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Remembering the 90th anniversary exhibition of Vaida Suits

Vaida Suits celebrated its 90th anniversary on November 11, 2021. On this occasion, the exhibition VAIDA SUITS 90, which summarizes her fruitful creative journey, took place at the Vault of A-Gallery.

On one mellow Saturday, Vaida’s jewellery had once again the opportunity to be worn with respect.

Model: Katarina Kotselainen
Photo: Helle Ly Tomberg

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Opening of the exhibition season

A-Gallery celebrates the beginning of a new programme season by opening three exhibitions on January the 14th!⁠

As the principal local exhibition space for jewellery, during the year 2022 A-Gallery will host 32 exhibitions, which will be shown in the gallery’s historical VAULT and on the WINDOWS that enrich the local public space.⁠

The start of the abundant exhibition programme will be celebrated in the evening of the 14th of January with the opening of the first exhibitions of the year.

In the VAULT the legendary jewellery artist Vaida Suits’ anniversary exhibition VAIDA SUITS 90 will be held, where Suits’ magnificent works from 1960’s to the year 1982 will be shown. The exhibition is open 14.01–08.02.2022. ⁠

WINDOWS will show Aino and Keesi Kapsta’s and Henry Mardisalu’s exhibition THREE STORIES, where three generations from one family will show their take on jewellery. Also on WINDOWS, Therese Mørch from Denmark and Helen Clara Hemsley from South Africa will show their exhibition TRACES IN TIME, where they research and give meaning to the everyday. The WINDOWS exhibitions are open 14.01–26.02.2022.⁠

The opening event of the exhibition season will take place in A-Gallery on Friday, January the 14th, at 18:00 o’clock. Entrance free, COVID-passport mandatory.⁠

Check out A-Gallery’s 2022 exhibition programme here.

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Vaida Suits 90

The 90th anniversary exhibition of Vaida Suits VAIDA SUITS will be opened together with two WINDOW exhibitions in the VAULT of A-Gallery on Friday, January 14 at 18:00. The exhibition will be open until February 8.

Vaida Suits is a legendary Estonian jewellery artist who celebrated her 90th jubilee on November 11 last year. As the most important exhibition space for local jewellery and metal art, A-Gallery has had the honor and joy of organizing this anniversary exhibition of Vaida Suits. The exhibition passes through Vaida’s great works from the 1960s to 1982.

In this exhibition we see Vaida’s journey as an artist, which begins in her childhood in the 1930s, when her mother’s love of handicrafts was passed on to her daughter. After studying at ERKI, Vaida worked as a steel engraver at the ARS Art Products Factory for 10 years, being the only woman in this position. From 1966 to 1993, she worked as an artist in ARS-Juveel Fine Metal Studio, where, in addition to individual series, she also produced important commissioned work for Estonian and Soviet institutions.

Vaida’s distinctive style as a jewellery artist is recognisable by the use of Art Nouveau lines and a detailed oriental filigree technique known as the Cat Tail, that’s polished to perfection. During her long and productive life, Vaida Suits has participated in exhibitions from the Balkans to Norway and Italy to Mongolia. Her works are in the Moscow Museum of Applied Arts and the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design, among others, as well as in several private collections. Vaida’s uniqueness is also reflected in the fact that, as a jewellery artist her work was recognized in 1968 in the fashion circuit in London, which was quite unprecedented considering the conditions of the Soviet Occupation.

As one of the founders and shareholders of A-Gallery, Vaida’s work has always been represented in the gallery. The last of Vaida’s works in the gallery was sold in 2021.

The designer of the exhibition is jewellery artist Mari Pärtelpoeg, the coordinator of the exhibition is Helle Ly Tomberg and the compilers of the catalog accompanying the exhibition are Paula Hõbe and Johanna Maria Mängel.

A-Gallery would like to thank the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design, Tallinn City Museum, Estonian Artists’ Union, Ketli Tiitsar, Madis Kurss, Marita Lumi, Sille Kima and Ellington Print for their help with this exhibition.

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They know themselves, move in parallel, bubble into pink slime and keep on going.

LOVERS are Vaida Suits, Mart Kekišev + Kairin Koovit, Liina Lelov + Valdek Laur, Adolfas Šaulys + Mari Relo-Šaulys

Vaida Suits

Vaida Suits (b. 1931) is an Estonian metal artist, whose dynamic work is characterised by a labour-intensive process, Art Nouveau forms and extremely fine skills in traditional techniques. Still, her signature style is always clearly defined and even laconic. Suits was the only woman working at the ARS Art Products Factory in steel engraving and later as a designer, creating both unique series as well as extensive commissions for institutions in Estonia and elsewhere in Soviet Union. Working as a jewellery designer at the Tallinn Fashion House her work was well received also in fashion shows in London, an extraordinary achievement for a designer from the Soviet Union. Praised for her impeccable work ethic and an original style, Suits has taken part in exhibitions from the Balkans to Norway and from Italy to Mongolia. Her works are in the collections of the Museum of Decorative, Applied and Folk Art in Moscow and the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design.

As a tribute to Vaida Suits’ creative life of more than half a century, A-Gallery is displaying in its two windows rings, bracelets, necklaces and objects created from the 1960s onwards. There are examples of filigree, embossment, and engraving, as well as compositions of various materials. 

Mart Kekišev, Kairin Koovit

The material is composed of two elements, joined together and moving in unison, exploring boundaries between two people and possibilities for togetherness. The works are made of Damascus steel and in the mokume-gane technique.

Mart Kekišev studied at the Department of Jewellery and Blacksmithing at the Estonian Academy of Arts. For the last ten years he has worked as a freelance metal artist. For the past five years Kekišev has worked as a blacksmithing teacher in a vocational school. Last autumn he began his Master’s studies at the Department of Jewellery and Blacksmithing at the Estonian Academy of Arts.

Kairin Koovit studied at the Department of Jewellery and Blacksmithing at the Estonian Academy of Arts. She has participated in exhibitions both in Estonia and internationally. Koovit has been an intern at Peter de Wit’s and Margareth Sandström’s studio. In 2011 she received the Roman Tavast Young Jewellery Artist Stipend and since 2012 works as artist and designer at Roman Tavast.


We like #roosaila #roosalöga #pinkslime.

Pink bubble oozes both pink spittle and pink slime – everything that is kind-hearted, tolerant and happy. Pink spittle has always existed, but only found its material form in May last year, when it became necessary to remind people that there is nothing wrong with living in a pink bubble. And so, the meaning of this derogatory term was flipped and converted into something positive and joyful. By now pink spittle has found its way to Sweden, Tunisia and the US, been part of countless protests, conferences, events, and been pinned onto the chests of many prominent suspicious elements.

The window exhibition at A-Gallery concludes the material journey of pink spittle. These are the last of spittles and slimes that ooze into the real world from the pink bubble. It is only appropriate that the symbol’s final presentation takes place in the only art jewellery gallery in Estonia. Very soon, everything goes back to normal again.

Pink spittle is created by jewellery artist Liina Lelov and Valdek Laur, a student at Department of Jewellery and Blacksmithing at the Estonian Academy of Arts.

LIFE 100
Mari Relo-Šaulys, Adolfas Šaulys

“Our good friends noted a few days ago that, our ages combined, we are now 100 years old. A+M=100

The exhibition highlights two significant traits of our joint work. One is exemplified by the socially critical exhibition “Viva la Vida!” (2005), part of our home pharmacies series, and the other by “Kaks õuna” (Two Apples, 2020), commenting on the show “ELU 100″ (LIFE 100), and continuing the tradition of gilding everyday objects”.

“The artists’ first larger joint exhibition „Viva la Vida!“ (2005, A-Gallery, currently Hop) focused on the high number of pharmacies in the city. The artists asked if it is better or even safer to live in a city, where galleries, theatres, cinemas and small businesses are replaced by pharmacies. Does the hope of immortality and taking right pills to alleviate lesser or worse ills makes us happier?” – Ketli Tiitsar

Mari Relo Šaulys and Adolfas Šaulys are Estonian jewellery artists, whose remarkable joint work has been well received both in Estonia and internationally. They have had 15 joint exhibitions and have together received the Ede Kurrel Prize from the Association of Metal Artists of Estonia in 2005, the Annual Award of the Estonian Cultural Endowment in 2010, and A-Gallery’s Vault Room Exhibition Prize in 2015. In 2002 they won the competition “Amber in Interiors” organised by the gallery of the Palanga Amber Museum.