Sarah Staton, SupaStore Academy, Nida, 2020. Image by the artist.

SupaStore Academy, a permanent installation by the artist Sarah Staton at Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts, opens on 17 July 2020.

SupaStore is a lively trading platform for artists and ideas, a mutable pop up that presents small artwork, multiples, and editions from a diverse selection of artists. 

The first SupaStore opened in 1993 in London and was repeated with nuanced variance several times throughout the decade. As installations, functioning as working retail stores for artist-made multiples, the SupaStore series both facilitated exchange, referred to, and commented ironically on the increasing marketing of creativity. Commercialisation of public space, public spaces formed by infrastructure and architecture for commerce, artists communities, networks, and digitalisation of trade and exchange have been the topics recurring in Staton’s project since the 90s.

With SupaStore Academy we bring this format to an educational context, developing a new presentation platform, another kind of Academy gallery. Not merely focused on price point, nor just an exhibition space or concept store, this is a dialogical platform, where professors, students, and shoppers exchange equally. SupaStore Academy assembles all kinds of smaller works, transportable works, mail art, conceptual art, architecture, design, and craft by students and faculty of Art Academies from around Europe, and is open for participation to anyone else working with and interested in reflecting on formats of commodification of culture. 

Through an open call out, Sarah Staton, also a Senior Tutor in sculpture at Royal College of Arts, London and NAC director Egija Inzule reached out to various professors at Art Academies in the UK, the Baltics, Germany, Austria, Finland, Netherlands, France, and Poland, inviting students and faculty to send works to Nida. 

Sarah Staton is a contemporary visual artist based in London where she is Senior Tutor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art. Staton explores the social potentials for art, making public commissions, studio work, collaborations and inventive iterations of her long running SupaStore project. Her work with public art and art’s publics, have evolved over three decades working in private, public and independent context. Her work is held in a number of collections including the British Museum,Tate and Arts Council England.

SupaStore Academy is co-funded by Lithuanian Council for Culture, RCA London and VAA.