Lõõm 06: Art in Dialogue: New York–Estonia
Archived Articles 02 Mar 2006  EWR
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March 24th - April 21st , Estonian House in New York
For the first time, the Foundation for Estonian Arts and Letters and Estonian Cultural Days of New York present a diverse exhibition of the works of Estonian-American artists. “Lõõm” means “Blaze,” reflecting the energy and range of expression in the show.

The participating artists in the show include 88 year old Endel Uiga, who escaped the Russians to study radio engineering in Germany and then settled in New Jersey.  Naima Rauam, official artist of the Fulton Fish Market, where she still maintains a studio.  Ilse Leetaru, who graduated in the 1950s from the School of Visual Arts, has had shows all over the world.  Artists in the show come from the first wave of Estonian immigrants, who escaped during wartime, and the new wave, who arrived after the fall of the Wall.

The most well-known of Estonian/American artists is the infamous Mark Kostabi, who rose to prominence during the East Village art scene in the 1980s.  Today he lives in Rome, where he paints a thousand paintings a year with the help of a bevy of assistants in New York.  He has his own game show where art critics compete for the honor to name his paintings. They are in major collections all over the world. www.markkostabi.com   

Kostabi will give a lecture as part of the closing event for the show on Apr. 21st.

The complete list of artists is: Peeter Kolk, Dianne Bowen, Külliki Talp, Ilse Leetaru, Mark Kostabi, Paul Indrek Kostabi, Kristjan Jüris, Erika Roots, Endel Uiga, Jaanika Peerna, Victoria Schultz, Leevi Ernits, Kristiana Pärn, Naima Rauam, Patrick Kikut, Ave Barker, Epp Kuhn and Triinu Jenas.

The exhibit opens as part of the annual Estonian Cultural Days celebration, supported by the Foundation for Estonian Arts and Letters..  At the opening there will be a video screening and performance by curator Jaanika Peerna and David Rothenberg. ( www.jaanikapeerna.net )

Estonian House in New York was founded in 1929. It has had an important role maintaining Estonian culture during the years of occupation. Today it is expanding its role to promote Estonian culture in the United States, and this art show is part of that effort. It is located at 243 East 34th St. (  www.estonianhousenewyork.com )

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