ARTZ ID held the first edition of its community awards late on Thursday. The awards aim to empower the visual arts community by further acknowledging their work, perseverance and creative processes.

Winners were announced during an awards ceremony held at The Brewhouse, Mrieħel, in the presence of nominees across eight categories.

The awards highlighted different roles and practices within the community, raising awareness about the need to understand the work involved behind each project, exhibition or artwork.

“Building a community doesn’t mean putting a cluster of people together in one room, but it means building trust and a special bond piece by piece by empowering one another time and time again,” said ARTZ ID founder Maria Galea.

The community awards will now become an annual celebration for the community to champion one another, she continued.

Currently representing over 400 members, including artists, curators, galleries and institutions, ARTZ ID aims to focus on creating structures and opportunities for its community to grow collectively both in Malta and abroad.

Nominees at the ARTZ ID awards ceremony.Nominees at the ARTZ ID awards ceremony.

ARTZ ID Community Awards Winners

Best Art Exhibition 

SURA won the award for Best Art Exhibition at the ARTZ ID community awards, with curator Elyse Tonna accepting the award. 

The exhibition, which showed at Spazju Kreattiv between May 4 and 23, 2021, is a collection of handcrafted dolls accompanied by their voices and stories. Each doll is an attempt at making sense of the human need to create objects in our own likeness.

Elyse Tonna was the exhibition curator. Dolls were created by Glen Calleja and Lori Sauer with stories by Clare Azzopardi, translated by Albert Gatt, and soundscape by Matyou Galea. The production team was formed by Giola Cassar, Karl Andrew Micallef, Aaron Bezzina, Jamie Barbara, Stefan Spiteri and Brendon Gauci. Photography was done by Giola Cassar.

Elyse Tonna (centre) accepting the award on behalf of SURA.Elyse Tonna (centre) accepting the award on behalf of SURA.

The other two finalists for the award were:

  • Darkness at Noon, curated by Gabriel Zammit and Joe Philippe Abela with artworks by Paul Scerri, Gabriel Buttigieg and Charles Balzan. 
  • Debatable Land(s) created by Grammar of Urgencies (Maren Richter and Klaus Schafler), Greta Muscat Azzopardi, and Unfinished Art Space (Margerita Pulè). 

Best Emerging Artist

Anna Calleja won the award for Best Emerging Artist at the ARTZ ID community awards.

Calleja (b. 1997) is a Maltese artist working in paint, print and sculpture. In 2020, her painting, Alone in Quarantine was awarded a Winsor and Newton Young Artist Award at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition.

In 2022, Calleja was awarded Premju Għall-Arti for Best Young Artist of the Year by Arts Council Malta. 

Emerging artist Anna Calleja (right) accepts her award.Emerging artist Anna Calleja (right) accepts her award.

The other two finalists for the award were:


Best Social Art 

Rosa Kwir won the award for Best Social Art at the ARTZ ID community awards.

Artist Romeo Roxman Gatt launched the project Rosa Kwir as an experimental virtual and physical archive and project space.

Rosa Kwir is an archive revolving around alternative notions of masculinity – bringing together stories of trans men, non-binary and LGBQI+ masculine presenting people in Malta.

The archive is made up of donated objects, photography, audio-visual and written material.

The projects also hosts a programme of events organised by Gatt and his collaborator artist Charlie Cauchi. The programme includes exhibitions, workshops and events by international and local artists, filmmakers, writers and activists.

Charlie Cauchi accepting the award on behalf of Rosa Kwir and Roxman Gatt.Charlie Cauchi accepting the award on behalf of Rosa Kwir and Roxman Gatt.

The other two finalists for the award were:

  • The Last Breath by artists Katel Delia and held at Il-Kamra ta’ Fuq gallery.
  • Amass Project. Research team: Raphael Vella (Malta Project Lead), Milosh Raykov, Isabelle Gatt, Karsten Xuereb, Margerita Pulè, Kristina Borg, Toni Attard.

Online Presence Award

Artist Ryan Falzon won the award for Best Online Presence at the ARTZ ID community awards.

Ryan Falzon (b. 1988) is a painter and printmaker based between Malta and Berlin. Over the past few years, Falzon has established a distinctive voice and approach in the Maltese art scene.

Since 2020, Falzon has been working on the Botanica Series, a collection of internal scapes/still lifes that have received much positive critical attention. Since 2009, Falzon has participated in a significant number of solo and collective exhibitions in Malta and Europe.

His works can be found in both public and private collections in Europe and the US.

Artist Ryan Falzon accepts his award.Artist Ryan Falzon accepts his award.

The other two finalists for the award were:


Best Curatorial Practice

Andrew Borg Wirth won the award for Best Curatorial Practice at the ARTZ ID community awards.

Borg Wirth (b. 1993) is an architect and curator with an interdisciplinary practice across the fields of narrative, research, design and theatre.

Curator Andrew Borg Wirth accepts his award.Curator Andrew Borg Wirth accepts his award.

The other two finalists for the award were:

  • Elyse Tonna
  • Margerita Pulè

Best Exhibition Programme

Il-Kamra ta’ Fuq won the award for Best Exhibition Programme at the ARTZ ID community awards.

The exhibition space lI-Kamra ta' Fuq is situated on the first floor of the iconic New Life Bar in the quaint village of Mqabba.

Monthly exhibitions are held at this venue, curated by the Art Sweven team, including Melanie Erixon and Antoine Farrugia.

Melanie Erixon and Antoine Farrugia (left) accept the award on behalf of Il-Kamra Ta’ Fuq.Melanie Erixon and Antoine Farrugia (left) accept the award on behalf of Il-Kamra Ta’ Fuq.

The other two finalists for the award were:

  • Valletta Contemporary
  • Gabriel Caruana Foundation

International Achievement Award

Austin Camilleri won the International Achievement Award at the ARTZ ID community awards.

Camilleri is an artist working in installation, painting, drawing, video and sculpture. He studied at the University of Malta and at the Accademia Pietro Vannucci in Perugia.

His work has been exhibited extensively both locally and abroad. 

International artist Austin Camilleri accepts his award.International artist Austin Camilleri accepts his award.

The other two finalists for the award were:


Community Ambassador Award

Karolina Rostkowska from il-lokal won the Community Ambassador Award at the ARTZ ID community awards.

Il-lokal is Malta’s largest online shopping platform exclusively dedicated to a diverse range of art and design products.

The platform aims at telling the success stories of Maltese and Malta-based creatives who are introducing their unique vision to the world. It started at the end of 2019 as an Instagram account.

Karolina Rostkowska accepts her award on behalf of il-lokal. Left: ARTZ ID founder Maria Galea.Karolina Rostkowska accepts her award on behalf of il-lokal. Left: ARTZ ID founder Maria Galea.

The award ceremony was the first physical grand event for the community to gather thus far organised by ARTZ ID. 

The ARTZ ID community awards were supported by Vee Gee Bee Art, The Brewhouse, Invent 3D, Arts Council Malta, The Artist Hub and Art Paper.

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