Interview ‘Need an Architect’

Few weeks ago I spoke about creative placemaking on ‘Žinių radijas’ radio station programme ‘Reikia architekto’ (‘Need an Architect’). You may hear the full recording here: (In Lithuanian)

http://www.ziniuradijas.lt/embed/78854

Daugiabučio kiemas – mano kiemas
08.24 Ketvirtadienis 14:35
Rūta Leitanaitė

XX amžiaus antroje pusėje Lietuvos miestus užpildę daugiabučių rajonai šiandien sulaukia daug priekaištų: dėl nuobodžios architektūros, pasenusio išplanavimo ir taip toliau. Tačiau, palyginus su daugeliu naujos statybos gyvenamųjų rajonų, šie senieji turi nenuginčijamą privalumą – didelius bendrus kiemus, kurie buvo planuojami kaip žalios zonos gyventojų laisvalaikiui.

Deja, šiandien šie kiemai yra daugiau gyventojų konfliktų, negu bendravimo erdvės. Vieni čia nori ramiai ilsėtis, kiti – triukšmingai žaisti, treti – vedžioti augintinius, dauguma – tiesiog saugiai ir patogiai palikti savo automobilį. Galų gale daugiabučio kiemas tampa neprižiūrima erdve, kurioje niekas pernelyg neužsibūna. Ką daryti, kad sovietmečiu statytų daugiabučių kiemai taptų gyvomis, kaimynus buriančiomis erdvėmis, laidoje kalbėsimės su architektu Vytautu Buinevičiumi ir menininke Evelina Šimkute.

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Street Art in Šilainiai

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Calling all street artists!

Šilainiai Project is collaborating with Kaunas street art festival NYKOKA and inviting you to produce work in Šilainiai! There are five buildings to choose from, images and more info can be found on NYKOKA website: http://www.nykoka.lt/silainiai/en/

We are waiting for your sketches until August 20th via email labas@nykoka.lt ,please put ‘Šilainiams’ in the title.

It is going to be the first legal street art project in the neighbourhood and we are very excited!

Important: Please message us if you need contextual information about the site. We can meet up and show you around! silainiai@outlook.com

Šilainiai Project team

Travelling Architecture Workshops

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Last week I had the pleasure to participate in the Travelling Architecture Workshops. Nine volunteers – architects, artists, youth workers and sociologists travel to smallest towns in Lithuania (up to 1000 residents) and work with local children for five days. In this time children re-examine their open spaces, brainstorm about the things they need/ miss or dream about and all together we make those visions become reality.

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I worked in Kruopiai and had the most amazing experience working with the local kids – their creativity, hard work and care for each other was inspiring. Thank you!

Images by Milda Gardauskaitė and Aistė Rakauskaitė

Fundraising for 2017

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Photograph by Artūras Bulota

I invite you all to support the continuation of an amazing, community based art project in Šilainiai post-war housing estate in Kaunas (LT). In 2016, with minimal resources I was able to organise a global artist residence in the neighbourhood, several exhibitions, public walks introducing residents to their seemingly generic but actually extremely diverse community, poetry readings and photography workshops. I would like to continue doing amazing things for the community in 2017 too! Please support and/or share. Thank you very much.

https://www.gofundme.com/silainiai

Kind regards, Evelina

Šilainiai Project: exhibition of international art residency

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Šilainiai Project: exhibition of international art residency
31th of October – 14th of November, 2016
Opening on 31th of October, 6 p.m.
Project space ‘Kabinetas’ in Kaunas (A. Mapu str. 20)

On 7th of November, 6:30 p.m. we are inviting to a discussion led by project director Evelina Šimkutė with other artist-led initiatives of cultural decentralization in Lithuania.

Project curated by artist Evelina Šimkutė is one of the first who stepped into Šilainiai micro-district of block multistory houses, culturally separated from the city centre. The artists were staying in this micro-district by means of ‘couch-surfing’ in summer of 2016, where they developed new artworks. Also they made connections with local community, presenting their creative work publicly and participating in open meetings in a public library of Šilainiai.

Šilainiai Project is an initiative oriented to the local community of various generations and in this way is part of other Lithuanian and foreign practices seen in micro-districts – open creative social platforms, community and participatory arts and others. International artist residency is one of the many activities led by Evelina Šimkutė in Šilainiai, which help and start to reveal the cultural identity of the last developed micro-district in Kaunas in Soviet times. The project conducts an artistic, also historical and social research of Šilainiai, communicating with the people who created it and examining the collected archival material.

Works created during the residency will be presented in the exhibition. Brooke Carlson (Australia) joins performativity, materiality of drawing and will present documentation of performance shown in Šilainiai. Francis Olvez-Wilshaw (Great Britain) connects abstract sculpture with graphic. The Lake Twins (Great Britain) use drawing as their medium. Milda Gailiūtė (Lithuania) reveals landscape of Šilainiai in paintings based on photography. The landscape is also a theme for Marija Nemčenko (Lithuania/Scotland) in her screen prints. Evelina Šimkutė (Lithuania/Great Britain) transfers objects from Šilainiai.

More information: silainiaiproject.com, Silainiai Project, Instagram@silainiaiproject. Partners: Public library of Kaunas municipality of Vincas Kudirka subdivision of Šilainiai, PE Arts Management Platform. Šilainiai project gives thanks to supporters of Crowdfunding platform Vanessa Kilduff, Niamh Grogan and Anonymous.

The exhibition is on view I-V, 1-7 p.m. For more information info@arthesis.lt, +37061183444.

LT

Šilainiai Project tarptautinės meno rezidencijos paroda
2016 10 31 – 11 14
Atidarymas 10 31 18:00
Projektų erdvėje ’Kabinetas’ Kaune (A. Mapu g. 20)

Lapkričio 7 d. 18:30 kviečiame į projekto vadovės Evelinos Šimkutės vedamą diskusiją su kitomis menininkų organizuojamomis kultūros decentralizacijos iniciatyvomis Lietuvoje.

Menininkės Evelinos Šimkutės kuruojamas projektas yra vienas pirmųjų, įžengusių į šį kultūriškai nuo centrinės miesto dalies atskirtą blokinių daugiaaukščių Šilainių mikrorajoną. Jame ‘couch-surfingo’ būdu 2016 metų vasarą apsistoję menininkai įgyvendino kūrinius ir mezgė ryšius su vietos bendruomene, pristatydami savo kūrybą viešai bei dalyvaudami susitikimuose viešojoje bibliotekoje Šilainiuose.

Šilainiai Project kaip į įvairių kartų vietos bendruomenę nukreipta meninė iniciatyva įsilieja į Lietuvoje ir užsienyje vis plačiau veikiančias praktikas miestų mikrorajonuose – atviras kūrybines socialines platformas, bendruomeninius ir dalyvaujamuosius menus bei kita. Tarptautinė menininkų rezidencija – viena iš daugelio Evelinos Šimkutės vykdomų veiklų Šilainiuose, kurios p(r)adeda atrasti šio paskutinio sovietmečiu Kaune išplėtoto mikrorajono kultūrinį identitetą. Projektas atlieka ir meninį, ir istorinį, socialinį Šilainių mikrorajono tyrimą, bendraujant su jį kūrusiais asmenimis ir nagrinėjant surinktą archyvinę medžiagą.

Parodoje bus pristatomi rezidencijos metu dalyvių įgyvendinti kūriniai. Brooke Carlson (Australija) jungia performatyvumą, piešinio materialumą ir pristatys video performanso Šilainiuose dokumentaciją. Francis Olvez-Wilshaw (D. Britanija) sieja abstrakčią skulptūrą su grafikos kūriniais. The Lake Twins (D. Britanija) kaip priemonę pasitelkia piešimą. Milda Gailiūtė (Lietuva) fotografija paremtuose tapybos darbuose atskleidžia Šilainių peizažą. Apie jį kalba ir Marija Nemčenko (Lietuva/Škotija), pasitelkdama šilkografiją. Evelina Šimkutė (Lietuva/D. Britanija) iš Šilainių perkelia betoninius objektus.

Daugiau informacijos: silainiaiproject.com, Silainiai Project
ir Instagram @silainiaiproject. Projekto partneriai: Kauno miesto savivaldybės Vinco Kudirkos viešoji biblioteka Šilainių padalinys, VšĮ “Meno vadybos platforma”. Šilainiai Project dėkoja Crowdfunding platformos rėmėjams Vanessa Kilduff, Niamh Grogan ir Anonymous.

Paroda veikia I-V, 13-19 val. Papildoma informacija: info@arthesis, +37061183444.

Educational program “Kids on the Block”

I was invited to lead photography workshops for Kaunas Photo festival this summer. Fantastic opportunity for 13-18 year olds to develop a project and have their work exhibited in September! Registration is open until 2 June.

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From Kaunas Photo website:

The thirteenth international photo art festival KAUNAS PHOTO 2016 in its program investigating relationship between contemporary photography and public space, near the tens of high artistic and aesthetic level exhibitions, meetings with authors, lectures, photographic projections and many other events, also organizes workshops for the youth – ‚Kids on the Block‘, to which are welcome to register thirteen – eighteen aged pupils from Eiguliai, Kalniečiai and Šilainiai wards.

Starting May – June and continuing till the autumn , workshops will be leaded by experienced masters of photography, who are also the inhabitants of these wards: In Kalniečiai, A. Smetona gymnasium advices will be giving photojournalist Artūras Morozovas; in Eiguliai , Vitebskas library – art critic, photographer, Vytautas Magnum University lecturer Tomas Pabedinskas; and from the third of June workshop will start in Šilainiai, it  will be lead by photo artist, ‚Šilainiai photo‘ organizer – Evelina Šimkutė.

Seeking to foster social activity, sociality, creativity, to stronger identity of the place and interest in neighborhood, during workshops the youth, living in Kalniečiai, Eiguliai and Šilainiai wards, will be introduced to creative strategy of photography, will analyze their living space by photo objective, will investigate actual themes of block wards – from the aesthetic of balconies till the problems of car parking. The workshops of photography will become not just the way of expression, in which participants will analyze social themes, also finds new ways to create  a new form of communication in community.

The result of workshops – three exhibitions of participants together with their lecturers: 15 September  – Šilainiai library, 22 September–  A. Smetona gymnasium and 29 September – Vitebskas library. Exhibitions will be accompanied by evenings of photography projections, discussing created works and social themes. Participants of “Kids on the Block” will be awarded with  graduation diploma.

Submission requirements

 Entrants must be pupils aged thirteen – eighteen, living in Eiguliai, Kalniečiai or  Šilainiai wards. According to the living ward will be collected three separate workshop groups, every  no more than 20 members.

  • Šilainiai group – leader Evelina Šimkutė, sessions will go on in Grušas art gymnasium, (the first meeting on 3 of June, 10 am.);
  • Eiguliai group – leader Tomas Pabedinskas, sessions – in Vitebskas library, (the first meeting on 27 of May, 3 pm.);
  • Kalniečiai group – leader Artūras Morozovas, sessions will go on in A. Smetona gymnasium, (the first meeting on 21 of June, 1 pm.).

Technical preparations for workshops:

Every participant must have digital camera.

 

Šilainiai Photo

 

In autumn 2015 I have launched a project called ‘Šilainiai Photo’. It is based in Šilainiai microdistrict in Kaunas, Lithuania. The project involves collecting both archival and new photographs of the area produced by the local community as well as photo-walks and photography workshops in local schools.

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Silainiai Photo workshop in Grusas Art Gymnasium, Kaunas 2015.
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Photo-walk in Šilainiai, January 2016. Photography: Vita Ku

I am pleased to say that the project has been very well received by the local community. Spring 2016 photo-walk was lead by a local community Association “Šilainių baltai“.

Associacija Silainiu Baltai foto pasivaiksciojimas 2016
Association “Šilainių baltai“ leading the spring photo-walk in Šilainiai, 2016.

I was invited to curate an exhibition in honour of Šilainiai 30th birthday. The exhibition took place in Šilainiai library and featured photographic documents from Lithuanian National Archive, photographs made by Grusas Art Gymnasium students and Romas Simkus and my own works.

Silainiam 30 leaflet
Silainiai Photo launching exhibition, 2015.

You may follow the progress of the project on its website www.silainiaiphoto.com.

More images from the photo-walks are in the Worksop section.

Photographs contributed by the local residents can be found in the Foto section.