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Nele Zirnite, born in Lithuania, studied graphic arts at the Vilnius Academy of Arts specialising in printmaking, In 1982, however, she moved on to study at the Art Academy of Latvia in Riga and earned her Bachelor of Fine Art degree in 1984. She has been giving a great impact of the development of etching technique not only by making experiments in this field, but also working as pedagogue, teaching the young graphic art students (1995-2003 Lecturer, Graphic Arts Department, Latvian Art Academy, since 2003 Professor, Art Department, Latvian Christian Academy) and leading the Etching studio in the Union of Latvian Artists. She is the initiator and the author of concept for the association "Oforta Ģilde" Etching Guild) which also yearly promotes the international project "Strong Water". As a founder and leader of Etching Guild (since 2010 President, fhe Etching Guild) Nele Zirnite throughout the years has made a numerous projects connected with etching techniques and printmaking art in Latvia and abroad.

Between 1984 and 2017 the artist participated in many exhibitions in USA, Spain, France, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Turkey, Poland, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, Portugal, Bulgaria, Romania, Canada, Japan, Taiwan and Germany. Some of her works are in Art Museum of Arizona University (USA), Eksjo Museum, Alma Love Museum (Sweden), J. Monkute-Marks Museum (Lithuania), Municipal Art Gallery (Poland), Arte/Desarrollo Humano Workshop (Mexico), Art Foundation (Russia), Cremona Civik Museum (Italy), Arsenāls Art Museum (Latvia), Monroe Art College (USA), M. Vrubel Art Museum (Russia) and by private collectors in Denmark, Sweden, Japan, Switzerland, Lithuania, Germany, Finland, Belgium, France, Russia and the USA.

She has received various awards and prizes including honourable mentions in Vigonza (Padova) Italy (2017), Bodio Lomnago, Italy (2012) Xativa, Spain (2007) Breclav, Czechia (2007, 2005), Riga, Latvia (2014, 2003, 1998, 1997, 1987), Gloucester, USA (1997) Tallinn, Estonia (1992). In 1982 she was awarded the Prize for Best Drawing by the Vilnius Academy of Arts. 

She has been placed between the worlds best printmakers in the edition of The Best of Printmaking: An International Collection (Selected by Lynne Allen and Phyllis Mc Gibbon with an introduction by Ruth Weisberg, Rockport Publishers, Quarry Books, 1997).

In 2012 she was included in a German edition of a book "Lexicon of Fantastic Artist" by prof. Gerhart Habarta.


2000     M.F.A., Latvian Art Academy, Riga

1999 - 2003    Graphic Art Department, Latvian Academy of Arts
Under the supervision of Prof. Gunārs Krollis

1984  B.F.A., Latvian Art Academy of Arts, Riga

1978 - 1982    Vilnius Art Institute, Lithuania

Professional experience

2016    International graphic exhibition Triania, Strong water  - 6" curator 

2015    MGD (Mobile Graphic Workshop) Project, curator

2014    Professor, Art Department, Latvian Christian Academy

2013    International graphic exhibition "Strong water“, curator 

2013    International graphic exhibition "Strong water - 3": curator 

2011 - 2012    International project "IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE TITANIC ": curator

2011    Art project "WHITE NIGHT": coordinator

2011    Foundress of art gallery "Rīgas Tālers"

2010    International graphic exhibition "Strong water": curator 

2010    Society "Etching Guild", Guild Master, foundress of the society

2003 - 2012    Associate Professor, Art Department, Latvian Christian Academy

2001    Curator of Exhibition "Face of Graphics"

2000    Project "Overcoming of Plane": curator

1999    Leader of project "Functional Improvement of Experimental Etching Workshop"

1999 - 2003    Art Academy of Latvia, Lecturer of graphics


2010    Guildmaster of Society "Etching Guild" founder of the Society

2009 - 2011    Board member of Latvian Society of Artists 

1999 - 2005    Board member of Latvian Society of Artists 

1999 - 2006    Board member of "Graphics Chambers"

1988    Member of Latvian Union of Artists 

Selected Awards

2017     The first prize, "ARTE GRAFICA ITALIANA 2017", Vigonza (Padova), Italy

2014    Grand Prix, Competition exhibition "Dedication Lat", Gallery Art Bank, Riga, Latvia

2012    Diploma, 6th International Competition and Congress EX LIBRIS – Biblioteca di Bodio, Lomnago, Italy

2008     Diploma in, 1st Riga Independent Biennale, Blackheads House Rīga, Latvia

2007    1. Prize, IX "Josep de Ribera" International Biennale of Engraving, Xativa 2007, Valensia, Spain

2007     Jury Award, Biennale of small graphics, GRAFIX, Breclav, Czechia

2005     Grand Prix, Biennale of small graphics, GRAFIX, Breclav, Czechia

2003     Award and Prize “ Professional performing in 6th exhibition of Small forms of Art, Gallery Riga, Latvia

1998     Prize, Riga in Contemporary Art, Bastejs Gallery, Riga, Latvia

1998     Grand prize award, Miniature Art, R. Vitols, Valmiera, Latvia

1997     Riga City Council Award, Riga in Contemporary Art, Riga, Latvia

1997     Award of Distinction, the Best in Printmaking, Rockport Publishers, Gloucester, MA, USA

1992     Prize and Diploma, 9th Graphic Triennial, Tallinn, Estonia

1987     Second Prize, Roads and People, Smiltene, Latvia

1987     Diploma, 13th Graphic Art Exhibition, Riga, Latvia

1987     Special Prize, Miniature Graphic Triennial, Riga, Latvia

1984    Award, Best Drawing Artist of the Year, Vilnius Art Institute, Lithuania

Solo Exhibitions

2023  Universe of Hope - Katana House Gallery, West Palm Beach, FL, USA

2019   NELE - Jurmala City Museum, Majori, Latvia

2016    Another Sky - EAWAG, Dubeldorf, Switzerland

2015    Conversations in Culture - European House, USA

2015    ORIGIN - Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre Latvia

2014    Behind Rain - Gallery Art Bank, Riga, Latvia

2014    BALZEKAS Museum, Chicago, USA

2014    Latvian House, Washington, USA

2014    Lithuanian Consulate in USA, New York, USA

2013    Transfusion - Jurmala City Museum, Jurmala, Latvia

2013    Transfusion - OSLO 12 RauM D , Basel, Switzerland 

2010    Rezerved - Gallery Antonija, Riga, Latvia

2009    Reservoir of Time -  the Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga, Latvia

2009    Nele Zirnīte - Graphics, Casa de Cultura, Xativa, Spain

2008    Valley of Love - Dalia Gallery, Vilnius, Lithuania

2008    Nele Zirnīte Graphics - "Klaipedos Galerija", Klaipeda, Lithuania

2007    Art Gallery of Mary Olla Miller, Panama City, FL, USA

2006    NEXUS - Gallery ARTima, Vilnius, Lithuania

2005     NEXUS - Ciurlionis Art Gallery, Chikago, USA

2004     Graphic - Gallery BAS, Naperville, USA

2003    Nele Zirnite: Gravure aeau forte - Paloma Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

2003     Etchings by Nele Zirnite - Monroe County Community

College Library, Monroe, MI, USA

2001     Traces of the Wings - Ivonna Veiherte Gallery, Riga, Latvia

2000     Art Gallery of Mary Olla Miller - Panama City, FL, USA

And others solo exhibitions as from 1986

Selected Group Exhibitions



      Hyperrealism. The Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga

           ARTE GRAFICA ITALIANA 2017, Vigonza (Padova), Italy


The Winners, the Vilnius Graphic Art Centre, Lithuania               

                        27th Annual International Small Print Show,  Chicago Printmakers Collaborative

                        Internationial contemporary and modern Art Fair Riga 2016, Latvia

                        Transition, Jurmala City museum, Latvia

        36th International Ex-libris Congress FISAE,Vologda, Russia

                        8th international printmaking Biennial of Douro 2016, Portugal


        Internationial contemperery and modern Art Fair Riga 2015, Latvia

        26th Annual International Small Print Show and Holiday Open House Chicago, USA

        EUROPE IN THE SIGN “ 2015, Cremona, Italy

                        International printmaking Biennial "2nd GLOBAL PRINT 2015", Portugal

                        II International exhibition "Search of Lost Paradise", Granada, Spain

                        GRAFIKAS IESPĒJU JŪRA, Gallery JURMALA, Majori, Latvia

                        STRONG WATER, Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre, Latvia

                        INCISIONIAL FEMMINILE, Pozzuoli, Napoli, Italy



        Exhibition of Latvian Contemporary Graphic Art GRAFIKA-S, Riga Art Space, Latvia

        OFF THE GRID: BEYOND THE NOISE, Atlantic Gallery, Niujorka, USA

        Competition exhibition "Dedication Lat", Gallery Art Bank, Riga, Latvia

        7th international printmaking Biennial of Douro 2014, Portugal

        Jurmala Artists exhibition, Jurmala City museum, Latvia

        International exhibition MARINA, Jurmala City museum, Latvia

        Jurmala Artists exhibition, Jelgava, Latvia    

        APRON projekt, Chicago Printmakers Collaborative, USA

        Exhibition of OFORTA ĢILDE, Jurmala City Council, Latvia

        SKALA C3 international printmaking exhibition, Jurmala City museum, Latvia

        Internationial contemporary and modern Art Fair Riga 2014, Latvia


        Biblioteca di Bodio, Lomnago, Italy

  • Collection "Prints for Peace" in Arte/Desarrollo Humano Workshop of Casa Hogar el Refugio Monterrey NL, Mexico

  • Amire Art Centre, Tophane/Istanbul, Turkey    

  • Monroe County Community College, MI, USA

  • Municipal Art Gallery in Lodz, Poland

  • University of Arizona Museum of Art, USA

  • Art Foundation, Moscow, Russia

  • Alma Lov Museum, Ostra Amtervik, Sweden

  • Cremona Civic Museum, Collezione Internazionale Della Grafica, Cremona, Italy

  • Arsenals Art Museum, Riga, Latvia

  • Valka Regional Museum, Valka, Latvia

  • Eksjo Museum, Eksjo, Sweden

  • Alma Lov Museum, Ostra Amtervik, Sweden

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