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.
 

Artist Laureate Salaries 2020–2022

Estonian Artists' Association received 53 applications by the deadline for submitting applications on November 4, 2019. The EAA committee consisting of the following members – Elin Kard and Vano Allsalu (Estonian Artists' Association), Sirje Helme (Art Museum of Estonia), Joanna Hoffman (Tartu Art Museum), Marten Esko (Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia), Tamara Luuk (Tallinn Art Hall), Maria Arusoo (Estonian Center for Contemporary Art), Kai Lobjakas (Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design), Peeter Talvistu (Tartu Art House), Kadri Laas-Lepasepp (Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center) and artist Kaido Ole (grantee of the Artist Laureate Salary in 2016–2018) – decided to award artist laureate salary for 2020–2022 to the artists Merike Estna, Raul Keller, Karel Koplimets, Paul Kuimet and Kristina Norman

Merike Estna (b. 1980) is an artist who lives and works in Tallinn. She has studied at the Estonian Academy of Arts and Goldsmith College, London. In her creative practice, Merike Estna focuses on examining the painting process through which the artist approaches art as an inseparable part of life. The keywords of her painting style are unusual patterns and colour combinations that often derive subject matter from the field of applied art. In 2014, Estna received Konrad Mägi Art Award; she is one of the most active Estonian artists in the international art field. Besides numerous domestic and international private collections, Estna's artwork is also owned by Kumu Art Museum and Tartu Art Museum. See also: http://www.genialmythcraft.com

Raul Keller (b. 1973) has practised various types of interdisciplinary art since 1990s – sound installation, performance, photography, DIY-culture, text, video and radiophonic art. Besides personal exhibitions the artist has also held radio art concert performances with LokaalRaadio and with free-impro noise duo Post Horn. As an Anglo-American artist Paul Cole, Keller has performed burlesque Americana. Raul Keller is also a founding member and head of Dynamic Union of Music and Arts as well as participating in art group MIMproject. Raul Keller and Katrin Essenson have founded radio art festival „Radiaator“. Keller's artwork belongs to several private art collections as well as the collections of the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia, Art Museum of Estonia and Tartu Art Museum. See also: https://raul.keller.ee

Karel Koplimets (b. 1986) is an artist who works with narrative installations while being inspired by the following themes: conspiracy theories, crime, mechanisms of fear, paranormal phenomena and paranoias. His artwork can be also characterized by the keywords of investigation and case study. Koplimets has obtained MA degree in the department of photography at the Estonian Academy of Arts, he has also taken additional courses on photography at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Koplimets is a member of artist collective Visible Solutions LLC, he has participated in numerous exhibitions both in Estonia and abroad. His artwork belongs to the collections of Art Museum of Estonia, Tartu Art Museum, Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and Musée de l’Elysée.
 See also: http://www.karelkoplimets.com

Paul Kuimet (b. 1984) is an artist who works with photography and 16mm film involving mainly spatial installations. His artwork can be characterized by the mode of looking specific to technology and technical mediation. Kuimet is intrigued by iconic modernist buildings and objects as well as contemporary non-places that may incur visual allusions to 20th century avant-garde in art and architecture that is now completely devoid of these utopian aspirations and meanings. Kuimet has studied photography and video art at the Estonian Academy of Arts; Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture (TaiK); Baltic Film, Media and Arts School of Tallinn University (BFM) and University of East London. Kuimet has also enhanced his artistic practice in residences of the Väino Tanner Foundation,  Espace Photographique Contretype,  Atelierhaus Salzamti and WIELS Centre for Contemporary Art. 
See also: https://paulkuimet.ee

Kristina Norman (b. 1979) is an artist whose interdisciplinary artwork can be characterized by the artist's interest towards the relationship between identity, memory and public space. Norman works both with contemporary art and documentary filmmaking. She has obtained BA degree in the department of printmaking and MA degree in the faculty of fine art at the Estonian Academy of Arts. In 2009, Kristina Norman represented Estonia at the 53rd Venice Biennale with the project „After-War“. With her newest artwork, Norman addresses the hot spots of migrations while focusing on memory and public opinon and using the performative means of research-based art. Kristina Norman is an artist-in-residence in the oldest festival of performing arts in Italy „Santarcangelo dei Teatri“.

Artist Laureate Salary 2021–2023

Estonian Artists' Association received 50 applications by the deadline for submitting applications on November 16, 2020. The EAA committee consisting of the following members – Elin Kard and Vano Allsalu (Estonian Artists' Association), Sirje Helme (Art Museum of Estonia), Joanna Hoffman (Tartu Art Museum), Laura Toots (Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia), Paul Aguraiuja (Tallinn Art Hall), Maria Arusoo (Estonian Center for Contemporary Art), Kai Lobjakas (Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design), Peeter Talvistu (Tartu Art House), Kadri Laas-Lepasepp (Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center) and artist Marko Mäetamm (grantee of the Artist Laureate Salary in 2019–2021) – decided to award artist laureate salary for 2021–2023 to the artists Eike Eplik, Anders Härm, Tiina Sarapu, Jevgeni Zolotko, Sigrid Viir.

Eike Eplik (b. 1982) is a sculptor and installation artist who applies motifs from nature and sculptural techniques varying from classical plaster moulding to wooden assemblages and found objects, while being based on the principles of improvisation. Eplik has graduated from the department of sculpture at Pallas University of Applied Sciences and obtained MA degree in the department of sculpture at the Estonian Academy of Arts. During her studies, Eplik has trained with various artists in Germany and Finland. Eike Eplik works as a teacher at Children Art School of Tartu and as a lecturer at Pallas University of Applied Sciences. She has received Eduard Wiiralt Scholarship and Ado Vabbe Art Award. In 2012, Eike Eplik was awarded the Young Artist Production Grant of the art festival ART IST KUKU NU UT and in 2015 she was a nominee of Sadolin Art Award.
See also:  https://eikeeplik.ee

Anders Härm (b. 1977) is an art historian, curator and lecturer. Härm has graduated from the Institute of Art History and Visual Culture at the Estonian Academy of Arts. He is a freelance curator, lecturer and head of the curriculum of curatorial studies at the Institute of Art History and Visual Culture at the Estonian Academy of Arts. 
Anders Härm is a co-founder and member of the board of the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM) and was the manager of the museum in 2009–2015. In 2002–2012, Andres Härm worked as a curator at Tallinn Art Hall. Among his recent curatorial projects, the most promiment ones have been Ando Keskküla's retrospective exhibition „Technodelia and Reality“ in Kumu Art Museum (2020),  international group exhibition „Xenos“ in Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (2019) and „The X-Files [Registry of the Nineties]“, co-curated with Eha Komissarov in Kumu Art Museum (2018). Härm has curated projects in Estonia, Germany, Slovenia, Norway and Finland. He also curated the Estonian national pavillion at the International Architecture Exhibition in Venice (with Tarmo Maiste, 2000) and in International Art Exhibition in Venice (2003). Anders Härm is a co-founder of NU Performance Festival (with Priit Raud). In 2009, Härm published a collection of essays and texts „Dairy of a Semionaut“. He has also staged three solo lectures, worked as a playwright, written texts in culture magazines and made documentary films. 

Tiina Sarapu (b. 1971) is a glass artist who mainly works with glass as the basic material for making her installations and sculptures as well as for creating the spatial form. Sarapu mediates her creative ideas through working with reflections, transparency and simple flat glass. She has obtained MA degree from the department of glass art at the Estonian Academy of Arts in 1996. Sarapu has worked as a lecturer (1996–2003) and an associate professor (2003–2017) in the department of glass art at the Estonian Academy of Arts. Since 2017 working as a freelance artist. 
Tiina Sarapu has participated in numerous exhibitions, symposiums and workshops in Estonia and abroad. Her artworks are owned by several museums and private collectors. She has received honorary nominations for the titles of „Recognized Glass Artist 2004–2005“, „Recognized Glass Artist 2018–2019“; also, she was awarded Kristjan Raud Art Prize in 2007 and the Annual Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia in 2019. Tiina Sarapu has also received attention at several international contests of glass art. She has created several site-specific installation and made several honourable awards using glass. Besides her artistic practice, Sarapu has also curated several exhibitions.
See also: https://tiinasarapu.ee

Jevgeni Zolotko (b. 1983) is an artist who is intrigued by the interrelationship between verbal and tangible material. With his site-specific installations, Zolotko brings forth the universal features of human nature. The artist is interested in the perception and suppressed subconsciousness inherited through culture and religion while diving in his artwork into the past that existed before collective consciousness. Jevgeni Zolotko has graduated from the Pallas University of Applied Sciences and from the department of sculpture and installation at the Estonian Academy of Arts. Zolotko has been acknowledged with Köler Prize 2011 by the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM), Anton Starkopf Sculpture Prize in 2012, the Annual Award by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia 2013, honorary nomination title of Tartu City Culture Award 2016 and the Art Award by magazine „Akadeemia“ in 2017. Since 2017, Zolotko has worked as a lecturer in the department of landscape architecture at the Tallinn University of Technology and in the department of sculpture and installation at the Estonian Academy of Arts. His artworks are owned by the Art Museum of Estonia and Tartu Art Museum as well as by private collectors. 

Sigrid Viir (b. 1979) is a photo and installation artist. In her artistic practice, Viir often works with social agreements, moral norms and regulations in society while examining the essence and borderlines of photography as a means of art. Viir has stated that as an artist she finds it important to question self-explanatoriness, ask questions, examine behavioral habits and observe self-presentation in both public and private context. Sigrid Viir has graduated from the department of photography at the Estonian Academy of Arts and taken additional courses in the programme of media art at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, Germany (2007–2008). In 2009, Viir received the Young Artist Award by the Estonian Academy of Arts and Eduart Wiiralt Stipend; in 2011, she was the nominee for Köler Prize; in 2012, the artist received PULSE Art Fair award and in 2019 the Annual Award by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia. Viir is a co-founder of the artist group Visible Solutions LLC. Her artworks are owned by the Art Museum of Estonia and Carousel collection, among others.
See also:  http://sigridviir.com

Artist Laureate Salaries 2022‒2024

The EAA committee consisting of the following members – Elin Kard and Vano Allsalu (Estonian Artists' Association), Sirje Helme (Art Museum of Estonia), Joanna Hoffman (Tartu Art Museum), Kadi Kesküla (Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia), Paul Aguraiuja (Tallinn Art Hall), Maria Arusoo (Estonian Center for Contemporary Art), Kai Lobjakas (Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design), Peeter Talvistu (Tartu Art House) and Karin Laansoo (Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center) decided to award artist laureate salary for 2022–2024 to the artists Edith Karlson, Kristi Kongi, Kadri Mälk, Hanno Soans, Jaan Toomik.

Edith Karlson (b. 1983) is a sculptor and installation artist whose main characters in her artwork are often human and animal figures. Her artwork is often psychologically charged and surrealistically structured through which Edith Karlson refers to the fears accompanying the status of working as a (freelance) artist as well as surviving in the society. Karlson's artwork is often large-scale, filling the entire surrounding space while subordinating it to the artist's ideas and will. Edith Karlson has obtained MA degree in the department of sculpture and installation at the Estonian Academy of Arts. She received the Young Artist Award of the Estonian Academy of Arts in 2006, Köler Prize audience award in 2015 and the Annual Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Visual and Applied Art Endowment in 2019. 

Kristi Kongi (b. 1985) is a painter and installation artist who in her artistic practice focuses on colour, light and space. Her vivid paintings often follow the form of remarkable site-specific installations. The  starting point of Kongi's paintings and installations is often specific or imaginary places, the artist's observations, emotions and memories. Kristi Kongi's artwork is based on meticulous preparatory work, experiments and tests while being simultaneously poetic, systematic and analytical. Kristi Kongi has studied painting at the Pallas University of Applied Sciences (2004–2008) and obtained MA degree in the department of painting at the Estonian Academy of Arts (2008–2011). She received the Young Artist Award (2011), Sadolin Art Award (2013), Konrad Mägi Art Award (2017) and she was the nominee for the Köler Prize in 2016. 

Kadri Mälk (b. 1958) is internationally the most known Estonian jewellery artist. As a long-term head of the department of jewellery and blacksmithing at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Mälk has remarkably changed and extended the meaning of jewellery art; as well as directed and designed the substance and grasp of Estonian jewellery art of an entire generation. Mälk's artwork can be characterized by dark and poetic aesthetics, mysticism, romanticalness and wittiness. Kadri Mälk has graduated from the department of jewellery art at the Estonian State Art Institute in 1986 where she shortly continued to work as a lecturer, and since 1996 as a professor. She has taken further educational courses in several places in Europe and Asia and exhaustively studied the use and polishing of stones. Since 1990s, Mälk has frequently participated in both domestic and international exhibitions – from Finland to New York and from the Netherlands to Shanghai. Her artwork has received numerous acknowledgements and it is owned by several museum and private collections all over the world.

Hanno Soans (b. 1974) is an art critic, curator, artist and lecturer. Soans has worked as an art editor at several culture weeklies in Estonia („Kultuurileht“, „Sirp“ and „Kultuurimaa“) and as an editor-in-chief ata „Võitlev Sõna“. In 1997–2008, Soans worked as a curator at the Art Museum of Estonia; in 2009–2013 he was an editor in the publishing house TEA and an author of art and architecture articles. Since 2014, Soans has held lectures at the Estonian Academy of Arts as well as worked as a freelance artist, curator and art critic. Hanno Soans has obtained art education at the Estonian Academy of Arts. He defended his BA thesis „Violent Autistic Subject in Contemporary Estonian Art“ at the Estonian Academy of Arts in 1998 and MA thesis „Hybrid Identity in Contemporary Art“ in 2003. Since 2016, Soans is studying in the doctoral school of the Estonian Academy of Arts and his research subject is „On the socio-political background of performance art in Estonia during the transitional period“. 

Jaan Toomik (b. 1961) is a video artist, painter and filmmaker; he is internationally the most known Estonian artist. He started as an expressionist painter in 1980s; since early 1990s, he has also actively practised installation and video art. Toomik's expressive style is extremely scarce and impersonal, yet conceptually suggestive. Toomik has participated in international biennials and art fairs (Saõ Paulo Biennale, ARS 95, Venice Biennale, Site Santa Fe Biennale, Berlin Biennale) and his works are owned by several reputable museum and private collections – Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma; Museum Ludwig; Moscow Museum of Modern Art; National Museum of Denmark; National Museum of Szczecin, Poland; Stedelijk Museum and Moderna Museet, Sweden; Louis Vuitton Foundation and Nicola Trussardi Foundation; Erika Hoffmann's private collection. Jaan Toomik has obtained MA in painting at the Estonian Academy of Arts in 1991. In 2005, he received Konrad Mägi Art Award and medal; in 1995 and 2020 Kristjan Raud Art Award; in 1995, 1998 and 2007 the Annual Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia; in 2000 the Culture Award of the Republic of Estonia and in 2003 Baltic Assambly Art Award. 

 

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