Images are no longer just illustrations of the text for the book reader and creator. Through the image, we have the opportunity to create new or additional meaning, to expand the boundaries of the text, sometimes even to change it. The main theme of the 2022 Vilnius Book Fair – “Image as Text” – invited us to discuss these possibilities in the talks, book art exhibitions and presentations of the best books of the year.
The return of the traditional book fair after a one-year break also marked the continuation of another important tradition: the opening day of the fair saw the 30th edition of the Book Art Competition Awards. The competition’s selection of the most well-designed, typographically valuable and professionally illustrated publications with exceptional aesthetics only confirmed the main theme of the fair: the promotion of book art by focusing on the harmony between text and image only widens the boundaries of the possibilities for interpretation.
This year’s Book Art Competition featured 126 books submitted by sixty publishers. 21 books were awarded the prize for Outstanding Book as a Whole. Even six of them were printed by BALTO print.
- The main prize of the year went to Inga Navickaitei – Drąsutei for the contrasting nature of the theme and its presentation – the various and meticulously thought-out solutions of construction and structure, for the book as a building – a reflection of history in the publication “(1944-1991). Former NKVD – MVD – MGB – KGB Buildings” (designed by Indrė Šerpytytė, compiled by Gintaras Česonis, published by Kaunas Photography Gallery, printed by BALTO print).
- In the thematic group of artistic and documentary photography publications, the prize was awarded to Gyčius Skudžinskas for his striking, expressive result and new approach to the classic photographic album in the publication Permainų šventė / Celebrate for Change (compiled by Tomas Pabedinskas, Ugnė Paberžytė; published by the MO Museum, published by BALTO print).
- Diploma to Gyčis Skudžinskas for the depth of the book’s layers and the embodiment of the experience in the subtle typographic means in the book “bust” (by Dalia Mikonytė, published by the Lithuanian Photographers’ Union, printed by BALTO print);
- Diplomas to Gyčys Skudžinskas for his concentrated minimalism and professional example of how different types of paper and shades are able to connect the different fields of the book in the publication “Here Then, There Now” (author and compiler Dovilė Dagienė, published by the Lithuanian Photographers’ Union’s Photography Foundation, printed by BALTO print).
- In the thematic group of bibliophilic and experimental publications, the prize was awarded to Agnė Dautartaitė-Krutule and Vaiva Frančiakaitė for creating an irresistible field of attraction in the book, organic transitions of thoughts created by combining the functionality of the book’s elements and experimentation, for expanding the concept of simplicity and for the creation of the book-object in the publication “The Art of Procrastination” (author John Perry, published by Hubris and printed by BALTO print);
- Diploma to Agnė Dautartaitė-Krutule, Vaiva Frančiakaitė, Elžbieta Upe Rozanovaitė, Renata Lenkutiene for their subtle work with egodocumentary material and their significant aesthetic contribution to the renewal of the reception of the personality of Jurgis Baltrušaitis (1873-1944) in the book “With Ambassador Jurgis Baltrušaitis, a Book for Notes and Thoughts / с послом Юргисом Балтрушайтисом, книга для записей и раздумий / with the Ambassador Jurgis Baltrušaitis, a Book for Notes and Thoughts” (compiled by Inga Vidugirytė-Pakerienė, Vaiva Frančiakaitė; layout designer Vaiva Frančiakaitė, illustrator Kornelija Žalpytė, published by Vilnius Academy of Arts Publishing House, Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in the Russian Federation; printed by BALTO print).