The last highlight of the 18th KAUNAS PHOTO Festival—memorialisation of the legendary Lithuanian photographer’s work in Ežerėlis

After completing its 18th edition in autumn 2021, the international photo art festival KAUNAS PHOTO has saved the realization of its last highlight for spring 2022.

For the occasion of the possibly last edition, the festival’s founder Mindaugas Kavaliauskas conceived the idea of honouring one of the patriarchs of Lithuanian photography, Antanas Sutkus, by embellishing the façade of the Ežerėlis Primary School with a motif of his work. The motif chosen for the mural was Antanas Sutkus’ “Mother’s Hand” (Vilnius, 1966, although some sources state 1965), depicting a girl holding her mother’s hand.

After the artist Marius Skrupskis completed the work and Mindaugas Kavaliauskas made a post about it on Facebook, the reactions to the work were overwhelming.

The window of my work is directly facing this wall… I’ve watched this artist work every day, and the result is really something  ❤️… Thank you for the opportunity to see it so closely 👏,” Ieva shared her impressions.

It looks amazing. Thank you very much. It will make us, the people of Ežerėlis, happy every day 💖👏,” wrote Asta on social media.

Perfection. I went, stood, watched and wiped a tear. Very strong. THANK YOU.“, wrote Inutė.

 

Antanas Sutkus, a classic of Lithuanian photography, said that “Mindaugas Kavaliauskas has found yet another way to engage with photography through a direct participation of the people themselves. This is both a great appreciation and, at the same time, a responsibility—photography as an artistic element in a town has both an educational function and an emotional impact. I believe that “Mother’s Hand” will convey to the inhabitants of Jezerele the empathy that I feel for my native land.”

The Mayor of Kaunas District Municipality Valerijus Makūnas says that “Sutkus’s works have been acquired by the world’s most famous museums: the National Library in Paris, the International Center of Photography in New York, the Dresden Art Gallery, the Art Institute of Chicago, and private collections. I am delighted that his work “Mother’s Hand” has become a part of the Ežerėlis school building.” Expressing his gratitude to the young generation photographer Mindaugas Kavaliauskas and the whole team for realising the idea, the mayor hinted that we should look forward to other news in the summer…

According to Mindaugas Kavaliauskas, the director of the KAUNAS PHOTO festival and the author of the idea, this work will remind the students attending the same school as the legendary photographer did, that you can grow up to be a talent of global significance, even if you come from a small village.

The founder of KAUNAS PHOTO festival Mindaugas Kavaliauskas and the artist Marius Skrupskis next to the finished mural of Antanas Sutkus’ “Mother’s Hand” on the Ežerėlis Primary School façade

The sponsor of the KAUNAS PHOTO photography festival is the Lithuanian Council for Culture. The implementation of the mural was managed by Karolina Krinickaitė, the image was transferred onto the wall by the artist Marius Skrupskis. The implementation of the mural was supported by the Antanas Sutkus Photographic Archive, Kaunas District Municipality and Ežerėlis Primary School.

The international KAUNAS PHOTO photo art festival was held annually from 2004 to 2021.

 

 

 




KAUNAS PHOTO 2021. Tour on wheels of the outdoor exhibitions—World Car-Free Day

On September 22, 2021, KAUNAS PHOTO festival held a tour on wheels of the 18th festival’s outdoor exhibitions to celebrate the World Car-Free Day. Four photography exhibitions installed under the open sky were visited during a 1h 30min and 12 km low difficulty tour. The excursions were conducted by the festival’s art director Mindaugas Kavaliauskas. Visited exhibitions: Alain Schroeder (Belgium) “Grandma Divers” (KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2021 Finalist); Adas Vasiliauskas (Lithuania) “Portraits of Quarantine”; Francesco Amorosino (Italy) “The third phase (Paola)”; Marna Clarke (USA) “Growing Old” (KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2021 Winner).

KAUNAS PHOTO is the longest running annual international photo art festival in Lithuania and the Baltic States. The festival founded by Mindaugas Kavaliauskas in 2004 is organized by the public institution “Šviesos raštas”. The artistic program of this year’s festival is curated by a joint team: Mindaugas Kavaliauskas, Kristina Juraitė, Donatas Stankevičius, Fred Boucher and Karolina Krinickaitė.

KAUNAS PHOTO is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture as one of the strategic international art events in Lithuania.

 




KAUNAS PHOTO 2021. “I Often Forget”—artist talk by Jonas Kulikauskas (Lithuania/USA)

On September 12, 2021, KAUNAS PHOTO festival held an artist talk and meeting with Jonas Kulikauskas, a USA-based artist of Lithuanian origins. Kulikauskas presented his contemporary photography project “I Often Forget” layered with themes of the Holocaust, Soviet desecration, nationalism, and diaspora, that he was developing in Lithuania at the time. Son of Lithuanian refugees, Jonas Kulikauskas had fastened a World War 2 era lens to a newly constructed 8×10” camera loaded with black and white film, to capture life today in what used to be the Vilnius Ghetto. The event took place at the Kaunas Choral Synagogue.

Photos by Karolina Krinickaite.

 

KAUNAS PHOTO is the longest running annual international photo art festival in Lithuania and the Baltic States. The festival founded by Mindaugas Kavaliauskas in 2004 is organized by the public institution “Šviesos raštas”. The artistic program of this year’s festival is curated by a joint team: Mindaugas Kavaliauskas, Kristina Juraitė, Donatas Stankevičius, Fred Boucher and Karolina Krinickaitė.

KAUNAS PHOTO is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture as one of the strategic international art events in Lithuania.




KAUNAS PHOTO outdoor exhibition at Draugystės Park vandalised

We are sad to inform that on Monday, 25 October, the KAUNAS PHOTO exhibition at Draugystės Park, featuring works by Lithuanian photographer Elena Krukonytė from the series “Portrait of Early Generation Z”, was vandalized.

As the structures are badly damaged, it has been decided to close the exhibition, which shortens the exhibition time by a week.

 

 




KAUNAS PHOTO 2021. “Why do I fall in love with Lithuania?”—meeting with Grzegorz Jarmocewicz (Poland)

On September 12, 2021, KAUNAS PHOTO festival held an artist talk and meeting with Grzegorz Jarmocewicz—Polish photographer born near Lithuanian border. The event was held at the Kaunas Cultural Centre of Various Nations where Jarmocewicz’s series “On both sides of the border. Why do I fall in love with Lithuania?” were being exhibited as a part of the 18th KAUNAS PHOTO festival’s programme.

Photos by Karolina Krinickaite.

KAUNAS PHOTO is the longest running annual international photo art festival in Lithuania and the Baltic States. The festival founded by Mindaugas Kavaliauskas in 2004 is organized by the public institution “Šviesos raštas”. The artistic program of this year’s festival is curated by a joint team: Mindaugas Kavaliauskas, Kristina Juraitė, Donatas Stankevičius, Fred Boucher and Karolina Krinickaitė.

KAUNAS PHOTO is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture as one of the strategic international art events in Lithuania.

 




KAUNAS PHOTO 2021. “Portrait of Early Generation Z” by Elena Krukonytė (Lithuania)

On September 10, 2021, the opening of the 18th KAUNAS PHOTO festival’s outdoor exhibition “Portrait of Early Generation Z” by Elena Krukonytė (Lithuania) took place at the Draugystės park in presence of the author. The opening followed by the artist talk “The relationship with time, the environment, and self through photography” by Elena Krukonytė at the Kaunas Municipal Vincas Kudirka Public Library’s Park Branch.

Photos by Karolina Krinickaitė.

KAUNAS PHOTO is the longest running annual international photo art festival in Lithuania and the Baltic States. The festival founded by Mindaugas Kavaliauskas in 2004 is organized by the public institution “Šviesos raštas”. KAUNAS PHOTO is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture as one of the strategic international art events in Lithuania.

 




KAUNAS PHOTO 2021. “Portraits of Quarantine” by Adas Vasiliauskas (Lithuania)

On September 8, 2021, the opening of the 18th KAUNAS PHOTO festival’s outdoor exhibition “Portraits of Quarantine” by Adas Vasiliauskas (Lithuania) took place at the Square near A. Juozapavičiaus Ave. 57 in presence of the author. The opening followed by the artist talk “Backstage of the Portraits of Quarantine and other stories” by Adas Vasiliauskas at the nearby photo studio “No Name Studio”.

Photos by Karolina Krinickaitė.

KAUNAS PHOTO is the longest running annual international photo art festival in Lithuania and the Baltic States. The festival founded by Mindaugas Kavaliauskas in 2004 is organized by the public institution “Šviesos raštas”. KAUNAS PHOTO is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture as one of the strategic international art events in Lithuania.

 

 




KAUNAS PHOTO 2021 “Age”: photo gallery (Part II)

Moments from the exhibitions and opening events of the 18th international photo art festival KAUNAS PHOTO. To see the Part I of the photo album — click here.

KAUNAS PHOTO is the longest running annual international photo art festival in Lithuania and the Baltic States. The festival founded by Mindaugas Kavaliauskas in 2004 is organized by the public institution “Šviesos raštas”. KAUNAS PHOTO is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture as one of the strategic international art events in Lithuania.

 




KAUNAS PHOTO 2021 “Age”: photo gallery (Part I)

On 2 and 3 September 2021, the 18th international photo art festival KAUNAS PHOTO opened exhibitions in nine indoor venues and five open-air public spaces in Kaunas featuring fourteen authors from all over the world: “Do Not Forget, You Are Not In Lithuania” by Martha Thomas (USA) and “Open Wounds” by Younes Mohammad (Iraq) at the Kaunas City Museum Folk Music Branch, in presence of the author Martha Thomas (USA), “Belles Mômes” by Clelia Rochat (Belgium) at the Maironis Lithuanian Literature Museum, “Memories of a man once there…” by Cristian Geelen (The Netherlands) at the Kaunas City Museum Kaunas Castle, “Grandma Divers” by Alain Schroeder (Belgium) at an open-air space near the Kaunas Castle, “On both sides of the border. Why do I fall in love with Lithuania?” by Grzegorz Jarmocewicz (Poland) at the Kaunas Cultural Centre of Various Nations, “±100” by Magdalena Stengel (Germany) at the Kaunas Municipal Vincas Kudirka Public Library – Department of Youth, Art and Music, “RENDEZ-VOUS” by Caroline Minjolle (Switzerland) at the Chechnya Square, “Cut It Short” by Michal Solarski & Tomasz Liboska (United Kingdom / Poland) at the Kaunas Municipal Vincas Kudirka Public Library – Park Branch, “2031” by Uta Genilke (Germany) at the Kalniečiai park, “The Suspended Youth” by Rosa Mariniello (Italy) at the KTU III Chamber, “The third phase (Paola)” by Francesco Amorosino (Italy) at the foot of  Žaliakalnis Funicular (this exhibition has been relocated to the Square near A. Juozapavičiaus Ave. 57 due to city’s works), “The Animal Within” by Fábio Cunha (Portugal) at VMU Multifunctional Center for Studies and Research and “Growing Old” by Marna Clarke (USA) at the Vienybės Square.

The evening programme at BLC “Otto” hall on September 2nd featured projections of the series submitted to the festival’s open call on the theme “Age” and a presentation by Chirag Jindal (New Zealand), an artist and topographer working at the intersection of documentary journalism and contemporary cartography. On September 3rd—a screening of the photographs from the series “Do Not Forget, You Are Not In Lithuania” by Martha Thomas (USA), accompanied by the readings of her aunt’s Daina Klimauskaitė’s memoirs of the youth spent in deportation in Siberia. The memoirs were interpreted by the Lithuanian theatre and cinema actress Olita Dautartaitė, in presence of Daina Klimauskaitė herself and the author Martha Thomas, who was currently visiting Lithuania. The evening continued with the screening of the festival’s competition KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Finalists’ series, many of the finalists greeted the audience via video conference call, and the evening culminated with the announcement of the Winner of the KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2021 Award—Marna Clarke (USA) with her series “Growing Old”.

KAUNAS PHOTO is the longest running annual international photo art festival in Lithuania and the Baltic States. The festival founded by Mindaugas Kavaliauskas in 2004 is organized by the public institution “Šviesos raštas”. KAUNAS PHOTO is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture as one of the strategic international art events in Lithuania.

 




KAUNAS PHOTO 2021 will hold a guided tour on wheels to celebrate the World Car-Free Day

The KAUNAS PHOTO festival commemorates the European Mobility Week and invites to celebrate the International Car-Free Day on 22 September with a guided tour on wheels around the festival’s outdoor exhibitions. The organisers encourage everyone to leave their cars, grab a bicycle or electric scooter and arrive alone, with family or friends by the Kaunas Castle, where the free and open to all tour will start at 17:30. The 1,5 hour 12-kilometre low-difficulty route will visit four open-air photography exhibitions. The tour will be held by the festival’s art director Mindaugas Kavaliauskas.

In 2021, European Mobility Week theme is “Safe and Healthy with Sustainable Mobility”. It pays tribute to the hardships felt by Europe – and the world – throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. European Mobility Week culminates on 22 September with the traditional World Car-Free Day. It is not the first time that the organisers of the KAUNAS PHOTO festival have joined the campaign, encouraging people to visit exhibitions using means of transport alternative to the car.

The Tour On Wheels will visit four open-air photography exhibitions of the 18th KAUNAS PHOTO festival. At each stop, the festival art director Mindaugas Kavaliauskas will present the work of the photographers featured there.

This year’s tour will star near the Kaunas Castle (in front of A. Jakšto St. 18) with the presentation of “Grandma Divers” by Alain Schroeder (Belgium, KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2021 Finalist). Then the tour will follow the cycling path along the Nemunas riverbank to Žemieji Šančiai, where two exhibitions will be presented at the Square near A. Juozapavičiaus pr. 57: “Portraits of Quarantine” by Adas Vasiliauskas (Lithuania) and “The third phase (Paola)” by Francesco Amorosino (Italy). Then the tour will come back to the town centre and will finish at the Vienybės Square with the exhibition of the Winner of KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2021—“Growing Old” by Marna Clarke (USA).

The outdoor exhibitions of the 18th KAUNAS PHOTO festival are shown at three more locations: “Portrait of Early Generation Z” by Elena Krukonytė (Lithuania) at Draugystės Park (Kovo 11-osios St., next to the bus stop “Draugystės park”), “2031” by Uta Genilke (Germany) at Kalniečiai Park (next to Savanorių Ave.) and “RENDEZ-VOUS” by Caroline Minjolle (Switzerland) at Chechnya Square.

The outdoor exhibitions will be open until October 31. KAUNAS PHOTO 2021 exhibitions’ programme and map of  can be found here.

KAUNAS PHOTO is the longest running annual international photo art festival in Lithuania and the Baltic States. The festival founded by Mindaugas Kavaliauskas in 2004 is organized by the public institution “Šviesos raštas”. KAUNAS PHOTO is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture as one of the strategic international art events in Lithuania.

WHAT? Tour on wheels of KAUNAS PHOTO 2021 outdoor exhibitions to celebrate the World Car-Free Day.

WHERE? Start—next to the outdoor exhibition located near the Kaunas Castle (in front of A. Jakšto St. 18), then the tour will follow the cycling path along the Nemunas riverbank to Žemieji Šančiai (to the square at A. Juozapavičiaus pr. 57), and back along the riverbank it will end at Vienybės Square.

WHEN? September 22, 2021, Wednesday, 17:30–19:00.

The event is free and open to all. The tour might be photographed / filmed for publicity purposes. For everyone’s convenience and to ensure the tour runs smoothly, the organisers kindly ask to arrive near Kaunas Castle a few minutes before the start of the event, to remember to observe the rules of polite riding and to have your bike lights on the front and the back of your bicycle.

© Photo by K. Krinickaitė.