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titleNY – Meeting with photographer Arūnas Baltėnas

New York photographer Arunas Baltėnas will introduce his creative projects “Quietly at Home” and “We Work We Are”. He will also present the idea behind his latest project.

Start: Friday, October 26, 6:30 pm
Address: SLA 307 Art Space, 307 W 30th Street, New York, NY 10001
Organizer: Gintarė Bukauskas, NY Lithuanian Community Board
Phone: 347-415-6379 / Email: zybuokle@gmail.com

Quietly at Home

While creating a photographic archive of life in the Lithuanian ethnic regions, I found perceptions dear to me regardless of which point on the outskirts of Lithuania I found myself to be in. I found peace, wisdom, reconciliation … A reconciliation of one’s life, destiny, and loneliness. While I collected the photos for this exhibition – from among hundreds and thousands of photos, I recalled not only the time of day, but also scents, sounds, and most importantly – the fascinating light.

I will admit that while taking photos of people from such a close distance, I felt like I was secretly looking through someone’s inadvertently abandoned door. And yet, I only photographed when I felt that I had a silent consent arising from mutual respect.

We Work We Are

Most of this photo exhibition was created in 2016-2017. The heroes in these photographs are representatives from various professions. Over the course of several years, specialists from roughly 200 fields of work were photographed, but only one third of the exhibition was shown due to the large volume. And the rest of the material – arranged (along with the photos in the exhibition) should find itself in one of the Lithuanian State archives.

This work was conceived as a collection of photographs of the most extensive variety of professionals currently living in Lithuania, and meant for our descendants.

A specific “portrait” of a working country was created at a particular moment in time.

However, I did not resist the temptation to show part of this collection of photos now, because often we do not even notice a lot of the silently engaged people who are sincerely dedicated to their profession, without which life would simply stop. An alternative name for this exhibition was simply “We”.

All photographs are made using the Mamiya RB67 camera using the black and white Ilford band. The paper was prepared by Vytautas Karosas and printed on Canson Platinum Fibre paper.


Arūnas Baltėnas was born in 1956 in Lithuania, in Kaunas. In 1979, he graduated from Vilnius University and in 1984-1994 he worked with a group on Lithuanian cultural heritage sites. He has a Member of the Union of Lithuanian Art Photographers since 1980.

Arūnas Baltėnas’s color photographs have been published in albums: “Lithuanian Folk Art”, “Lithuanian Monuments of History”, “Lithuanian Church Art”, “Old Lithuanian Sculpture”, “Vilnius”, “Kaunas”, “Lithuania in Medals”, “Guide of Vilnius,” “Ancient History of Lithuania”, and others. His works have been acquired by the National Museum of Lithuania, National M.K. Čiurlionis Art Museum, French National Library in Paris, as well as many private individuals in Lithuania, Poland, France, Russia, Sweden, the USA and elsewhere.

His 1997 black-and-white photography exhibition “Vilnius. Fin de siècle” was exhibited in the Vilnius gallery,” Academy “, and was also exhibited in Poland, USA, Paris, and Luxembourg.

In 1998 the exhibition “Asylum” was arranged – more than 130 black and white photographs – documenting the artists’ workshop in the “Lietuvos Aidas” gallery. Almost all of these interiors are gone today and they were captured only in photographs.

In the same year, the collection “Neighbors 1998” was exhibited at the gallery “Academy”. This is a photographic story about the residents of one of Vilnius’s Old Town’s homes.

In 2000, he exhibited at the Berchtold Gallery in Salzburg together with other Lithuanian painters.

In the same year, along with the photographer, Kęstutis Stoškis, the exhibition “Old Vilnius” was shown at the Huang Shi Cheng Gallery in Beijing.

In 2002, the exhibition “Everlasting Venice” was held in the Vilnius gallery “Dugno” together with the Austrian painter Peteris and Regina Riederiai. Subsequently, most of these photographs were included in the book “Watermarks” with excerpts from Josieph Brodsky’s essay “Fondamenta degli Incurabili”.

In the same year, a large collection of black and white photographs was exhibited at the “Anderson” Gallery in Modesto, California, USA.

In 2004, the exhibition “Longing for the City” from various European cities was exhibited at the Gallery of the Vilnius Photographers Union and at the House of A. Montis in Palanga. In the same year, the collections “Old Wooden Lithuanian Sculpture” and “Old Vilnius” were presented at the event, “Cultural Days”, organized by the Lithuanian Embassy in Paris.

In 2004-2005 several trips were made to St. Petersburg, where the city’s architectural heritage was photographed including a very specific theme – “Communal Life”. Some of these photographs were exhibited at a personal exhibition “St. Petersburg. No Other Choice” in 2005 at the “Prospekt” Gallery in Vilnius.

In the same year an exhibition, “The Roads of Čiurlionis”, was organized at the National M.K. Čiurlionis Art Museum.

Since 2000, he has photographed the various people of Lithuania – both known and undeservedly forgotten. About 80 of these portraits are temporarily stored in the Lithuanian National Museum.

In 2003, the theme “Hand-crafted” was launched – the craftsmen of various crafts. Nearly 200 of this cycle of color photographs were exhibited in Luxembourg in 2007, and in 2008 – at the National M.K.Čiurlionis Museum.

In 2008, the exhibition “Longing for the City”, about Nicosia, Vilnius, and St. Petersburg, was presented at the “Karl Buhler” Gallery in St. Petersburg.

In the autumn of 2006, Arūnas Baltėnas began intensive photography of the archaic life in Shilah in the region of Dzūkija, the photos of which were presented in 2009 in Vilnius, and the book “Šilės Dzukai” was published with the ethnographer Onute Drobelienė by the publisher R.Paknis. Subsequently – works have continued in other Lithuanian ethnic regions, with the book “Samogitians. Life and Celebrations” by Vita Ivanauskaite-Šeibutienė.

In 2011, the exhibition” Winter Transitions” was presented at the National Museum of Lithuania.

Since 2010, several scientists from VU and LLTI have been working intensively in the Lithuanian-based Gervėčiai region of Belarus, have accumulated about 8,000 photographs, and held five exhibitions on this topic at: The Lithuanian Cinema, Theater and Music Museum in Vilnius, the Artists Union Gallery in Vilnius, the Lithuanian Cultural House in Rimdžiūnai, Belarus , at the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania, and at the Museum of the City of Minsk in Belarus.

In 2013, the album “The Lithuania of the Common Cranes” was prepared by the R.Paknio publishing house with Saule Matulevičienė and Vytautas Vaitkevičius.

In 2009, Arūnas Baltėnas began to record the life of socially disadvantaged families, and the work continues to this day. In addition, he has started working in the Trakai district. The photos were exhibited in 2011 at the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania, and in 2012 at the Titanic VDA Gallery.

In 2013, at the gallery “Prospekt” in Vilnius, an exhibition was organized of the last decade of Arūnas‘s photos from the collection “Quietly at Home”. Most of the photographs of this exposition were accompanied by the short texts about the photographs or situations.

Another topic in our society, which has been neglected so far, is the life of people with congenital mental illness and their relatives. These topical issues were presented in the book “To See This World” while photographing the day center “Light”, with the active participation of the writer Vanda Juknaite, and the co-workers of the institution.

The exhibition “The People’s Faith in Lithuania” was organized at the Pope’s university Santa Croce in Rome in 2015.

Probably the main goal of Arūnas Baltėnas’ creative work is to try to capture in a subtle way what is on the verge of extinction, fragility or oblivion. These works by the photographer were honored with a Culture and Art Award (2015) by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.

In 2016, an album of photographs from the collection “Quietly at Home” (R.Paknio Publishing House) was published based on several years of archives, about interiors and people in their environment.

In 2016-2018, the cycle “Another Look at Lithuania” was intensively developed, about the working people of various professions in Lithuania -more than 200 professionals were photographed. This material is based on the 2018 exhibition “We Work. We Are” at the Prospekt Gallery in Vilnius.

Add to Calendar 26-10-2018 18:30:00 26-10-2018 18:30:00 NY – Meeting with photographer Arūnas Baltėnas New York photographer Arunas Baltėnas will introduce his creative projects “Quietly at Home” and “We Work We Are”. He will also present the idea behind his latest project. Start: Friday, October 26, 6:30 pm Address: SLA 307 Art Space, 307 W 30th Street, New York, NY 10001 Organizer: Gintarė Bukauskas, NY Lithuanian Community Board Phone: 347-415-6379 / Email: zybuokle@gmail.com SLA 307 Art Space zybuokle@gmail.com false DD/MM/YYYY

Contact Email: zybuokle@gmail.com
Contact Tel: 347-415-6379

26 Oct, Friday, 6:30 PM


SLA 307 Art Space, 307 W 30th Street, New York, 10001, NY, USA