International sculpture competition, which brings together artists and communities in the Baltic Sea basin. We are opening up the Sopot city space for dialogue.

Art is the key to building creative cities. It affects the shaping and integration of the local community. It helps to build awareness and sensibility. Art is a catalyst for new ideas. It can clearly identify environmental, social or aesthetic problems. It defines challenges and indicates solutions. It is the plane for designing the future. 

The idea of the Baltic Horizons Competition was created from the conviction that art is the best field for discussion on the challenges of contemporary times. The artistic traditions of Sopot as a place of art development, as well as over 30 years of experience of ERGO Hestia in implementing and supporting art in various fields, have become the basis for establishing broad international cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. Through the Baltic Horizons Competition, the City of Sopot and ERGO Hestia, together with partner cultural institutions of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Finland, draw attention to the climate change in the region and support both the development of climate awareness as well as encourage a change of thinking about the common space.

Today, in the context of socially and ecologically responsible activities, art is the basis for creation of modern urban spaces and integration of local communities.

The sculptures selected in the Baltic Horizons competition will cohesively fit in with the existing Sopot architecture, thus fulfilling the need to seek harmony, comment and improve the aesthetic quality of the environment. An important element of the project is also the creative activation of residents around the subject of protection of the Baltic ecosystem and the wide range of activities in the field of high art.

The aim of the Baltic Horizons Competition is to build sustainable and broad communities and new areas of artistic cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. The ecological situation of the Baltic forces broader perspective in thinking about regional partnerships. Art is one of the best fields for sustainable cooperation based on common objectives. 


The Baltic Horizons competition is comprised of two stages. 

At stage 1, the International Nominating Chapter identifies 12 artists from four countries around the Baltic Sea. Nominated artists are invited for a residency in Sopot, during which they will learn about the city, its history and the place where the winning sculpture is to be located.  The projects they prepared are presented (within the broader context of their work) at the competition exhibition.  At stage 2, the jury selects a winner or winners and therefore a sculpture design to be erected in the indicated space. 

First Prize: 
Implementing the winning sculpture design in the city of Sopot and a fee (total of EUR 95,000)

Special Award: 
Execution of a commercial order on the basis of a separate agreement concerning ERGO Hestia S.A. Annual Report and a fee of EUR 5,000. 

Prize for of the Institution
EUR 5 000 – for the institution that nominates the winner of the Competition

Read the competition regulations.


The Nominating Chapter will be composed of representatives of the partner cultural institutions from countries of the Baltic Sea area – Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Finland. Each of them will indicate three artists who will participate in stage two of the Baltic Horizons Competition. 

  • EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art (Finland)
  • The Art Museum RIGA BOURSE (Latvia)
  • Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius (Lithuania)
  • National Museum in Gdańsk, Department of Modern Art, Gdańsk (Poland)

From among the ten finalists the jury will select the winner whose winning design will be implemented at the location designated by the city of Sopot.

Mr Jacek Karnowski

The Mayor of the City of Sopot

Born in Gdańsk in 1963, a resident of Sopot since childhood. Doctor of Economics at the University of Gdańsk. Graduate of the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the Technical University of Gdansk. Postgraduate in Local Government Law and the School of Management at the University of Gdansk and Central Connecticut State University. Councillor and Deputy Mayor of Sopot since 1990, and Mayor of Sopot since 1998. From 1990 to 1998 Councillor at the Pomorskie Voivodship Regional Parliament. Vice-President of the Association of Polish Cities from 2007 to 2011, a delegate to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, now a member of the executive of the Association of Polish Cities and Co-Chairman of the Political System Team at the Joint Government and Territorial Self-Government Commission. Winner of many distinctions, including the Grzegorz Palka Award, known as the local government “Oscar,” and a three-time leader in Newsweek’s N15 ranking of city mayors. Extraordinary member of the World Association of Home Army Soldiers and the Kashubian-Pomeranian Association, lifeguard and founder of the Sopot WOPR (Water Volunteer Rescue Service), yacht and motorboat skipper, and skiing instructor.

Mr Piotr M. Śliwicki

Longtime President of the Management Boards of the Sopot Insurance Company ERGO Hestia SA

Creator of the Sopot Insurance Company ERGO Hestia SA [Sopockie Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń ERGO Hestia SA] and the Sopot Life Insurance Company ERGO Hestia SA [Sopockie Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń na Życie ERGO Hestia SA] and longtime President of the Management Boards, founder of the Hestia Artistic Journey Foundation, the Integralia Foundation. He brought ERGO Hestia to the podium of the largest insurance companies in Poland, thus creating the conditions for ERGO Hestia to become the strongest representative of the international ERGO Group in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. He received the titles of Man of the Decade of Polish Insurance, Man of the 15th Anniversary of Polish Insurance, Man of the 30th Anniversary of Polish Insurance. For his contribution to the development of the Polish insurance market, he was also awarded the Gold Cross of Merit, the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta as well as the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. Patron of many ventures in the field of corporate social responsibility, including Józef Tischner Award granted by Znak Publishing Company and Hestia.

Ms Aleksandra Narczewska

The City’s Art Consultant, the Office of the Historic Site Conservator of the City of Sopot

Municipal Historic Monuments Preservation Officer of Sopot. A resident of Sopot since 1990, she is an architect by profession, having graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at the Gdańsk University of Technology. She has devoted her professional life to the conservation of historical monuments and heritage protection. As of December 2019, she holds the position of Municipal Historic Monuments Preservation Officer of Sopot.

Ms Eulalia Domanowska

Director of the State Art Gallery in Sopot

Art historian and art critic, lecturer, author. Director of the State Gallery of Art in Sopot. From 2016 to 2019, she was the head of the Polish Sculpture Centre in Orońsko. She has curated over 100 Polish and international exhibitions, including those of Tony Cragg, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Henry Moore and Ursula von Rydingsvard. She was editor-in-chief of the Kwartalnik Rzeźby „Orońsko” [“Orońsko” Sculpture Quarterly]. She has published in the magazines Exit, Format, Arteon, Mare Articum, Łucznica, Obieg. She specializes in modern and contemporary art; she is particularly interested in art in the public space, art in the landscape and sculpture parks. She is a member of AICA and IKT. She is also the instigator of the series of international scientific conferences Rzeźba dzisiaj [Sculpture Today] and author of post-conference publications. She has participated in a number of scientific conferences in Poland and abroad, among others, in Košice (AICA Slovakia), the National Museum in Riga, the Academy of Fine Arts in Mainz, Nirhbaya at CEL University in St. Louis, and - in cooperation with ELAN - at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in the UK, Springhofhorn in Germany and at the Technical University of Munich.

Mr Paweł Sosnowski

Historian and art critic, curator

Art historian, critic and curator, author of a number of television programmes and documentaries on art, as well as press articles and texts for books and catalogues. In 1982, he founded his first contemporary art gallery - first under the name D&S and then Appendix. After a break of more than a decade, he reopened the Appendix2 gallery in 2007, later existing under the name Propaganda. Curator of numerous solo and group exhibitions in Poland and abroad. Creator and organizer of the Television Art Film Review (1994 - 1996), the nationwide Złote Orły [Golden Eagles] advertising festival (1998 - 2011), and the annual Ministerial Patron of Culture [Mecenas Kultury] competition (2000 - 2006). Commissioner of the exhibition programme of the Europalia 2001 festival. Curator of the exhibition at the Polish Pavilion for the 50th Venice Biennale - International Art Exhibition. Co-founder and long-term president of Towarzystwo Zachęty Sztuk Pięknych [The Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts], founder of the Propaganda Foundation as well as management board member of several art foundations.

Mr Xawery Wolski


In 1995 he established his studio in Mexico City and after returning to Poland in 2021 he has been pursuing his artistic creative work in his hometown of Dańków. The significant influences on his artistic attitude are his sculptural experiences in Carrara, Italy, his artistic and anthropological studies of the uses of clay in ceramics and architecture in Peru and Mexico, as well as his projects for cities, museums and institutions in France, the US and Mexico. He is a recipient of scholarships from the French Ministry of Culture and The Pollock-Krasner Foundation in New York (twice). He creates sculptures from natural materials such as earth, terracotta, stone, natural fibres and seeds, as well as woven wire. His works deal with the nature of time and space in both human and metaphysical dimensions. With the help of signs, he talks about the mystery and the realm of time, about memory and oblivion, death and rebirth, about the tradition and culture he has grown up with. He has held more than 70 exhibitions around the world, among others at: Liu Haisu Art Museum, Jim Thompson Arts Centre, Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Orońsko Polish Sculpture Centre and in the most important museums of the Mexican capital. His works feature in private and public collections in Poland and abroad, and his monumental sculptures enrich the public spaces in cities on several continents.

Ms Magdalena Kąkolewska

Director of the Hestia Artistic Journey Foundation
The Secretary of the Competition Chapter

President of the Hestia Artistic Journey Foundation (2014 - 2022). Graduate in law and art history. In 2013-22, as part of the HAJ Foundation, she organized seven editions of the nationwide competition and 51 exhibitions of young artists. Curator, educator, lecturer, author of articles, lectures and workshops devoted to the idea of art branding as a communication strategy. Author of the (Un)common Ground programme - the first conference on relationships between art and business. She has been advancing this idea on, as part of the Art Transfer, which she founded in 2012. It promotes intergenerational dialogue by creating educational programmes for adults, which are also very popular among the senior citizens. She is the author of a series of lectures on female artists, conducted since 2018 as part of Magda’s Sunday Lectures programme, and a series of weekly lectures conducted since 2013 called Sztuki transferowanie [Art transfer].