Jokūbas Čižikas and Mirosław Bałka

 

The first edition of the Artists’ Development Programme (ADP) has just been completed.

The beneficiary of the inaugural 2013 EIB Institute Artists’ Development Programme was Jokūbas Čižikas, a 25-year old artist from Lithuania. He was mentored by renowned conceptual artist Mirosław Bałka.

The artist’s residency provided Jokūbas Čižikas with a unique opportunity to develop his practice at the highest level, through mentoring by a leading peer. He spent a few days in Warsaw in late August to visit Mirosław Bałka and experience the latter’s two creative studios. He then came to Luxembourg for five weeks, taking up residency at the Abbaye de Neumünster. Jokūbas Čižikas produced three installations, currently hanging at the EIB’s headquarters in the Foyer Belvedere (until year-end 2013), for the staff and visitors alike to experience.

The artworks present an individual artistic vision which echoes the mentor’s influence. They exemplify the merits of artistic collaboration, in enabling a young artist to produce high quality work that comfortably fits alongside the work of more experienced artists in the collection. For the artist, such parallels are an important motivation and challenge, which has borne fruit in this case.

Following the solid results of this first edition, 2014 will see the continuation of the programme.

About the Artists’ Development Programme

The concept behind the ADP is twofold: first, to generate an innovative creative platform by introducing an emerging artist to both an established mentor in his/her respective disciplines and appropriate public art forums; second, to help bring about the “production” of his/her project by way of a residency programme and thus invest in his/her artistic development.

There is a strong social/inclusive element to this programme: the aim of the ADP is to foster and enhance the visibility of emerging creative talent, in a highly challenging economic environment characterised by reduced funding for Europe’s cultural sector. There are plenty of young artists very much left to their own devices once they have graduated from art school. This is where the EIB Institute steps in. It offers them the opportunity to develop their artistic practice whilst being free of any material constraints.

The programme also acknowledges the value of experience and knowledge-sharing, by way of the mentor/mentee relationship.

The call for applications in the first edition attracted a lot of interest, from the five eligible countries (Baltic States, Malta and Cyprus). The applicants were practitioners in visual arts and presented inspiring and original projects for the residency. After careful consideration of all 89 entries, the jury selected a shortlist of eight before making its final selection. The jury consisted of members of the EIBI Arts Committee, advisers from the museum sector and the mentor for the programme, Mirosław Bałka.