Celebration of the Vartai gallery’s 25th anniversary


Photos: Džoja Gunda Barysaitė and Gintaras Janavičius

This last week guests assembled at Vilnius' VARTAI gallery to celebrate the gallery's 25th anniversary. The event began at the nearby St. Katherine's Church with a concert and ceremony during which Nida Rutkienė, the founder of VARTAI, received the Ministry of Culture's Medal of Honor directly from the hands of Lithuania's prime minister, Algirdas Butkevičius. The celebrations were then continued at the gallery itself, where the group show Žilvitis (Willow) – a multilayered display which presents works of artists who have collaborated with Galerija VARTAI and are very well known in the Lithuanian and international art field: Žilvinas Kempinas, Deimantas Narkevičius, Svajonė and Paulius Stanikas, Julijonas Urbonas, Ignas Krunglevičius, Andrius Zakarauskas, Jurga Barilaitė, Laura Garbštienė, Ugnius Gelguda, Robertas Narkus, Linas Jusionis, Rūtenė Merkliopaitė, and Vytautas Viržbickas.

Visitors are welcomed at the entrance to the exhibition by an installation created especially for the show by the art critic Danutė Gambickaitė and the artist Arnas Anskaitis – a reconditioned version of the furniture set Žilvitis, which could once be found in the homes of most Lithuanians. It has been standing in the gallery since the beginning of its history. Today it becomes a metaphor open to various interpretations in the context of this exhibition. Žilvitis invites the viewer to take a look at the gallery’s rich history, remember its past and rethink the present, and also to evaluate the organic changes it has undergone over all the years of its existence.

Read in Archive: Vilnius’ Vartai Gallery Turns 25 1. The Twists and Turns of Vartai Over Three Decades

Concert and ceremony at St. Katherine's Church 

Galerija Vartai founder Nida Rutkienė


From the left: Galerija Vartai partner Agnė Savarauskienė, Galerija Vartai partner Laura Rutkutė

From the left: art collector Vilma Dagilienė, Rita Navalinskaitė, director of CAC Kęstutis Kuizinas

From the left: art collectors Irina Vītola and Māris Vītols, Artūras Zuokas, Agne Zuokiene

Laura Rutkutė, fashion designer Juozas Statkevicius, art collector Danutė Mallart

Artist Ģirts Muižnieks

Deimantas Narkevičius. Liūdnos karo dainos. Manifesta 10, St Petersburg, 2014

Linas Jusionis. Eldorado, 2015. Photo:

Julionas Urbonas. Cumspin, 2015.  Photo:

S&P Stanikas. Mission Mars 1, 2014.  Photo:

S&P Stanikas. Mission Mars II, 2014. Photo:

Žilvinas Kempinas. Bearings, 2015. Photo:

Vytautas Viržbickas. Sounds like occupation, 2015. Photo: