Educators

ISSP School tutors


Iveta Gabalina (Vaivode)

Iveta Vaivode (1979) - practicing photographer and photography teacher, programme manager of the ISSP School. Has taught photography since 2008. Works professionally with Latvia's leading fashion and lifestyle magazines, and has created advertising campaigns for several Latvian brands - Madara Zofa, Stender, etc. Has studied photography at Andrejs Grants' studio and the Bournemouth Arts Institute; currently studying for a Master's in Photography at Aalto University in Helsinki. Iveta has received several awards in international photography competitions - the Nikon Discovery Award (UK) and Fresh Faced and Wild Eyed. Photographers Gallery (UK) in 2008. In 20012, her series "Somewhere on a Disappearing Path" won the C / O Berlin Talents contest, and was nominated for the Sony World Photography Awards 2014 and Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2014.



Reinis Hofmanis

Reinis Hofmanis (1985) is an artist and a practicing photographer. He studied photography at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hanover, Germany and obtained a Master's degree in Visual Communication from the Latvian Academy of Arts. Since 2003 Reinis has participated in various group exhibitions and solo shows in Latvia and abroad. Hofmanis work can be described as a socio-anthropological view, where he tries to express his interest in different groups of society, by trying to categorize them, in relation to behavioral patterns and the environment created or influenced by these groups. Reinis won the Archifoto Prize in 2012 and was awarded 2nd place at the Sony World Photography Awards in Architecture in 2013. His works have been published  in the New York Times, Financial Times, Spiegel, Esquire, Bloomberg, Le Monde, The Globe and Mail, The British Journal of Photography.



Arnis Balčus

Arnis Balčus (1978​​) is a practicing photographer. Since 2011 - editor in chief of FK Magazine. From 2004 - 2009 was living and working in London, received a master's degree in photography at the University of Westminster in 2005. Participating in exhibitions since 1994, has exhibited in Riga, London, Berlin, Hamburg, Copenhagen, etc., as well as being published in magazines such as Achtung Mode (DE), Dazed & Confused (UK), Photo & Video (RU), Foto Kvartāls (LV), Black and White Magazine (USA), etc. Also working as a journalist since 1997, writing about photography and culture for Latvian publications. Has participated as an expert at portfolio reviews in Kaunas, Derby, Madrid and Landskrona photo festivals, as well as nominating and evaluating entries for photo contests such as Prix Pictet and Google Photography Prize.



Vika Eksta

Vika Eksta (1987) is an artist and an educator. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Film Theory from the Latvian Academy of Culture, as well as a Master's degree from the Visual Communication Department of the Latvian Academy of Arts. She has also studied photography with Andrejs Grants at the “2 Annas” photo studio and studied at the EFTI photography school in Madrid. Vika creates conceptual art projects using photography, moving image, performance and working with research of audiovisual archives. Since 2014 she has participated in exhibitions in Latvia as well as abroad. She has won the ADC Young Guns Award, the FK Magazine Portfolio Award and the Award for Young Photographers at the Riga Photography Biennial. Over the past two years, Vika has had two solo shows - “Velnezers” at the ISSP gallery and “P” at Alma gallery, and she has participated in various group shows, for example, ”MELOS" at the Exhibition Hall “Arsenals", Latvian National Museum of Art, “The Poetry and Works of Eižens Bergs" at Kim? Contemporary Art Center and more.



Laine Kristberga

Laine Kristberga (1980) is a media and art researcher and publicist, PhD candidate at the Latvian Academy of Arts. Her doctoral dissertation is devoted to the topic of media hybridization, focusing on performance art and its documentation in Latvia in the 20th century. 70s. Laine graduated with honors from Birkbeck, University of London and currently works as a lecturer at several universities in Latvia. She is the author of many research articles in both Latvian and English. Her work has been published by such publishers as Cambridge Scholars Publishing and Taylor & Francis Group. Laine is the leader and coordinator of an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the Nordic Summer University.



Andrejs Strokins

Andrejs Strokins (1984) is a photographer who works both in the field of documentary photography as well as with vernacular images and archives. Strokin holds a Bachelor's degree from the Latvian Academy of Arts, has participated in several ISSP summer schools and in the Sputnik mentoring program (2013-2014), and took part in the Joop Swart masterclass (2014). Strokins has had many solo shows, including "People in the Dunes" at the Latvian Museum of Photography (2015) and "Disorders and Obstacles" at the Latvian Center for Contemporary Art (2015). He has participated in several group exhibitions in Latvia and abroad, including exhibiting at the Baltic Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale (2016) and the group show “Retina” at  kim? Contemporary Art Center, Riga (2017). His work has received multiple awards, including the 2016 Foam Talent competition. Strokins works not only on personal projects but also as a freelance photographer, shooting portraits and reportage.



Evita Goze

Evita Goze (1984) is an artist, curator and writer, based in Riga, Latvia. She is currently a curator and a project manager at the ISSP Gallery and of the photobook festival Self Publish Riga. She received a BA in Photography from University of Brighton, UK, and an MA in Visual Communication at the Art Academy of Latvia. In 2012 she received a grant for exchange studies at the Nagoya University of Arts, Japan. Her most recently curated exhibitions include “It Could Just Swallow You Up” by Ieva Raudsepa (ISSP Gallery, Riga) and “ENTER. Photobooks from the Baltics” as part of Belgrade Photomonth. She has worked on the juries of several photography competitions, including Grand Prix Fotofestiwal Lodz, Art Fair Foto Tallinn, Belgrade Photo Month’s New Talents, Kassel Dummy Award and Self Publish Riga photobook dummy competition. She is also a contributing writer for Latvian weekly publications “IR” and “Kultūras Diena”, websites FK Magazine, Arterritory, and The British Journal of Photography and Tjej Land, focusing on photography and contemporary art.



Solvita Krese

Solvita Krese - art project curator and art critic. Graduated from the the Art Theory department of the Art Academy of Latvia, studied cultural management at Institute Marcel Hicter. Is currently working on a doctoral thesis on the interaction between art and its context. From 2000, director of the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art. Curator of several large-scale international art projects, including the contemporary art festival "Survival Kit" (since 2009). Professional areas of interest - art and the urban environment, art and its socio-political context, gender issues. Has written many academic articles on art as well as texts for exhibitions and artist catalogues.



Liana Ivete Benke - Visual anthropology and photography

Liana Ivete Beņķe (1985) read media and cultural studies at the University of Sussex in the UK and Malmo University in Sweden, as well as social and cultural anthropology at the University of Latvia. Studied photography at Andrejs Grants' studio in Riga. Wrote her Master's thesis in the field of visual anthropology, researching shifts in the perception and use of photographs in the digital era. Since 20012, teaches visual anthropology and ethnographic film courses at the University of Latvia. Published articles on photography for FK Magazine and Arterritory. Works at ISSP as project manager of the community art project "Riga self/portraits"



Maija Rudovska - Exhibition Analysis

Maija Rudovska is an independent curator, researcher and art critic. She holds a Master’s degree in Art History from the Art Academy of Latvia. Maija improved her curatorial skills at CuratorLab (2009/2010) at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. Rudovska has curated and produced several exhibitions and projects both in Latvia and abroad, most recently: the "Active Art” book (2019), "Pagans in Paris” exhibition for Ricard Foundation, Paris (2018), "Trauma and Rebirth” exhibition for the Bozar Arts Center in Brussels, in collaboration with Kim? Contemporary Art Center and more (2017/2018) etc. Since 2011, she has been the leader of the Blind Carbon Copy platform, that creates opportunities for cooperation and networking between the Baltic and Nordic countries. Maija has been a member and a contributor at several international residencies and she regularly publishes articles and reviews on art in various Baltic and international art media.



Ieva Balode - Analog Experiments

Ieva Balode (1987) is an artist working with the analogue image. She is a graduate of the Latvian Academy of Arts and studied film at Yrkeshögskolan Novia in Finland. Ieva's artistic practice deals with questions of human identity, that she explores through the language and philosophy of moving and still images. Inspired by texts, archives and nature, Ieva strives to define the boundary between human consciousness and transcendence. Her work has been exhibited at Villa Vassilieff, Paris, RIBOCA, the Latvian National Museum of Art, the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Center, the Latvian Museum of Photography, the Latvian Contemporary Art Center, Bükü Leipzig, as well as international film festivals in Latvia, Canada, Indonesia, Serbia, Poland, Norway and elsewhere. Ieva is also a co-founder of the Baltic Analog Lab artist group and the director and curator of the experimental film festival “Process”.



Dainis Juraga - Basic of Video for Photographers

Dainis Juraga (1986) is a cinematographer, working in the documentary and feature film genres. He has acquired a bachelor's and a master's degree from the Latvian Academy of Culture. Dainis is a member of the Latvian Guild of Cinematographers. Since 2016. he teaches Contemporary Cinematography at the Latvian Academy of Culture and the Latvian Academy of Arts.



Māris Ločmelis - Introduction to Photography

Māris Ločmelis (1978) is a photographer with 20 years of experience. He acquired professional education in Photography in Riga and in 2011 he acquired a Master’s degree in fashion photography at the London College of Fashion, University of Arts London. In 2003 he founded his own studio “SunsStudio”, that has become one of the biggest photo studios in Riga. Māris now works mainly with commercial photography. In addition to this, Māris together with Raimo Lielbriedis, are the first photographers in Latvia to revive the historic 19th century wet plate photography. Several of these wet plate photos have been purchased by the Latvian Museum of Photography and have gained a lot of popularity among private clients. Māris has organized several solo exhibitions and participated in group exhibitions in Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Poland and Russia.



Raimo Lielbriedis - Introduction to Photography

Raimo Lielbriedis (1962) is a self-taught photographer, working since 1978. He’s a co-founder of the Ločmeļa and Lielbrieža Ambrotype Laboratory (Wet Plate). He has organized six solo exhibitions and participated in many group shows. His works can be found in collections not only in Latvia, but also in Denmark, Poland, Bulgaria and Finland. Raimo has been teaching photography since 1999.