27 November 2012

Comics Artventures I

International Comics Week Riga, 20.11-25.11.2012

(Poster by Mārtiņš Zutis

kuš! together with the Latvian National Art Museum and in cooperation with Kaņepes Kultūras centrs invited 6 international and 4 Latvian artists to get inspired by Latvian classical art to create artventurous comics. Artists taking part from abroad were Mari Ahokoivu (Finland), Emelie Östergren (Sweden), Søren Mosdal (Denmark), Nicolas Zouliamis (Belgium),  König Lü.Q. (Switzerland) and Renata Gasiorowska (Poland). Latvian artists: Mikus Duncis, Ernests Kļaviņš, Anna Vaivare and Mārtiņš Zutis

During this very inspiring week different events took place, some only for the participating artists, but others also for the wider public. Here is a small report about it.
The week begun with a guided tour through the Museum's collection of Classical Latvian Art. Each artist got to pick a work to make a comics about it.

Once the artists chose their inspiration they started to make a "copy" of it.
Renata Gasiorowska shows her finished "copy"...
... and Emelie Östergren makes some more research about Teodors Zaļkalns in the Museum's library.
Afterwards the artists started to work on their artventurous comics at the Museum's workshop room.
For those who might have forgotten how to make comics, Søren Mosdal gave a 10 seconds crash course telling: "Just make a grid and fill in the blanks."
The whole week the artists had time to fill in the blanks. Some are almost finished, the others will be finished at home.
On Wednesday evening at the Kanepes Kulturas Centrs the artist held portfolio presentations for the public to show their work and tell about their comics. After the presentation there was a musical performance by Kroffork (Sabīne Moore).
Thursday was Media Day. Well, mainly the artists kept on working on their comics while once in a while getting instructions by one or another TV crew. Below you see Renatka getting hypnotized.
After working hard we were invited by the ambassador Frank Arnauts and Mrs Linda Arnauts-Hoeben to the residence of the Royal Embassy of Belgium. We had a fantastic evening in great company and especially enjoyed browsing through the very impressive comics collection of the ambassador while tasting some refreshing Belgian beer.
Friday, as everyday, was again a day for working on the comics or visiting a museum and in the evening we had the pleasure to display the exhibition of Polish female comics artists "Double Portrait", which was brought to the Kaņepes Kultūras centrs by Centrala.
 The exhibition will be on display until the 7th of December.
After opening the exhibition the evening continued with a hard fought comics battle.  Emelie Östergren, Søren Mosdal, Nicolas Zouliamis, Renata GasiorowskaMikus Duncis, Laura Ķeniņš, Maria Ines Gul and Sabīne Moore competed against each other to draw artventurous things under extreme time pressure.
 In case they would draw on each other, they all got a raincoat to keep them safe and protected.
The final was between Nicolas Zouliamis and Maria Ines Gul on a big canvas, they had to sketch up their idea for the next Comics Artventures.
The very tight vote decided by the audience's applause was in favor of Nicolas, who got a bunch of Latvian artbooks as prize and the opportunity to design the next Comics Artventures poster. Maria Ines also got a Latvian art book and a collection of the newest mini kuš! (You can get them from our webshop without battling).
And everyone else got a consolidation prize, beautiful tote bags from the Museum's very own silkscreen studio.
The rest of the evening was spent dancing to the beats by Kristaps Puķītis and Oriole from the fantastic Dirty Deal Audio Crew. Our bones still hurt...
On Saturday the week was almost over, but to have some longer lasting impact and foster new talents there was a comics workshop for everyone between 15 and 150, led by the Polish pros Maria Ines Gul and Renata Gasiorowska.
A bit tired, very happy and inspired, we had dinner on Saturday evening. Time to say goodbye, but not without first swapping some comics and sketches, and exchanging comics tips or just talking about lipstick and other interesting topics...

That's it from the first Comics Artventures in Riga! You can see more pictures in our facebook galleries: 1, 2, 3 and also read a short interview about the project on Arterritory.

The results of the Comics Artventures will be shared online and hopefully next year also published as a book and shown in a special exhibition. If you already now are interested in artventurous comics by international and Latvian artists, we recommend you to get a copy of š! #11 'artventurous', which we published shortly before this event.

Organized by kuš!, The Latvian National Art Museum, zuumART, Kaņepes Kultūras centrs.

We are very thankful for the generous support by the following institutions: Nordic Culture PointWallonie Bruxelles InternationalBeļģijas Karalistes vēstniecība Rīgā • Zviedrijas vēstniecība RīgāSomijas vēstniecība RīgāCentrala • Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of PolandHungryLabGuesthouse "Jakob Lenz"Piebalgas Alus

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