors who put their trust in us in 2017, so we want to say thank you to: