John Jānis Šteins

:: Artist ::

Estonian Art Show

“Moosehide Slide” is one of my pieces in the show.

I was super honoured to be invited to participate in the 2021 Society of Estonian Artists exhibition in Toronto. Even though my roots are Latvian it’s nice to know that members of the Baltic diaspora like to support one another. Of course, it helps that one’s work is appreciated, regardless. For those who may not be familiar with that part of the world, three tiny Baltic countries butt up against each other in Northern Europe on the Baltic Sea right next to Finland, Sweden and Norway with Poland on the western border with Lithuania. And Kaliningrad is wedged in there as well.

Over my checkered career, I’ve been pretty unambitious about engaging with  Latvian Arts groups elsewhere in the world. Too logistically difficult. Also, my work doesn’t seem to resonate that well with that demographic. And to be honest, I’m not interested in hitching my wagon to any specific ethnic group. Although I am proud of my heritage, for sure.

I felt honoured to have received an unexpected invitation. The event took place in an area of Toronto that I adore, specifically Pottery Rd. Bayview Extension in the Don Valley. The Papermill Gallery is a beautiful venue situated close to the brick yards, which is used as a creative space for artists.

On top of everything else, the president of the Estonian Society, Elva Palo, personally delivered my work to the Latvian Centre for their society art show afterwards. I’m very grateful.

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