This year the goal of the the contemporary art and music festival “Liepaja Art Forum” organisers is to make high-quality culture and art events more accessible to its visitors, providing not only the usual paid, but also free events.
The forum will be opened on 5 August at 4:00 p.m. with a series of contemporary art works. Continuing the tradition initiated in last year’s forum, multimedia installations, paintings and environment objects will invite everyone to enjoy art not only indoors, but also in Liepaja’s urban environment.
“Already in the first art forum, which back then only introduced the approaching opening of the concert hall “Lielais dzintars”, we presented the city a really beautiful firewall. Last year the painting “The man of sounds” (Skaņu vīrs) was created in the city centre, but this year a large-sized wall painting will be created by the experienced artist, citizen of Liepaja Uldis Rubezis,” says art curator Andris Vītoliņš. In the urban environment citizens of Liepaja will be encouraged to reflect, with the multimedia installation “Meeting” (Tikšanās) by Indriķis Ģelzis, sculpture “Listener of angel songs” (Enģeļu dziesmu klausītājs) by Ivars Drulle and other large-sized multimedia works.
The exhibition will continue in the art room Civita Nova of “Lielais dzintars”, where part of the project “Contemporary Art Museum of the Great Land” (Lielzemes laikmetīgās mākslas muzejs) devoted to the 100th anniversary of Latvia will be displayed. Authors of the project works are artists Kārlis Vērpe, Margo Zālīte, Aigars Bikše, Andris Vītoliņš and Ilze Supe. “Contemporary Art Museum of the Great Land” will surprise art lovers with large-sized art objects, as well as sculpture works and large-sized paintings.
“We want to make art accessible, as a self-evident, but also inspiring and versatile part of our busy daily lives, therefore all works included in the session will be available for viewing with no entrance fee,” says director of the concert hall Baiba Bože.
On 5 August the opening evening of the forum will continue at 8:00 p.m. in the Great Hall with the concert performance “The Four Seasons” (Gadalaiki) by Reinis Zariņš and Kirils Burlovs. “Seasons are a reflection of the human life cycle in movement, music and words. It is based on the monumental piano music cycle “The Four Seasons” (Gadalaiki) by Pēteris Vasks with its universal approach to the circle of life in nature and in humans. The performance displays the life experience of a stage artist, living this circle both daily and throughout life. The dancer and the music melt together – the pianist is the life force, impulse, soul, who leads the dancer through the seasons of life,” pianist Reinis Zariņš, who lives in London, introduces the performance that will only be performed in Latvia for the second time.
On Saturday, 6 August at 6:00 p.m. in the Chamber Hall one of the most talented Latvian musicians of the new generation Katrīna Gupalo and Andrejs Osokins will open a new version of the programme “100 years with Piaf” (100 gadi ar Piafu). “The concert programme is a love story between a man and a woman, where just as in real life there are very happy moments, as well as the opposite,” says pianist Andrejs of the Osokins dynasty. In the new programme various genres will be mixed together even more than before – classic and popular music, theatre and performing arts.
The evening of 6 August will continue with a free film performance at 8:00 p.m. in the Great Concert Hall. Black-and-white film “All night long” (Visu nakti) was created in 1962, but has never been screened in Latvia before. Before the musical film an introductory lecture will be provided by one of the most knowledgeable cinema experts in Latvia, dr. phil. LU assoc. prof. Viktors Freibergs. Apply for free entry passes at the concert hall “Lielais dzintars” info centre by phone +371 634 24555.
From 10 to 12 August experimental theatre performances will take place on the “Lielais dzintars” Experimental Stage which also corresponds to the hall title. Performance-conversation “Mii mii generation” (Mii mii paaudze) will be displayed a total of 15 times during these days. Each performance can be viewed free of charge by 5 visitors. A few places remain available for the performances on 11 August, therefore those who are interested are invited to apply by phone +371 634 24555.
On 11 August at 7:00 p.m. the central event of “Liepaja Art Forum” will take place – concert performance of American author George Gershwin’s opera “Porgy and Bess” enriched with love and emotions. Worldwide famous opera soloists from the USA and Great Britain will take part in the newly created opera staging, including Latonia Moore, Jermaine Smith, Lester Lynch and Rodney Clark. The staging by the talented director and stage designer Viesturs Kairišs will be musically enriched by the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andris Poga, choir “Kamēr…” and outstanding soloists of the Latvian Opera stage.
Forum will be closed on the evening of 13 August at 20:00 p.m. with a jazz and blues music evening. Europe’s most demanded Hammond B3 organ player Raphael Wressnig (Austria) will surprise all with his unusual playing style and personal charisma. Leading numerous solo projects and taking an active part in the recordings of other musicians, Raphael has already published and taken part in the making of almost 50 albums. In 2015 his 13th solo album “Soul Gumbo” will be published in CD and vinyl form, and the musician has managed all of this while performing more than 200 excellent concerts per year in the meantime.
The identity of “Liepaja Art Forum” has been created by one of the brightest art representatives nowadays in Latvia, Krišs Salmanis, repeatedly nominated for the Purvītis Award.
As previously reported, from 5 to 13 August “Liepaja Art Forum” will mark an intercultural synergy – exhibitions of sculpture and contemporary art, opera, genres of blues and jazz music, theatre performances, as well as cinema and piano music evenings.
More information about the “Liepaja Art Forum” is available on the homepage www.greatamber.lv. Tickets for paid events are available for purchase in all box-offices of “Biļešu paradīze” and at www.bilesuparadize.lv. Discounts are available for pupils, students, teachers, pensioners, group I and II disabled persons, as well as families and groups.
“Liepaja Art Forum” is supported by the funding awarded by the State Cultural Capital Fund to target program for project “Provision of versatile professional art accessibility at the concert hall Lielais dzintars”. The forum has been created in cooperation with the American embassy, Cesis Art Festival, Kuldiga Artists’ Residence, Latvian Support Union for Blues, film project “Spektrs”, “CREA promotion”, “British Council”, companies “Krāsu serviss” and “Storent”.