Artist laureate salary

Vano Allsalu, former President of the Estonian Artists Association, and Karl Martin Sinijärv, Chairman of the Estonian Writers’ Union, in cooperation with the Republic of Estonia Ministry of Culture officially announced the first competitions for artist and writer laureate salaries on 2 November 2015. Indrek Saar, former Minister of Culture, and representatives of artistic associations presented the competition rules and evaluation criteria at a joint press conference and invited creative individuals to apply.
 
The purpose of the artist laureate salary is to allow professional artists to dedicate themselves to creative activities and thereby contribute to the development of Estonian culture. The salary differs from a creative scholarship in terms of the period of payment as well as the social guarantees and the stability offered by these.
 
The number of recipients and amount of the artist laureate salary were increased from the beginning of 2019. The Ministry of Culture increased the budget for the artist and writer laureate salaries to have 15 writers and 15 artists on the payroll in the future. It may be said in 2019 that the salary measure has fully justified itself and we hope that the successful cooperation will continue and the number of salary recipients will be gradually increased in cooperation with the Estonian Ministry of Culture.
 
The EAA announces a public competition for the artist laureate salary during October every calendar year.
 
Requirements for applicants for artist laureate salary:
 
• Applicants for the artist laureate salary are professionally active artists, curators or art historians/critics who are in excellent creative shape and want to dedicate themselves to professional creative work over the next three years.
• Applicants need not be members of an artistic association.
• Applicants must be citizens of Estonia or hold a residence and work permit in Estonia.
 
To apply for an artist laureate salary, submit:
 
• a biography of the applicant’s creative career including recent awards and media coverage;
• portfolio for the past five years, including a clearly formulated artist’s position;
• an application and a motivation letter including the creative objectives for the
next three years.
 
The following aspects are considered when evaluating applications:
 
• the three-year creative work plan of the applicant as a matter of priority;
• the applicant’s education/experience, their creative activities in previous years;
• the applicant’s professionalism and motivation, the relevance and innovativeness of their creative objectives in the Estonian and international context;
• the artist’s statement and the applicant’s potential in introducing Estonian art on the international scale;
• the principle of diversity is followed when choosing between several equivalent candidates.
 
The EAA signs a contract with the competition winners under the Employment Contracts Act. The salary recipient has to submit annual free-format overviews of their professional activities to the EAA during the contract period. In 2016–2018, the amount of the artist laureate salary was calculated from the total cost of the average salary for the year preceding the decision; from 2019, the salary is equal to the minimum wage of a cultural worker multiplied by a factor of 1.1.
 
Artist laureate salaries 2016–2018
 
The EAA received 73 applications by the application deadline on 30 November 2015. On 16 December 2015 the EAA committee consisting of Vano Allsalu and Elin Kard (Estonian Artists Association), Sirje Helme (Art Museum of Estonia), Rael Artel (Tartu Art Museum), Anders Härm (Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia), Taaniel Raudsepp (Tallinn Art Hall), Markus Toompere (Tartu Art House), Maria Arusoo (Center for Contemporary Arts Estonia), Kai Lobjakas (Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design) and Kadri Laas (Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center) decided to award an artist laureate salary to the following artists: Kaido Ole, Marge Monko, Kris Lemsalu, Mark Raidpere and Anu Vahtra.
 
Artist laureate salaries 2017–2019
The EAA received 41 applications by the application deadline on 30 November 2016. In addition to the three artist’s salaries granted by the Ministry of Culture, the EAA awarded one salary from its own budget. On 9 December 2016 the EAA committee consisting of Vano Allsalu and Elin Kard (Estonian Artists Association), Sirje Helme (Art Museum of Estonia), Rael Artel (Tartu Art Museum), Marten Esko (Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia), Taaniel Raudsepp (Tallinn Art Hall), Maria Arusoo (Center for Contemporary Arts Estonia), Kai Lobjakas (Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design) and Kadri Laas (Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center) decided to award an artist laureate salary to the following artists: Dénes Farkas, Kiwa (Jaanus Kivaste), Flo Kasearu and Jaanus Samma.
 
Dénes Kalev Farkas is an Estonian-Hungarian post-conceptual photography and installation artist, who lives and works in Tallinn. Since the late 2000s, he has mainly studied social structures by reducing them to minimalist architectural models combining photography and captions. In 2013, Dénes Farkas represented Estonia at the Venice Biennale. As artist laureate, Farkas wished to focus and continue his current practice and seek collaborative opportunities with new curators and gallerists.
 
Kiwa (Jaanus Kivaste) is an Estonian artist, composer, curator and writer. He studied sculpture at the Estonian Academy of Arts and philosophy at the University of Tartu. Since the early 1990s he has worked as an experimental interdisciplinary artist and in his practice has combined various areas, such as performance art, text, sound, visual and organisational work. Kiwa wished to use the artist laureate salary to focus on the current day significance of space and interdisciplinary expressions of this in his practice.
 
Flo Kasearu is an artist who combines performance art with video, photography, painting and installation in her practice. Kasearu is primarily interested in subjects connected with public space and society. In 2013, she founded the Flo Kasearu House Museum, which is a site and topic-specific presentation of her practice. The museum is re-designed daily and is located in her home on two floors, the attic, cellar and yard. As artist laureate, Kasearu wished to focus on various projects – a publication about her practice, various solo and group exhibitions, and residencies.
 
Jaanus Samma studied printmaking at the Estonian Academy of Arts and while doing his Master in Fine Arts furthered his studies in France at the École Superieure Estienne des Arts et Industries Graphiques in 2006 and Université Paris 8 Saint-Denis Vincennes in 2007. Since 2011 he has been a PhD candidate in Art and Design at the Estonian Academy of Arts. In 2015, he represented Estonia at the 56th Venice Biennale. Samma works with a broad range of contemporary art media from installation and video work to jewellery and knitwear design. In addition to his art practice, Samma has also designed many exhibitions and art books. As artist laureate, Saama wished to continue preparing for future exhibitions and further develop his practice.
 
Artist laureate salaries 2018–2020
The EAA received 37 applications by the application deadline on 30 November 2017. On 15 December 2017, the EAA committee consisting of Vano Allsalu and Elin Kard (Estonian Artists Association), Sirje Helme (Art Museum of Estonia), Signe Kivi (Tartu Art Museum), Marten Esko (Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia), Taaniel Raudsepp (Tallinn Art Hall), Maria Arusoo (Center for Contemporary Arts Estonia), Kai Lobjakas (Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design), Markus Toompere (Tartu Art House) and Kadri-Ell Tähiste (Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center) decided to award an artist laureate salary to the artists Edith Karlson, Tanja Muravskaja and Tõnis Saadoja.
 
Edith Karlson is a sculptor who lives and works in Tallinn. Karlson graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with a BA and MA in sculpture. In 2006, Karlson won the Estonian Academy of Arts Young Artist Award and in 2015 the Köler Prize people’s choice award. Karlson’s practice focuses on animals and people and addresses humanitarian issues, the superficiality of society, obsessiveness and egotism. Her sculptures are made using mixed media, and she combines traditional and non-traditional materials. Karlson has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in Estonia and abroad. In 2010, as part of the Leonardo da Vinci international programme, she worked as an assistant to Veronica Brovall in Berlin. In 2015, she collaborated with Sarah Lucas on Lucas’ solo exhibition I Scream Daddio for the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale. As artist laureate, Karlson wished to focus on various projects in progress – solo and collaborative projects and residencies.
 
Tanja Muravskaja is a photography artist who lives and works in Tallinn. Muravskaja studied photography at the Estonian Academy of Arts from 2002–2010 and is continuing her studies in the doctoral school of the Estonian Academy of Arts. From 2004–2005 she spent time studying at the University of Westminster and studied journalism at Tallinn University. Since 2007, she has had dozens of solo exhibitions in Estonia and abroad. Muravskaja was one of the winners of the Köler Prize Award in 2018. Working mainly in the genre of photographic and video portraits, Muravskaja’s practice addresses global issues of identity in a “post-ideological” age, looking at both post-nationality and issues of ethnicity in the post-Cold War and post-Soviet space. As artist laureate, Muravskaja wished to continue work on existing projects – various solo and collaborative exhibitions and publications.
 
Tõnis Saadoja is a painter who lives and works in Tallinn. He graduated in painting from the Estonian Academy of Arts in 2004 and in 2006 defended his master’s degree at the University of East London, UK. Predominantly known as a photorealist painter his practice also includes photographic installations, the book Urmas Ploomipuu’s White House published in 2011 and the ceiling mural for the NO99 Theatre. Saadoja’s method includes series of paintings based on photographic images, which connect the context of the mechanical image and its presentation. Saadoja is interested in creating a comparison between photographic and painting techniques where the compact result expands the thematic context. Saadoja has won the Estonian Cultural Endowment Annual Award on three occasions (2006, 2008, 2012), the Köler Prize people’s choice award (2011), the Kristjan Raud Prize (2013) and the Konrad Mägi Award (2015). As artist laureate, Saadoja wished to dedicate himself more fully to his art practice.
 
Artist laureate salaries 2019–2021
 
The EAA received 48 applications by the application deadline on 5 November 2018. The EAA committee consisting of Vano Allsalu and Elin Kard (Estonian Artists Association), Sirje Helme (Art Museum of Estonia), Signe Kivi (Tartu Art Museum), Marten Esko (Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia), Taaniel Raudsepp (Tallinn Art Hall), Sten Ojavee (Center for Contemporary Arts Estonia), Kai Lobjakas (Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design), Markus Toompere (Tartu Art House) and Kadri-Ell Tähiste (Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center) decided to award an artist laureate salary to the artists Jass Kaselaan, Jüri Kask, Marko Mäetamm, Kärt Ojavee, Laura Põld.
 
Jass Kaselaan is an artist that lives and works in Tallinn, and is one of Estonia’s better recognised younger generation sculptors. He graduated from the Tartu Art College, the master’s programme in sculpture at the Estonian Academy of Arts and furthered his studies at the Imatra Art School and in Berlin at the studios of Emil Holmer and Veronica Brovalli. Jass Kaselaan is recipient of the main Köler Prize (2014), the Kristjan Raud Prize (2014) and the Anton Starkopf Sculpture Prize (2011). Kaselaan’s projects are characterised by the totality of his installations, but he also pays attention to the smallest details, as well as the subject and the space used for the project. Kaselaan’s main forms of expression are sculpture, installation and sound installation, where he uses solutions that are apparently simple but visually or materially connected with emotions.
 
Jüri Kask studied design at the Tartu Art College and painting at the Estonian State Art Institute. He has participated in exhibitions since 1965 and on the local painting scene is one of the most dedicated proponents of geometric abstraction. In addition to over forty solo exhibitions, Kask has participated in numerous group and curated exhibitions in Estonia and abroad. In 1992, he was awarded the Republic of Estonia Culture Award and the Kristjan Raud Prize, in 2005 the Sadolin Art Award, in 2009 the Ado Vabbe Stipend and in 2019 the Konrad Mägi Award. Jüri Kask is an intellectual painter whose aesthetic visualisations are contemporary and demonstrate a refined wit. Jüri Kask’s work is based on the modernist tradition, and he imparts the values of modernism to a postmodernist viewer. His uncompromising approach and distinctive, yet evolving style of painting have continued to hold a place in the frontline of Estonian painting since the 1970s.
 
Marko Mäetamm is an artist who lives and works in Tallinn. He graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with a master’s degree in 1994 and has furthered his studies at the Swedish Royal Art High School in printmaking techniques. He has worked at the Estonian Academy of Arts as a technician, teacher and head of department. He has been working as a freelance artist since 2010. Mäetamm has been very successful in the Estonian art world over the last quarter of a century. He has represented Estonia at the Venice Biennale in 2003 and 2007 and has been awarded many prizes and awards. In addition to numerous solo exhibitions, he has launched many publications based on his projects and his practice, and over the years has participated in multiple group exhibitions and collaborative projects. In his practice, Mäetamm addresses the hazy meeting points between the personal and social spheres. His work is mainly based on autobiographical and everyday experiences, sharing with the viewer his fears, doubts and often his state of bewilderment.
 
Kärt Ojavee is a designer, artist and teacher with a PhD. In her practice, innovative contemporary technology meets textile art, and Ojavee uses a varied approach to its practical and theoretical development. Her installations have been shown at exhibitions around the world. Since 2014, she has been a research fellow in the Department of Interior Architecture at the Estonian Academy of Arts and has focused on researching experimental materials. Ojavee’s recent projects and exhibitions include Save As at Temnikova & Kasela Gallery with Johanna Ulfsak (2018), her work 58.595272,25.013607 at VI Artishoki Biennale (2018) and costumes and stage designs with Edith Karlson for Peeter Jalakas’ performance Estonian Games. TÖNK (Eesti mängud. TÖNK) (2018).
 
Laura Põld graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts in ceramics in 2007 and the University of Tartu in painting in 2010. In addition to numerous solo exhibitions, Põld has participated in many international group exhibitions and collaborative projects, and furthered her practice at many well-known residencies. She has been awarded many prizes and grants – the Eduard Wiiralt Stipend (2008), Ado Vabbe Stipend (2013), the Estonian Cultural Endowment Visual and Applied Art Annual Award (2014) and the Köler Prize grand prix (2016). Laura Põld is an artist who mainly creates environments with a painting aesthetic and her works are a combination of textiles, timber, found objects, ceramics and video. In her practice, Põld mainly addresses awareness and the creation of space using the specifics of the exhibition space, perception of materials and narrative elements. She considers choice of materials and their historical context to be essential and uses traditional handicraft techniques, such as (primitive) ceramics and embroidery.
 
 

 

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