Since 1998, Kaunas Artists’ House has held an annual election of The Most Memorable Artist of Kaunas. Artists working in different disciplines and having produced significant works over the passing year were nominated by creative unions. The Art College of Kaunas Artists’ House would consider the nominees and elect The Most Memorable Artist. The names of The Most Memorable Artists in Kaunas were commemorated on Stasys Žirgulis’s sculpture “The Winged Column”.
In 2016, the election of The Most Memorable Artist in Kaunas shifted to a new format – the evaluation and selection process was updated and the prize itself renamed to “The Top Artist”. Creative unions, educational, cultural and artistic assemblies proposed their candidates, highlighting the most significant works of the past year and raising public awareness of the year’s most active and brightest artists.
The election of The Top Artist has become a kind of metamorphosis of the traditional election of The Most Memorable Artist in Kaunas. The change of format and title highlight the direct connection to Kaunas Artists’ House. The aim of KMN was to make the election process more open, public and transparent, so the Top Artist was democratically elected by the city’s residents led by their interest in arts and culture.
The Top Artist:
2016 dancer, choreographer Marius Pinigis
The Most Memorable Artists in Kaunas, 1998 – 2015:
2015 composer Zita Bružaitė
2014 actor Dainius Svobonas
2013 composer Dalia Kairaitytė
2012 writer Donald Kajokas
2011 writer Jurgis Gimberis,
2010 folk artist Elena Kniūštaitė and pianist Rokas Zubovas,
2009 artist Česlovas Lukenskas, poet Gintaras Patackas and Kaunas String Quartet,
2008 designer Monika Vilčinskienė and architect Eugenijus Miliūnas,
2007 photographer Gintaras Česonis,
2006 poet, essayist Kęstutis Navakas and photographer Romualdas Rakauskas,
2005 composer Vidmantas Bartulis and photographer Romualdas Požerskis,
2004 poet, actress Daiva Čepauskaitė and conductor Petras Bingelis,
2003 composer Giedrius Kuprevičius
2002 sculptor Robertas Antinis
2001 actress Rūta Staliliūnaitė and sculptor Leon Strioga
2000 soloist Sabina Martinaitytė
1999 artist Romualdas Čarna,
1998 actress Jūratė Onaityte and violinist Vilhelmas Čepinskis.