Today, Minister of Culture Indrek Saar awarded the Eduard Wiiralt scholarships. This high honour went to Eva Mustonen, graduate student at the Estonian Academy of Arts, and Mirjam Reili, graduate student at the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem.
The Eduard Wiiralt scholarships are intended to promote the studies and creative activity of art students and support their self-improvement. The scholarships are funded by the royalties collected from the use of Wiiralt’s artworks, which are paid to the Republic of Estonia.
This year, the scholarships in the amount of €3,000 each were awarded to Eva Mustonen, graduate student at the Estonian Academy of Arts, and Mirjam Reili, graduate student at the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem.
When awarding the scholarships, Minister of Culture Indrek Saar said receiving that the scholarships do not assume that the recipients are “new Eduard Wiiralts” or that they are dealing in depth with the artist’s oeuvre. “The art world is constantly looking for new ways of addressing society. This year’s winners have very different means of artistic expression, but they both identify significant values in the development of our art world, that is, the diversity and communicative ability of various approaches,” said Saar.
Eva Mustonen, who is studying for an MA in the field of sculpture and installation at the Estonian Academy of Arts, has studied semiotics and textile art. She has developed into an installation artist with a strong feeling for material, whose works are empathic and personal, and deal with important themes of society. Last summer, her solo exhibition Diamond House was on display at the Tartu Art House. In Eva Mustonen’s case, the Wiiralt scholarship committee emphasised her very clearly articulated search-related author’s position and the honest narrative of her works.
Mirjam Reili is currently studying graphic design and fine art in the Netherlands, in the renowned Werkplaats Typografie department of the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem. Her searches in the art world focus on the examination of the consumption of visual culture and the implementation of design as a means of artistic expression. The scholarship committee appreciated her boldness in addressing art history and the freshness of her art practices. Reili’s performance project called Talent at Work analyses global design and corporate language and does so in the seldom-examined interval between design and critical performativity.
As always, the Art Museum of Estonia, as the largest repository of Eduard Wiiralt’s works, issued denominative museum gold cards to the winners, which provide them with lifetime access to all the branches of the museum. The Ministry of Culture has been awarding Wiiralt scholarships since 2004, and the list of previous winners is available here.
Adviser, Arts Department, Ministry of Culture