To commemorate 100 years since Latvia declared its independence the
Kalamazoo Latvian Association is celebrating at Western Michigan University.
The weekend has received support from the Ministry of Culture of Latvia.
Saturday, March 24
At the Richmond Center for Visual Arts at WMU – Room 2008
Latvia Lately: Recent Contemporary Art and Its Institutions
A quarter century beyond Soviet occupation, a significant portion of Latvia’s visual artists continue to reckon with a legacy of state-controlled expression while others seem utterly heedless of history — in many of the latter cases, a healthier attitude or behavior than one might ordinarily assume. Much the same can be observed among the Latvian institutional structures that facilitate art-making, promotion, exhibition and sales. Despite numerous indications of positive development, many players in the Latvian art world express extreme frustration with the current state of affairs. This presentation will canvas today’s range of artistic production, thematic trends, and its cultural supports that show most promise of exerting influence over the future direction of Latvian art.
Generations of Latvian Artists in North America: Similarities and Differences
The period from the middle of the 20th century to the present day has been marked by several generations of Latvian artists in North America. The generation of artists that were already established in Latvia, such as Augusts Annus, Ludolfs Liberts, Sigismunds Vidbergs, and Janis Ferdinands Tidemanis were forced to flee Latvia during World War II. Their art mostly continued Latvian painting traditions. The next generation began their work in exile – Romans Staprāns, Sigurds Vīdzirkste, Edvīns Strautmanis, Visvaldis Rienholds, Vija Celmins, Daina Dagnija, and others. They were inspired by new ways of expression and art techniques in the art world of the US and Canada. Looking at the work of the third generation of Latvian artists, we have to conclude that there are artists, such as Rita Grendze, Krista Svalbonas, Gints Grinbergs, and Krista Vārsbergs, who consciously create projects with cultural-historical themes rooted directly in their Latvian identity. However, there are also many for whom this inherited cultural impression is less important and is perhaps unconscious. Of course, as in all generations, there are artists who do not fit our stereotypes.
Queer and Transgender Representation in Latvian Émigré Literary Culture
Latvian emigré literary culture was established in different countries where Latvian refugees of the Second World War were settled. Promoting the Latvian national identity and willing to represent it in the context of historical trauma and resistance went together with conservative stand of the Latvian intellectuals when the issues of gender and sexuality were discussed. However, as time went by and the sexual revolution of the 1960s came up, this stand was constantly challenged by the western contemporary culture and the ever changing social reality.
4:30 Lectures conclude
At the Kalamazoo Latvian Center – 100 Cherry Hill St.
Concert – Juris Ķeniņš, cello; Gunta Laukmane, piano
Jāzeps Vītols – Tautasdziesmu svīta
Jānis Kalniņš – Redz, kur jāja div’ bajāri
Tālivaldis Ķeniņš – Aijā žūžū
Pēteris Vasks – Ej saulīte, drīz pie Dieva
Pēteris Vasks – Tautiešami roku devu
Andrejs Jurjāns – Berceuse
Jāzeps Mediņš – Gavote
Jāzeps Mediņš – Romance
Imants Ramiņš – Juniper and Pine
Ēriks Ešenvalds – O Salutaris Hostia
Ēriks Ešenvalds – Gaisma aust!
Lolita Ritmane – Lietus līst manā pilsētā
Jānis Lūsēns – Mazu brīdi pirms
Sunday, March 25
At the Richmond Center for Visual Arts at WMU – Room 2008
Latvian musicians have brought recognition to Latvia world wide, whether they are composers like Pēteris Vasks, Ēriks Ešenvalds or Emmy winning Lolita Ritmanis, or conductors like Andris Nelsons or singers like Elīna Garanča. There is a good chance that you have heard something from a Latvian musician.
Jānis Mediņš – Ir viens vakars (Hayley Girard, soprano)
Jāzeps Vītols – Mirdzas dziesma (Alexandra Galla, mezzo)
Emīls Dārziņš – Teici to stundu (Isaac James, baritone)
(Gunta Laukmane, collaborative pianist and coach)
(Kimberly Dunn Adams, director)
Pēteris Vasks – from Klusas dziesmas
I. Nosapi parsapi
II. Dusi, dusi
Ārijs Šķepasts- Es Gulu, gulu
(Lexi Galla, Holli Slamka, Isabelle Abbott, soloists)
Ēriks Ešenvalds – Stars
University Symphony Orchestra
(Bruce Uchimura, conductor )
Mozart – Marriage of Figaro Overture
Emīls Dārziņš – Valse Mélancolique
Jānis Mediņš – Aria
Lolita Ritmanis – Overture to Light
Signs for Those Seeking Light –at the Richmond Center – Rita Grendze’s art exhibition of Latvian tablecloth designs made from pages of books hangs in the atrium
Treasures of Latvia – at the Richmond Center – 15 Latvian companies working in the U.S. and 5 other “treasures” from Latvia
Sharing our Stories: The Baltic Diaspora at Home in Canada – at the Kalamazoo Latvian Center – oral histories of Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Baltic German seniors on what it means to be Baltic, and the experience of migration and settlement
Kalamazoo Latvian Association
100 Cherry Hill St.
Kalamazoo, MI 49006
Maps to WMU and Kalamazoo Latvian Center
Parking for visitors to Western Michigan University is available for free on weekends in the Parking Ramp, but only in the W sections. They will ticket you for expired meters or parking in other areas.
From the second floor of the parking ramp there is a bridge that will take you right into the Richmond Center and it goes through to Dalton Center.
Kalamazoo Latvian Center
100 Cherryhill St Kalamazoo, Mi 49006
This event was made possible by a generous grant from the Ministry of Culture from Latvia and the cooperation of the College of Fine Arts at Western Michigan University and the Kalamazoo Latvian Association.