LITHUANIA with artists RITA LAZAUSKAS & ANNE ZAHALKA
19 – 30 August 2022 – POSTPONED
CONTACT ACT for more information
(…did you know that ACTM Director Rita Lazauskas is Lithuanian?)
Travel Lithuania at a leisurely pace with time to absorb it’s unique culture and explore the remarkable landscape and architecture, sculpture parks and ethnographic highlights, traditional arts and the history of this place. Situated in Northern Europe on the shores of the Baltic Sea, Lithuania is a land of rich farmlands, deep forests, precious amber and ancient castles, where the culture has survived a turbulent history.
This tour will appeal to art-lovers, history buffs or practicing artists and photographers. Artists Rita Lazauskas and Anne Zahalka will help you interpret your adventure, whether it is through writing, photography, drawing, or just taking time for simple discussion with a small group of like-minded people.
You can develop a travel diary, a series of photographic images or drawings, or an artist book…
…or just take it all in!
…the highlights of Vilnius – Užupis Respublika – Traku Pilis/Castle – Kryžių Kalnas (Hill of Crosses) – Palanga and the Baltic Sea – the Amber Museum – the Curonian Spit – ‘Raganų Kalnas’ (Witches’ Mountain) – Kaunas – Rumšiškės open-air ethnographic museum – the Devils’ Museum – Gruto Park (Stalin World)
Whether you are a beginner or experienced artist or not an artist at all, you will reap the benefits by travelling on this (soft) art tour with Anne and Rita. Observe their approach to art and travel, get some expert instruction or just tips on taking better photos with your smart phone – let them help you ‘picture this’ place on our journey together.
First populated millennia ago, the many pagan tribes were first united into a Republic in the 1220s. Lithuania was the last country in Europe to convert to Christianity and had a strong Jewish community centred in Vilnius from the 14th century. Lithuania still maintains many pagan traits which continue to be expressed in their art and life. Flourishing for a time from the 14th-17th century until the rise of the Russian Empire, it once again became the battle ground for many conflicts. They enjoyed a brief period of independence between the first and second world wars and were then invaded once again by Germany and Russia and annexed into the Soviet Union in 1944. After 50 years of Soviet occupation Lithuania was the first Baltic State to declare independence in 1990.
The strength and richness of Lithuanian culture has survived centuries of invasion and conflict and continues to express its unique nature through a wealth of dynamic artists, performers and traditional crafts.
About the artists
Rita Lazauskas is an Australian/Lithuanian – as the child of refugees her generation was given the task to be custodians of the Lithuanian culture in exile as it was suppressed by the Soviet occupation. Learning the language, folk dancing and arts throughout her childhood in Adelaide, has continued to enrich her life and art. With over twenty years experience working as an artist and a curator, her arts practice is primarily based on observational drawing, often working on very complex subject matter or in a very immediate way responding to the moment. Since 2011 Rita has developed the ACTM Specialist Art Tours in Morocco and now takes up the challenge in Lithuania!
Anne Zahalka is one of Australia’s most recognised artists working in photomedia. Also the daughter of refugees, Anne was born to a Jewish Austrian mother and Catholic Czech father. Her family were displaced by WW2 and endured the traumatic experiences of the Holocaust which has had a profound influence on her life and art. An inspired artist Anne’s art practice explores identity and culture, blurring the boundaries between reality and fiction, constructing scenarios to tell a story or revealing the essence of place through a very mindful approach to photography and image making. In Lithuania, Anne will explore the strong Jewish history, the contribution their artisans and traders had on the culture and life of the country and their sad fate during WW2.