Two Danish winners were announced in Ancher’s historical garden

Art Museums of Skagen hosted an art competition for six aspiring artists in historical surroundings.

The stakes were high, and the sun was bright in Skagen on the 17th of September. On a beautiful Saturday in the garden at Anchers Hus six young artists were competing for a spot at an international workshop for a Session at the Biennale Arte 2022 in Venice this November through the UpCreate project.

The artists from BGK North, a preparatory artistic education in Northern Jutland, had been asked by Art Museums of Skagen to interpret key elements of Skagen in works of art: community, food, and nature. The elements echo the Skagen painters and the artists colony which they created. They spent long days painting the landscapes of Skagen and gathered in the evenings to critique each other’s work – usually during long dinners. Therefore, it seemed only fitting that the six young artists presented the jury with their interpretation of these elements in the garden surrounding Anchers Hus where Anna and Michael Ancher lived and worked. Two of the artworks were placed outside and the remaining four in a studio.

“It is an extraordinary group of young people completely driven by ambition and passion,” said Jeanne Rank Schelde, jury member and curator at Art Museums of Skagen. “We are very impressed by the quality of their work and all the reflections behind it. All six of them have somehow transformed their experience of Skagen into art and we really wanted to send all of them to Venice!

The jury furthermore consisted of Jesper Olsen, artist and teacher at BGK North; Maciek Oleksy, baker at Baghaven in Skagen where the works were on display; and Anne Møller Christensen, curator at SKAL Contemporary who, despite their enthusiasm for the art works, eventually chose two winners.

Kalinka Ranfelt participated with a sculpture in plaster, a human figure lounging on a blanket under a tree inviting the spectator to sit beside it and take in the scenery. Fie Marie Kastrup Lindgaard presented a heavy hanging rug depicting a Skagen landscape.

They had challenged themselves by working with large scale artworks,” said Schelde. “Furthermore, they had attempted to capture the multisensory experience of being in Skagen and they both succeeded completely. Kalinka’s work was very concrete and accessible, and cleverly invited the viewer to complete the piece. Fie’s impressive large-scale piece had the same elements and had clearly been an immense task to create. They both really deserve to go to Venice, and I hope they’ll have an amazing trip.

The winners were naturally excited about winning, but just as excited about going to Venice together. I’m so happy and honored to have won, but the competitive element made it really hard. Exciting, but also hard, because we were competing against our friends. So, it is really nice that we get to go to Venice together,” said Ranfelt. Lindgaard agreed: ”It’s huge. It’s such a relief. When you put your heart and soul into something and discover that other people see its value, it’s just wonderful!” she said. “And I’m so glad I get to go to Venice with Kalinka so that we can share the experience.

After the announcement of the winners the garden and studio were open to the public where the artworks were on display until the 25th of September.

Fie Marie Kastrup Lindgaard with her work – a heavy hanging rug depicting a Skagen landscape.

Kalinka Ranfelt with her work, a sculpture in plaster, a human figure lounging on a blanket placed under a tree inviting the spectator to sit besides it and take in the scenery.