With great excitement, VV Foundation, Zuzeum Art Centre, and Arterritory announce their participation at LAMPA Conversation Festival, that will take place in Cesis on July 5-6. Joining their efforts, the three organizations will present the Contemporary Art Tent, a two-day event programme dedicated to Latvian contemporary art, filled with discussions, talks and workshops with leading industry personalities.

This will be the first time in LAMPA festival history that a whole stage will be dedicated to discussing Latvian contemporary art, with all its challenges, dreams and risks. The programme of events is designed to engage a wide range of topics, from education and censorship to public art and LGBTQ+ representation. There will also be interactive workshops for children and adults. 

Below is the full programme of events:

1. Art in public space, its importance in Riga and regions. 5.07.2024, 12.30-13.45

A large part of Latvia’s contemporary art industry is centered in Riga. However, in recent years, some notable projects have been founded to bring art to the regions. Together with the regional representatives of the industry, we will talk about the influence of contemporary art on the social environment outside of Riga, about the challenges it faces and what benefits it brings.

2. Private Support for the Arts: A Discussion of Private Art Collections and Their Responsibility to Art History. 05.07.2024, 14.00-15.15

Art collectors in Latvia form a very narrow circle, but largely because of them, our artists and galleries can support themselves. By inviting the leading private art collectors to this discussion, we will learn their motivation, how they see their role in the industry and their responsibility towards art history and the creation of Latvia’s cultural heritage.

3. Latvian galleries’ role in cultural, social and economic life. 05.07.2024, 15.30-16.45

Some of Latvia’s art galleries have existed since the beginning of the 90s, some are brand new. To an outside observer, it may seem that they exist in their own, separate world, but art galleries are parts of a larger ecosystem. Together with representatives of leading Latvian galleries, we will try to understand the fundamental role of these institutions in our society.

4. The LGBTQ+ community and contemporary art: opportunities for cooperation 05.07.2024, 17.00-18.15

Recently, progress has been made in Latvia in the field of LGBTQ+ rights, but in this respect, we still lag behind our neighbours – this applies not only to laws but also to social attitudes. Can the art community, with its progressive worldview and cultural influence, help promote tolerance and diversity? Join us to discuss what unites the LGBTQ+ community and the contemporary art industry, and how we can help each other and make Latvia more accepting of all people.

5. Contemporary art workshop for children. 06.07.2024, 11.00-12.15

The youngest visitors to the conversation festival will be able to get a practical introduction to contemporary art in the creative workshop, where they will decorate clay flower pots accompanied by educators. This workshop will allow children and young people to get to know different forms of contemporary art, increasing their imagination and opportunities for self-expression.

The workshop will be held in Latvian, but the tasks can also be explained in English or Russian.

6. Discussion “Where is art education in Latvia heading?” 06.07.2024, 12.30-13.45

Quality art education is necessary for the development of creative talents. Together with the POST interdisciplinary MA program representatives, we will discuss the current state of art education in Latvia. Why is it important to invest in education in the arts and creative industries? Are we innovating or continuing tradition? Can we make Latvia an attractive destination for art education?

7. Young generation’s perspectives in the art industry: education, practice, job opportunities. 05.07.2024. 06.07.2024, 15.30-16.45

What motivates young people when they decide to connect their lives with art? Is it a passion, a calling or a calculated career decision? Do the young art professionals regret their choice, or would they encourage others to follow the same path? In this conversation, representatives of the new generation of art professionals will share their experiences and discuss what opportunities Latvia has for those who will shape our culture in the coming decades and how we can support them.

8. Art and censorship: are there limits to freedom of expression in art? 06.07.2024, 17.00-18.15

In previous years, there have been several censorship scandals in Latvia, and sometimes the harshest criticism has been directed at the art industry. At a time when the world has become more unstable and tensions of various kinds are increasing, many are wondering: should freedom of expression be protected at all costs, or can we limit it for the sake of security, morality or social cohesion?

9. Workshop: ask an artist! 06.07.2024, 18.30-19.45

In this workshop, the audience can ask industry representatives questions. Art, especially contemporary art, can seem strange: many myths and stereotypes are associated. To shed light on them, in this interactive event, we invite you to ask art industry representatives questions about themselves, their work, and art in general!

LAMPA Conversation Festival attendance is free of charge, including the Contemporary Art Tent. For those who will not be able to attend in person, live event streaming will be organised via the VV Foundation, Zuzeum Art Centre and Arterritory social media.