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Baltic Horizons

September 26,2022 - December 31,2023

September 26, 2022 December 31, 2023

Baltic Horizons, an international sculpture competition which brings together artists and communities around the Baltic Sea, is launching.

The artistic traditions of Sopot as an art development centre, and ERGO Hestia’s more than 30 years of experience in realisations and support of the arts in various fields, underpin the establishment of a broad international cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. With the Baltic Horizons competition, the City of Sopot and ERGO Hestia in collaboration with the art gallery Państwowa Galeria Sztuki in Sopot and partner cultural institutions in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Finland, draw attention to climate change in the region, support the development of climate awareness, and encourage a change in thinking about common space.

Baltic Horizons is both a sculpture competition and a broad platform for social and artistic dialogue involving partners from the Baltic region. Its objectives include maintenance and development of Sopot’s tradition of cooperation with artists from different cultural scenes. The mission of Baltic Horizons is to build sustainable and broad communities as well as new fields of artistic cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. The ecological status of the Baltic Sea forces us to think more broadly about regional partnerships, and art is one of the best vehicles of lasting collaborations based on shared goals.

The competition is an initiative of ERGO Hestia and the City of Sopot. It is organised by the Hestia Artistic Journey Foundation in cooperation with the art gallery Państwowa Galeria Sztuki in Sopot and the project partners: the National Museum in Gdańsk – Department of Modern Art, EMMA – Museum of Modern Art in Espoo, Finland, the Latvian National Museum of Art (LNMA) in Riga, and the Contemporary Art Centre (CAC) in Vilnius.

A sculpture project selected in the competition will be realised in the urban space of Sopot, fitting in with the existing Sopot architecture and thus fulfilling the need to seek harmony, comment on and improve the aesthetic quality of the surroundings. Key elements of the project include the creative activation of local residents around the theme of protecting the Baltic ecosystem as well as far-reaching activities in the field of high art. The international institutional support of the Baltic Horizons competition broadens the perspective of the dialogue. In this context, it is important to note the central role of Sopot as a city creating a long-term new quality of public space. On the one hand, this is an obvious and natural choice; on the other hand, it addresses the latest trends in the area of social and environmental responsibility.

ERGO Hestia 

Sopockie Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń ERGO Hestia was established in 1991. Thanks to its dynamic development, it has become the largest insurance company established under the conditions of the free market economy in Poland. ERGO Hestia has been implementing initiatives at the interface of culture and business for more than two decades. The company is one of the leading patrons of culture and arts on the Polish market.  

Twenty editions of the Hestia Artistic Journey competition were held on the initiative of ERGO Hestia between 2002 and 2021, addressed to students in the final years of Polish art academy programmes. The company established the Hestia Artistic Journey Foundation dedicated to cultural projects in 2014. Its head office is home to the exhibition space Art Pavilion. Together with the Hestia Artistic Journey Foundation and the Wisława Szymborska Foundation, ERGO Hestia has been holding the Hestia Literary Journey competition since 2021, addressed to authors of youth and children’s literature (for 10-15 year olds). ERGO Hestia is a strategic partner of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and the Wisława Szymborska Award. Since 2001, together with the publishing house Znak, ERGO Hestia has been awarding the Father Józef Tischner Prize.

ERGO Hestia is also a patron of sports. Since 2000, it has been the title sponsor of the Sopot Sailing Club, and since 2010, of the ERGO Arena sports and entertainment hall located on the border between the Cities of Gdańsk and Sopot.  

The ERGO Hestia Group is a pioneer of the most innovative solutions in the insurance sector. For more than 30 years, it has been a credible and reliable partner offering the highest quality products and services. Every year, it provides protection to more than 3 million individual customers and several hundred thousand companies and businesses. The ERGO Hestia Group consists of two insurance companies: STU ERGO Hestia SA and STU na Życie ERGO Hestia SA. The Group members offer insurance for individual clients, including life and non-life insurance, as well as insurance for industry and small and medium-sized enterprises. Insurance is offered under four brands: ERGO Hestia, MTU, mtu24.pl, and You Can Drive. The main shareholder of the ERGO Hestia Group companies is the international insurance concern ERGO International AG, owned by the largest reinsurer, Munich Re. Piotr Maria Śliwicki has been the CEO of the ERGO Hestia Group for more than 30 years of the company’s existence.

City of Sopot

Sopot is a city where encounters of culture and art with people and nature provide unique experiences. A city that stirs emotions, senses and intellect. A local place where everything is close by and where residents are naturally involved in the life of the resort.  

Time seems to flow differently here, as if the scent of summer is constantly in the air. The combination of carefree, joyful communion with nature and the search for new experiences, typical of summer holidays, finds expression in unique and diverse cultural projects and fosters artistic creativity. It is no wonder that Sopot has five cultural institutions which maintain the artistic traditions of the city. Sopot hosts cultural events, such as Literary Sopot, the music festival Sopot Classic, and the Photography Festival “In the Frames of Sopot”. Art is present not only during the events but throughout the year at every step, including many works of art in the urban space: sculptures, murals, photographs, and the unique architecture of the local villas with their characteristic verandas, bay windows, and turrets. Sopot is an open, interesting and attractive city all year round. Clean air, luxuriant greenery, the expanse of the sea and the charm of local architecture are the hallmarks of Sopot. Culture feels at home here.  

The State Gallery of Art in Sopot

The State Gallery of Art (PGS) in Sopot presents the most important phenomena of Polish and foreign contemporary art and partners with the most prominent artists, curators and art institutions in Poland and abroad. PGS attaches special importance to cooperation with artists, galleries and museums in the Baltic Sea region and those in Belarus and Ukraine. The gallery is the co-organiser of many important cyclical projects, including the Photography Festival “In the Frames of Sopot” and the Open Source Art Festival. The gallery owns and regularly expands its collection of contemporary art and engages in educational and publishing activities. 

Hestia Artistic Journey Foundation

The Hestia Artistic Journey Foundation operates an extensive programme of patronage of culture and arts on behalf of Sopockie Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń ERGO Hestia SA. In the field of visual arts, we bring contemporary art to a wide audience and cooperate with the most important institutions in Poland and abroad. The Hestia Artistic Journey competition, running from 2002 to 2020, has made it possible to introduce the Polish public to the profiles of 268 finalists, including 56 competition winners. The Foundation also works to promote Polish artists awarded in the twenty editions of the Hestia Artistic Journey competition. We organised more than 100 exhibitions throughout Poland between 2002 and 2022.

The works of the winners and finalists of the many editions of the Hestia Artistic Journey competition can be viewed at the ERGO Hestia Art Pavilion in Warsaw. It is also an experimental and educational space which works on art branding projects and takes advantage of the opportunities offered by combining different fields of art.  

Since 2021, the Hestia Artistic Journey Foundation has been running the Hestia Literary Journey competition for authors and writers of classic literary forms published in Poland and written in Polish for young readers.