The International Ceramic Symposium and the unique contemporary ceramic art collection – the Gallery‘s identity card. The Panevėžys International Ceramic Symposium has been operating since 1989 as a continuation of national symposiums initiated by Alvydas Pakarklis in 1983. In 1990 the Panevėžys Civic Art Gallery undertook responsibility for the planning and organization of the symposiums in cooperation with the Panevėžys Glass factory (later AB „Panevėžio Stiklas“), and from 2006 with the ceramics company „Midenė“. The working technology applied is ceramic sculpture firing at high temperature.
The Panevėžys International Ceramic Symposium occupies a unique position among the events devoted to ceramics in Lithuania. It is the oldest, continuous creative „laboratory“ of ceramics. It’s the only venue for the gathering of professionals in a working environment where art is produced. Original and interesting artists are invited to take part and interact during the symposium. The time spent together by the artists with different ethnic and cultural backgrounds provides opportunities to understand principles and ideals not possible from the mass media or the written word. Working side by side opens the way for sharing ideas and learning about the artistic standards and philosophies from other countries of the world.
The Panevėžys Civic Art Gallery houses about 600 pieces of shamotte ceramics, which were created during the international ceramic symposiums. The unique and only such collection in Lithuania reflects directions in contemporary ceramics internationally as well as presenting the work of Lithuanian artists.
The twenty symposiums to date have been attended by 163 artists from 35 different countries: Australia, Austria, Belarus, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Finland, France, Hungary, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, South Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
The collected works archived and exhibited by the Panevėžys Civic Art Gallery are of significant artistic and historic importance. The gallery maintains a presence in cultural activities by not only collecting and exhibiting works in situ but also presenting the work to national and international venues. The gallery shows the collection locally and strives to initiate or join projects with other exhibition centers in Lithuania and abroad (USA, Austria, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Latvia).
The excellent reputation and longevity of the symposium as well as the positive press in Lithuanian and foreign (Australian, German, Greek, French, Irish, Japanese, the Netherlands, Polish, Spanish, Swiss, Taiwanese and American) ceramic art publications is largely due to the careful and thorough organization and planning by the Civic Art Gallery.
In December 2015 the Ceramic Art Pavilion dedicated to works generated during Panevėžys International Ceramic Symposiums was opened. Linked with the main building of the Panevėžys Civic Art Gallery by the glass walkway this modern building has become the international and local tourist attraction.
This year the 21th Panevėžys International Ceramic Symposium began on July 1. The invited artists were offered to create not only in-door but also out-door pieces.
Artists Eglė Einikytė-Narkevičienė (Lithuania), Valery Kaltyhin (Belarus), Jae Gyu Kim (South Korea), Grigorii Molchanov (Russia), Yuriy Musatov (Ukraine), Rūta Šipalytė (Lithuania), Nataliya Zuban (Ukraine) worked intensively for four weeks. In addition to the work at the ceramic company ,,Midenė“, in the evenings they made presentations to the local community on their art.
On July 15 the city residents and visitors were invited to take part in the promotion action ,,All City Goes Clay Modeling“. In the course of this action the famous ceramic artists demonstrated and instructed the people how to practically do clay modeling so that everyone could touch and feel clay and show creative potential.
On July 20 the conference titled ,,Trends of Ceramic Art“ took place at the Civic Art Gallery, during which the participants and guests of the symposium delivered visually illustrated reports.
While the pieces were firing in the kiln, the participants of the symposium got acquainted with Lithuania, its history and culture. The Symposium concluded with the exhibition of works generated during the Symposium. The pieces were displayed in the inside exhibition spaces and the courtyard of the the Panevėžys Civic Art Gallery. The ceramic collection of the Art Gallery was complemented with the new and valuable works donated by the participants of the symposium.
The goal of the organizers is to have a functioning international ceramic center where the collection serves as a visual reference accessible to all persons interested in the ceramic arts.
Member of the International Academy of Ceramics
Director of Panevėžys Civic Art Gallery
Director of Panevėžys International Ceramic Symposium