The 4th international painting plein air “Valdis Bušs” took place from 13 until 24 July.

To revive and honour the memory of painter Valdis Bušs, highlight the importance of his creative outputs and promote painting in Latgale Region, Viļaka District Council in cooperation with Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre organises the fourth international painting plein air “Valdis Bušs”.

This year, the plein air received financial support from the Cultural Programme for Latgale and its annual funding from the Viļaka District Council. Put together, this patronage enables the organisers not only to ensure a smooth running of the plein air as a high-quality artistic event, but also to hold a travelling exhibition with the newly created artworks.

These artists from the Baltic States have been confirmed as participants of the 4th International Painting Plein Air “Valdis Bušs”: Aivis Pīzelis (Latvia), Agnija Ģērmane (Latvia), Ilgvars Zalāns (Latvia), Ruta Eidukaityte (Lithuania), Mykole (Lithuania) and Liisi Tani (Estonia).


The International Latgale Graphic Art Symposium has developed into a fine tradition that draws graphic artists to Daugavpils. Having become a meeting place, a discussion forum and stimulating creative environment in the cultural landscape of Latgale, it attracts Latvian and international graphic artists with similar and opposing views on the use of their preferred medium to create a shared story of the present, highlighting the things that matter here and now, especially those that may appear matter-of-fact and slip under the radar in the hectic rhythm of today.

The initiative was launched nine years ago by Art Teachers’ Association in cooperation with the Chamber of Graphic Art and with valued support from Latgale Regional Development Agency and State Culture Capital Foundation. The First Latgale Graphic Art Symposium was held on 10 to 13 October 2012. From 2013 onwards, it has been organised under the auspices of Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre within its international residency programme, which asserts its sustainability, global repute and standing among the many artistic processes of today.

The symposium has had specific thematic emphases, mostly focusing on the city of Daugavpils and its surroundings and inviting the artists to capture the unique atmosphere of Daugavpils Fortress. For example, the third symposium explored the trade of the apothecary, encouraging the artists to reflect on this ancient profession and linking the symposium to Mark Rothko, whose father was a pharmacist.

Certainly, success of the symposium depends on the multiple perspectives of its Latvian and international participants and on the transfer of these different outlooks onto graphic sheets that tell stories of their authors’ experiences in Daugavpils, of what they saw and felt here.

The 2020 symposium brought together ten outstanding graphic artists from nine countries: Víctor Manuel Hernández Castillo (Mexico), Irena Lawruszko (Ukraine), Piotr Skowron (Poland), Imants Haņeckis (Latvia), Elisa Pellizzari (Italy), Jevgenija Jones (Lithuania), Lorenzo Davitti (Italy), Kalli Kalde (Estonia), Ioannis Anastasiou (Greece) and Elizabeth Rose (USA).

The symposium enabled these artists to observe Daugavpils and reflect on their experiences here, meet with local artists in workshops and presentations, and exhibit their own creative outputs in techniques such as letterpress, intaglio and flat print. Through all these means, participants of the symposium created mementoes of the present for the history of the future.


The artist’s letterpress compositions are conceptual illustrations of dialogue conversations in different temporal parallels and spatial dimensions. The artist collects human stories, stories of life, encounters and exchanges expressed in dialogue form. These stories illustrate experiences rather than events; they are abstract portrayals of encounters and ensuing dialogues. The viewer is offered a different story about people, related strings of experience and dialogues, all of which have been passed through the prism of the artist’s innermost feelings and his perception of reality, which enables the viewed to gaze at these stories rather than read them.

The exhibition “DIALOGUES. PARALLELS. DIMENSIONS” contains the artist’s latest expressly created series of large-scale canvasses and select artwork from his recent/previous one-man shows – “Definite and Indefinite Dialogues” (2018) and “Indefinite, Definite and told” (2016). This selection paints a striking picture of the artist’s unique, individual approach by means of which words and letters are integrated into text-like patterns that emerge from sequences of colour and graphical rhythms. The artist works on canvas in a new author’s technique that integrates painting and graphic art.

Humans and human affairs are the core themes in the artist’s compositions, in which he captures subjectively experienced moments in an abstract visual form, illustrating a certain social milieu, whose intricacies are reflected in standalone works or series. In a sense, his work resembles a diary or a set of records about nearby people.

Maris Čačka was born in 1976 in Varakļāni, Latvia. His active years as exhibiting artist and art educator began in 1997. Since then, he has participated in over 80 exhibitions, including 19 one man shows in Latvia and abroad. His work has been exhibited in Belarus, Lithuania, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Ukraine and Poland. At the moment, he holds the position of creative director at Daugavpils Mark Rothko Arts Centre. Since 2004, he has curated more than 60 art projects and international symposia. He is the current head of Latvian Association of Art Educators besides membership in Latvian Artists’ Union and Latvian Chamber of Graphic Art. His work is held in museums and private collections in Latvia, Germany, Lithuania, the UK, Norway and elsewhere.

Tatjana Černova