Ministry presents annual arts awards
The Czech Ministry of Culture announced its annual arts and culture awards on Czechoslovak Independence Day.
Michal Ajvaz received the State Prize for Literature and Blanka Stárková for the translation. The awards of the Ministry of Culture were received in memoriam by world-renowned director Miloš Forman as well as Jiří Tichota from the folk spiritual quintet and former artistic director, and now artistic advisor of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Eva Zaoralová. The Ministry of Culture published the names of the eight winners on its website. It awards prizes on the occasion of the national holiday on October 28.
The Ministry of Culture praised Tomáš Dvořák for the development of Czech puppet theater, and the designer and book illustrator Květa Pacovská for her contribution to the visual arts. Viktor Rudiš received the prize for architecture, connecting the Brno architectural scene with the Prague and Liberec ones.
“This year’s awards are an expression of appreciation for artists whose works have enriched Czech culture not only in our country but also in the world. However, this year is exceptional: it runs in the shadow of a pandemic,” said Minister of Culture Lubomír Zaorálek. In recent years, the State Prizes and the Prizes of the Ministry of Culture have been presented at a gala evening on the National Theater’s New Stage. This year, due to the global coronavirus pandemic and measures against the disease’s spread, they were handed over to the laureates individually, the ministry added.
Ajvaz made his poetry debut, followed by twenty books of imaginative prose and postmodern philosophical essays. His latest titles are Rooms by the Sea, released in 2017, and last year’s Cities. Stárková, a long-time editor, playwright, and presenter of Czech Radio, translates from Spanish. In the past, she received the Order of Isabella of Castile for spreading awareness of Spanish culture in the Czech Republic and the Josef Jungmann Prize for translation.
Puppet actor Dvořák works at the Alfa Theater in Pilsen and the Naive Theater in Liberec. His domain is comedic, often illusory productions. “It consciously continues the Czech puppetry tradition and further develops it creatively,” the ministry said.
Musicologist, luthier, singer, and songwriter Tichota is one of the founders of the Spiritual Quintet. According to the ministry, he received the award for his work at the head of the ensemble, which helped students find their way to courageous civic attitudes during their lack of freedom and musicological research in the lute repertoire of the Renaissance and Baroque.
Pacovská is dedicated to drawing, graphics, painting, object, and sculpture. However, she is best known for her children’s books for children, which, according to the ministry, combine playfulness, fantasy, experiment, and comedian. She is a laureate of the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the Goldene Letter Award for the best book design from all over the world, and the Critics’ Award at the International Biennial in Brno. This year, it was inducted into the Czech Grand Design Hall of Fame.
The architect Rudiš was also praised by the Ministry for his moral attitudes. He entered the history of architecture and urbanism due to his Brno housing estate Lesná project from the 1960s, constructing the Czechoslovak pavilion at the Expo 1970 exhibition in Osaka, Japan, and reconstruction of Pavillion G at the Brno Exhibition Center.
State prizes have been awarded for literature and translation work since 1995. The rewards from the Ministry of Culture for contributions in the field of theater, music, and fine arts were first taken over by the laureates in 2003, for contributions in architecture and cinematography and audiovisuals in 2009. diploma and cash award of 300,000 crowns.