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The winner of Young Painter Prize – Rosanda Sorakaitė. Photo: Ramūnas Danisevičius

The winner of Young Painter Prize 2016 is announced in Vilnius 0

Lauma Laube

Photo: Ramūnas Danisevičius

On October 28, Tsekh Gallery in Vilnius hosted one of the most important art events in the Baltic countries – Young Painter Prize 2016. Among 15 finalists a jury of art critics, curators and painters decided that this year’s prize would go to Rosanda Sorakaitė for the painting Night LightTwo Second Prizes were awarded to Adriāna Vīgnere (Latvia) and Vita Opolskytė (Lithuania), while Dovilė Bilkštienė (Lithuania) got the Viewers’ Choice Award.

Young Painter Prize, held since 2009, combines the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian young artists with a common goal – to present their national identity, art school practices and personal creative potential. According to art critics, the project has become a kind of Baltic younger generation painting chronicler, an important platform for young artists. Moreover, this project aims to help its target audience in both Lithuania and abroad – art collectors, managers, curators – to discover new talent in Baltic States.

This project is focused solely on artists under 30 years old from all disciplines who have acquired (or are in the process of acquiring) a diploma in art. The age limit has been imposed deliberately as the organisers wish to concentrate only on those very young artists who have just graduated (or are graduating) universities and have not yet had the opportunity to appear in public. This category of young artists is most vulnerable and has the largest need for support.

The young Lithuanian painter Rosanda Sorakaite tells us a bit more about her creative work just after receiving the prize – 2500 Euros and the chance to work and live in art residency in Budapest for two months. 

Young Painter Prize winner Rosanda Sorakaitė and the organizer of the event Julija Dailidėnaitė

Congratulations on winning this year’s Young Painter Prize! How are you feeling right now?

Thank you! I feel great, it’s such a huge honour to receive this prize! Even participating in this project is an honour, because you just know that it is going to be serious – the jury is respectable, the exhibition is good.

Tell me a bit about your painting, which just received the main prize – what is the story behind it, and how did you come up with the idea!

The idea came to me naturally, just like any other ideas that I have. This painting has a very simple motive that caught my eye. Usually I just notice something in my surroundings so I start to pay more attention to it, start to explore it and finally – I try to visualize the emotions I feel. This particular painting is portraying the feeling when you get up at night and see a lot of little sparkling lights on you wall, that’s why it’s called “Night Light”. It’s very dreamy and, actually, very simple.

What kind of technique do you usually use?

Mostly I do oil paintings and I paint in thin layers. It’s like the old master’s technique – they painted the light, the shadow and then they put lesueur (from French) – thin layers of colour. I use something similar to this technique. Of course, I do some experiments as well but usually I just draw a picture of a motive that interests me and add some colours to create the background and surroundings.

How did you decide to become an artist?

(Laughing) I really don’t know... Well, since my childhood I really liked drawing, reading and spending time alone – just exploring everything around me. I was a dreamy child. Of course, in my teenage years friends became more important. But when I was around 17, I felt that I want to study art and learn more about it. 

What is the main thing that inspires you to create art?

Everything that has happened in my life. Also, memories from my childhood and teenage years are a big part of my inspiration. I notice something, then I start working on it and I find myself in a flow of visions, ideas, memories – it’s a combination of everything.

What are you plans for the future – maybe some upcoming shows or exhibitions?

Right now the biggest plan is to go to Budapest! (Laughing) But I always have some plans for exhibitions and group projects. I’m just living my life and trying to seize every opportunity to show my work.

The winner of Young Painter Prize  Rosanda Sorakaitė near her painting Night Light

The winner of Young Painter Second Prize  Vita Opolskytė near her painting Portrait of Prince Balthasar as a Friend (do not tell your mother)

Young Painter Second Prize winner’s Adriāna Vīgnere’s painting A Little of Everyday

Dovilė Bilkštienė. Vacation

Photo: Tomas Ivanauskas

Photo: Tomas Ivanauskas