The selection process of works for the 12th KAUNAS PHOTO festival was more intense than ever before. The number of photographic proposals received well exceeded that of previous editions. Moreover, the overall quality of work is very high, which made the task of curators even more challenging.
The 3 in 1 Call announced earlier this year combined a menu of opportunities for photographers from all over the world: KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award, inclusion to the festival program and works being reviewed by a large number of international photography experts on festival’s review platform folioPORT.org.
After the open call announcement, which began on 5 of March, photographers from more than 35 countries started to send their works like so trying to become a part of 12th KAUNAS PHOTO festival. 150 portfolios reviewed on folioPORT.org were topped by another 70 proposals that came in during the additional call period.
In order to designate the KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Winner and complete the first round of selection of artists for the festival program, four curatorial meetings were held, in participation of both staff of the festival and Kaunas Photography Gallery.
The curatorial board composed of Gintaras Česonis (head of Kaunas Photography Gallery), Ieva Meilutė Svinkūnienė (curator at Kaunas Photography Gallery), Donatas Stankevičius (curator of both at Kaunas Photography Gallery and KAUNAS PHOTO festival) and Mindaugas KAVALIAUSKAS (head of KAUNAS PHOTO festival), unanimously decided that the 5th title of KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Winner is awarded to American artist / photographer Jennifer THORESON for her work “Testament”.
Jennifer B. Thoreson (USA) Testament. Burial
Jennifer B. Thoreson is a contemporary artist creating staged photographs that are sensitive, highly stylized, and meticulously crafted. Drawing inspirations from themes of faith and love relationships. Jennifer is a dynamic and emotional illustrator of the human heart. The work is soulful, seeking the use of the forgotten or discarded, heavily symbolic, eerie and quiet. She references her faith and spirituality to bring insight and awareness, using heartfelt, acutely mapped personal experiences.
Jennifer holds an MFA from the University of New Mexico. She is an international speaker and lecturer whose programs are sought after year by many professional public and private photographic organizations. Jennifer published her first monograph, Medic, in 2012. Jennifer’s work has been a part of more than 30 exhibitions, has been widely published internationally in many print and online journals, and is represented by three major galleries across the United States.
Jennifer’s exhibition will be held at Kaunas Photography Gallery during KAUNAS PHOTO festival.
As the director of the gallery Gintaras Česonis noted, “Jennifer will be a very different KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Winner compared to the previous artists, not because she’s the first one coming from outside Europe, but because her work deals with the realm of inner human world, rather than economic issues or political agendas”.
KAUNAS PHOTO festival director Mindaugas Kavaliauskas pointed out that Jennifer THORESON’s “Testament”, a complex work relying on a multitude of ways of expression – from daily life objects turned into fantasy objects and textures to living sculptures – will be a beautiful mediator between the art of photography and contemporary art, and invite audience to discuss the visible and the untouchable, the human bonds, cruelty of destiny, legacy of faith and hope.
KAUNAS PHOTO STAR award is celebrated for the 5th time in order to promote the the most outstanding creation in contemporary photography, providing artists an all-inclussive exhibition at the prestigious Kaunas Photography Gallery. Earlier KAUNAS PHOTO STAR award holders are Eric LUSITO (France), Luca ZANIER (Switzerland), Andrei LIANKEVICH (Belarus) and Anrejs STROKINS (Latvia).
Congratulations, Jennifer, and welcome to the club!
The third outcome of the “3 in 1 Call” is the TOP-20 list of artists. The ratings were based on the votes of large number of photography experts from different continents.
Top – 20 list photographers can be found here >>
In the first round of selection, the works of following photographers are selected for the Kaunas Photo festival 2015:
Adrian Wykrota (Poland) “The Return”
Sasha Kurmaz (Ukraine) “Wasted Youth”
Guillermo Srodek-Hart (Argentina) “Stories”
Werner Mansholt (Germany) “Not Unusual”
Shilo Group (Ukraine) “Euromaidan”
Hillerbrand + Magsamen (USA) “Mandala”
Chang Kim (USA) “Where the water once flowed. Los Angeles River”
Marko Zink (Austria) “Olympia”
Thaís Medina “Holy Reviewer: Martyrs, Saints and Sinners of Contemporary Photography”
Marika Dee (Belgium) “Jungle Life”, “Mongolia’s Urban Youth”
Norman Behrend (Germany) “Burning down the house”
Mindaugas Ažušilis (Lithuania) “Masculinity”, “Palanga”
Colin Delfosse (Belgium)”White elephants”
Aras Goetken (Germany) ”Arkanum”
Marion Gambin (France) “Sun City”
Pierre Folk (France) “By the silent line”
Dan Gemkow (USA) “In Transit”
Jan Caga (Czech Republic) “Spirit above Waves”
Natan Dvir (Israel-USA) “Coming Soon”
Mark Duffy (Ireland) “Vote No.1”
Selected authors will be contacted personally no later than by 20 May, 2015.
Around 20 May, the additional list of artists will be confirmed and announced. Organizers of KAUNAS PHOTO festival are thankful to all photographers for their dedication, trust and patience. In KAUNAS PHOTO festival, there is no distinction between solo and group exhibitions. Works by all artists included in the program are considered equally important.
With several exhibitions starting in the end of May 2015, the majority of events of KAUNAS PHOTO festival will run between September 2 and 5. The festival will end on October 11.
Detailed program will be announced in the end of May 2015.
Information will be made available on KAUNAS PHOTO web site.