Station Narva 2021 urban art competition winner is Veera Gonchugova’s Street Library

The winner of the urban art competition organised by Station Narva festival in cooperation with the Narva Museum Art Gallery and the Narva Art Residency (NART) is Veera Gonchugova’s concept design “Street Library”. The Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA) gave a special price to an interactive water sculpture by Jekaterina Zakilova and Ksenia Zakilova.

The art competition announced at the beginning of June called for sculptures, installations, urban furniture, street art, outdoor exhibitions or other objects that would enrich the city space. 23 entries were submitted and judged by the jury. The winner is Narva resident and EKA master’s student Veera Gonchugova’s concept design “Street Library”.

According to the author, in addition to reusing books, the free book exchange pavilion will provide a new meeting place for the community. “The design of the pavilion is inspired by the pages of a book and its bindings. The keywords are lightness and transparency and the internal written word created in a different dimension,” adds Gonchugova.

The materials the author plans to use include plywood, textile and metal pipes.

The jury found that the winning entry stood out with its modern design and a clear concept and best answered the competition’s objectives and assessment criteria. The jury looked at whether the project is suitable for the city and feasible in the given time frame and the choice of materials and future maintenance needs.

“Gonchugova’s work is a functional and aesthetically sensitive meeting place that draws in the community and has the potential to become a frequently visited place for residents of the city as well as visitors,” comments jury member and head of the Narva Art Residency Ann Mirjam Vaikla.

The winning entry will be awarded 3000 euros towards the project’s production costs, The costs of transport, accommodation and catering for the participants during the project installation period and during the festival will also be covered. The street library will be opened in Narva (exact location to be confirmed) on 5 August, the festival’s opening day.

The second place went to the Belgian audiovisual artist Samuel van Ransbeeck’s installation “Sounding Hope” and the third place to Narva residents, interior architect Jekaterina Zakilova and young artist Ksenia Zakilova for their interactive water sculpture “Soundwave”. The latter also received a special award in the sum of 1000 euros put forth by the Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA), and the authors received an invitation to develop their concept further at the Narva Art Residency.

“With this special price, we want to encourage these young designers and their idea, which skillfully intertwines unique urban art with fun and inviting urban furniture,” adds EKA Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs Anne Pikkov. “The work can be experienced both in water and on the beach area, and it also gives added emotional value to those just walking by. The simple visual concept creates a clear connection between the local body of water and the music festival. The authors’ idea to involve residents in the further development of the work, so that they can create new situations and visual images,  is also very appealing.”

Veera Gonchugova, the author of the winning entry, is a visual artist, spatial and interior designer, who is currently working on her master’s degree at EKA. She has already obtained a bachelor’s degree in interior design at EKA and studied fine arts at the Narva Art School.

The submitted works were evaluated by a jury consisting of Mayor of Narva Katri Raik,  Director of the Narva Museum Art Gallery Rael Artel, Head of the Narva Art Residency Ann Mirjam Vaikla, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs at the Estonian Academy of Arts Anne Pikkov, Narva city artist Deniss Polubojarov, Just Transition coordinator at the Estonian Ministry of Finance and former City Architect of Narva Ivan Sergejev, owner of Temnikova & Kasela Gallery Olga Temnikova, and Head of PR & Communications of Station Narva Ingrid Kohtla.

The main partner of the Station Narva urban art competition is the Narva Museum Art Gallery, and supporters are the Narva Art Residency (NART). The competition is supported by Fortaco Estonia OÜ.