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Photo Days 2012
2009 - 2012
Photography in Ogre. Seminar and Photo Festival
The History of the Seminar “Egons Spuris’ Way”
In 2009, Photo club “Ogre” took a decision to organize an annual seminar dedicated to documentary photography “Egons Spuris’ Way”, with the aim to mark the 40th anniversary of the club and to commemorate the name of the photographer Egons Spuris, the artistic director of the club from 1975 till 1989. The seminar idea belongs to Vitauts Mihalovskis, the artistic director of photo club “Ogre”, and Inta Ruka, an internationally recognized Latvian photographer. The LNMA exhibition curator and art historian Irena Buzinska and the photographer Andrejs Grants have given great contribution to the seminar during all these years.
Ever since the beginning of the seminar, Ogre County Council has been its main supporter, alongside with other cultural and educational establishments: Ogre History and Art Museum, Culture Centre, Art School and Music School. In 2011, the companies “Epson”, “Fazer”, “Master foto”, the company trading and renting the photo equipment, the printing house “Digitala pele”, the “Hotel 1934” and other entrepreneurs joined the circle of friends and supporters of the seminar. Significant support in the organization of the seminars has been provided by the Embassies of Sweden and the Republic of Poland in Riga.
Inta Ruka, Vitauts Mihalovskis - Photo by M. Pakalne
The Former Format of the Seminar
Since 2009, the seminar “Egons Spuris’ Way” has been taking place in one of the most picturesque towns of Latvia – Ogre, which is located at a 20-minute drive from the capital of the country - Riga. The seminar is organized in autumn, usually in October or November, thus giving the authors the opportunity to present the projects made during the whole year.
The venue of the seminar is Ogre Music School. The premises grant the participation opportunities to 250 spectators and have exhibition space for 100 - 150 photos.
Photographers' marathon participant, Katrin Moorlat project - "Midsummer Night"
The seminar lasts for one day. Following the tradition, the event starts with the lectures delivered by art experts and photographers, followed by the main event of the day – The Photographers’ Marathon. The experienced masters, the photographers of a younger generation and specially invited foreign participants display their works there. The participants’ presentations are evaluated by the jury. An exhibition of more than 100 photographs is a constituent part of the seminar.
The seminar concludes with the awards ceremony and an afterparty.
Inez Baturo, Inta Ruka, Vitauts Mihalovskis - Photo by G. Pilsetnieks
Starting in 2012, the seminar is going to become a part of a bigger event – the photo festival “Photo Days, Ogre”. In the future the seminar will last for 2 days, day one - lectures and the first part of The Photographers’ Marathon dedicated to the documentary photography, day two – the second part of The Photographers’ Marathon open to the authors working in any genre.
The Lecturers at the Seminar
At the first seminar in 2009, lectures were delivered by an art historian and the LNMA exhibition curator Irena Buzinska, and photographers, Egons Spuris’ confreres Andrejs Grants and Inta Ruka.
Art historians Liga Lindenbauma and Pamela Brovne (Greece) presented their lectures at the 2010 seminar.
At the 2011 seminar, the lectures were given by Vitauts Mihalovskis and a photographer and researcher Vilnis Auzins. The art director and organizer of Kaunas photo festival Mindaugas Kavaliauskas (Lithuania) presented his report on the event, but an insight into the activities of “Photo Art Festival” which takes place in Bielsko Biala, Poland, was given by its organizer Inez Baturo.
Inez Baturo - Photo by G. Pilsetnieks
Seminar participants - Photo by G. Pilsetnieks
Photographers, the Seminar Participants
The year 2010:
Anda Bankovska (Latvia), Mara Brasmane (Latvia), Ieva Epnere (Latvia), Evija Gruzna (Latvia), Aivis Smulders (Latvia), Gundega Dege (Latvia), Ivars Austers (Latvia), Leonids Tugalevs (Latvia), Gunars Binde (Latvia), Uldis Balga (Latvia), Valts Kleins (Latvia) and Lars Tunbjörk (Sweden).
Gvido Kajons - * * *
The year 2011:
Ruta Kalmuka (Latvia), Tiina Gill (Estonia), Gvido Kajons (Latvia), Janis Knakis (Latvia), Linda Gunde (Latvia), Valdis Brauns (Latvia), Mindaugas Kavaliauskas (Lithuania), Aivars Liepins (Latvia), Katrina Moorlat (Latvia), Daiga Kalnina (Latvia), Vitauts Mihalovskis (Latvia), Inez Baturo (Poland), Inguna Roze (Latvia), Uldis Briedis (Latvia), Alexander Gronsky (Russia).
Gvido Kajons - Photo by G. Pilsetnieks
Leonid Tugalev - Photo by G. Pilsetnieks
Inta Ruka, Mindaugas Kavaliauskas - Photo by G. Pilsetnieks
Photographers' marathon participant, Mindaugas Kavaliauskas project - "Portrait of Kražiai"
Photographers' marathon participant, Janis Knakis - "Lenin"
Tiina Gill - Photo by G. Pilsetnieks
Photographers' marathon participant, Tiina Gill - "Morning Fog"
The participants and guests from the following countries have taken part at the seminar: Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, Poland, Sweden and Greece (Tiina Gill, Mindaugas Kavaliauskas, Alexander Gronsky, Inez Baturo and Andrzej Baturo, Lars Tunbjörk and Pamela Brovne).
2009 - the event was attended by approximately 60 people.
2010 - the number of attendees grew up to 100.
2011- the audience reached 200 people.
The seminar target group consists of photo clubs, professional and amateur photographers working in Latvia, as well as any other interested people within the age group of 16 to 70.
The Number of Works Exhibited
2009 – more than 80 works were exhibited in the seminar and photo club exhibition.
2010 – 10 photographers with expositions of 100 photographs took part.
2011 – more than a 100 photos were exhibited at the seminar exposition.
Seminar participants - Photo by M. Pakalne
The year 2012 - Seminar Turns into a Photo Festival
The three-year-existence of the seminar “Egons Spuris’ Way” has started the process of its natural further transformation into a socially more significant event of a much broader scale – a festival, the format of which allows for extensive exhibitions and educational events, aimed at both the professionals and large general audience.
Alexander Gronsky - Photo by G. Pilsetnieks
Alexander Gronsky - "Pastoral"
International Photo Festival. Ogre. The 2012th
The Aims of the Festival
To popularize photography as a kind of visual art in Latvia.
To popularize the documentary photography in Latvia by highlighting its social significance and the vast creative possibilities.
To form and develop social understanding about the study possibilities and perception of visual art.
To enhance the photographers’ creative work and exhibitions.
To promote the dialogue and exchange of experience among the photographers working in the sphere.
To develop and contribute to the photo market in Latvia:
- commercially: by offering the opportunity to sell the pieces of work during the festival,
- informatively: by educating the potential client with the help of exhibitions, publications, and printed materials; by educating the photographers on the issues of selling the photographs and marketing skills.
With the help of the festival as an event of international importance, to promote the integration of Latvian photography and Latvian authors in the world.
To attract the attention of foreign photographers, photography theoreticians and audience to Latvia as a country and the photography in Latvia by inviting them to attend the festival.
Seminar participants - Photo by G. Pilsetnieks
The Tasks of the Festival
Active exhibition movement: to represent Latvian and foreign contemporary, documentary and genre photography.
Theoretical and scientific activities: to attract art historians and historians to the studies of the history of Latvian and world photography, as well as the study of topical issues in photography.
Exchange of experience and a fertile dialogue between the professionals.
The promotion and development of the photo market in Latvia.
The popularization of Latvian photography and photographers in the world by attaching international significance to the festival.
Education of society, especially the youth audience (up to the age of 28), in perception and understanding of photography and professional skills.
The Festival Events
To ensure a high quality relevant festival program to large audience and photographers, various educational, entertaining and professional events will simultaneously take place at the festival:
Educational – exhibitions, individual lectures, the seminar “Egons Spuris’ Way”, public presentations of photo projects (Photographers’ Marathon), printed materials.
Entertaining – a photography market, photo campaigns in the city streets, photo slide shows on the walls of the buildings.
Professional – exchange of experience, discussions, portfolio review, master classes.
Seminar participants - Photo by G. Pilsetnieks
Photographers from all over the world, but especially from the Baltic region (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Denmark), are welcome to participate at the festival.
Traditionally, both professional and amateur photographers take part at the festival.
Lecturers are professional photographers with long-term and international experience, photographic scientists and art historians, pedagogues specializing in art and photography, and representatives of the companies producing photo equipment and related goods.
Photo by G. Pilsetnieks
Personal exhibitions (10 – 40 images) and group expositions (each author participates with a limited number of 1 – 3 photos).
Individual – the exposition of a single author’s collections and projects during the Photographers’ Marathon (Part I – 8 authors, Part II – 10 authors).
A three-day campaign “Photo Wall” during which a slide show of large format photographs will be shown on the fasade of one of the central buildings – Ogre Culture Centre.
Ruta Kalmuka - * * *