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37th ICEFA Lidice 2009 - The Opening Ceremony - Final Press Release

29. 5. 2009

On Wednesday, 27 May 2009, in the presence of ambassadors and political and cultural figures of the Czech Republic, the Lidice Gallery at Lidice hosted the ceremonial opening of the 37th INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S EXHIBITION OF FINE ARTS LIDICE 2009.

The opening was attended and prizes were awarded to the best artists by the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Ing. Miloslav Vlček, the First Deputy Minister of Culture of CR JUDr. František Mikeš, the Chairwoman of the Czech Commission for UNESCO Prof. RNDr. Helena Illnerová, DrSc., the first Czechoslovak in space Ing. Vladimír Remek and a member of the European Parliament Ing. Jana Bobošíková.

Among the guests were also the ambassador of Egypt H.E. Ms. Amal Mostafa K. MOURAD, the ambassador of Philippines H.E. Ms. Regina Irene SARMIENTO, the ambassador of Malaysia H.E. Mr. Zainal Abidin BIN BAKAR, the ambassador of the United States of Mexico H.E. Mr. José Luis Bernal RODRÍGUEZ, the ambassador of Greece H.E. Mr. Constantinos KOKOSSIS, the ambassador of Turkey H.E. Mr. Koray TARGAY, the ambassador of Venezuela H.E. Mr. Viktor HERNANDÉZ and representatives of embassies – Deputy Ambassador of Hungary Mr. Ivan Ďurčík, Counsellor of the Embassy of Romania Mr. Constantin Stefanoaie, Consul of the Embassy of the Slovak Republic Ms Jozefína Škorupová, Consul of Slovenia Ms. Alman Sur, First Counsel of the Embassy of Serbia Ms. Suzana Božkovič-Prodanovič, Third Secretary of the Embassy of Syria Mr. Ali Daghman and representatives of embassies of Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan and other countries.

On the occasion of the ceremonial opening the medals “Rose of Lidice” were awarded to the best child artists from the Czech Republic and to the best child artists from abroad. This year 8-year-old Ioana Bianca Anton from the Vasil Conta Primary School from IASI in Romania accompanied by her art teacher Aurel Dascalu came and accepted the medal for her painting. from the counsellor of the Romanian Embassy Mr. Constantin Stefanoaie. Another guest from abroad was 6-year-old Frederika Krempaská from the Primary Art School Spišská Belá who received the prize from the consul of the Slovak embassy Ms Jozefína Škorupová. The third foreign winner who caught the eye of the panel of judges was 5-year-old Jan Alfonso Quiles Chytrý who came to Lidice from distant Mexico. his visit at Lidice was possible only thanks to the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico (Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores de México) and the patronage of the Embassy of Mexico in the Czech Republic. He received the prize from the ambassador of Mexico H.E. Mr. José Luis Bernal RODRÍGUREZ.

The Children’s Choir of the Japanese School in Prague appeared at the opening and Gustav Sedelmayer, a pupil from the Primary School Buštěhrad, played on the trumpet. The accompanying programme was enlivened with presentation workshops of the National Technical Museum, which took place from 9.30 a.m. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. the visitors could have a look through telescope from the Stefanik Observatory Astrobus as well as try attractions and entertaining plays prepared by the Leisure-time Centre Labyrint Kladno. The greatest attraction for children was rides in a carriage drawn by horses on the Lidice parkway and the signing event by the 1st Czechoslovak in space, Vladimir Remek.

The visit of the foreign laureates continued for several days: Tuesday 26 May saw Jan Alfonso Quiles Chytrý received by the ambassador at the Embassy of the United States of Mexico; on Thursday 28 May, Frederika Krompaská was received by the Slovak ambassador H.E. Mr. Peter Brňo at the Slovak embassy while Ioana Bianca Anton and her teacher Aurel Dascalu were received by the Counsellor of the Romanian embassy Mr. Constantin Stefanoai at the Romanian embassy. Wednesday saw the young winners’ visit at the glassworks at Nenačovice, Thursday witnessed their tour round the historic centre of Prague; Friday offered them to meet children from the Primary School Buštěhrad and see what their schooling is like, which was followed by a visit to a historic monument – Karlštejn castle.

About the exhibition

The exhibition and the competition – as the name suggests – is organised every year to commemorate children from a Czech village of Lidice, murdered by the German Nazis. Although national initially, this competition (established in 1968) became an international one in 1972. This exhibition is well known among child creators and their teachers not only in our country but all over the world. Every year, entries are sent in by children from several dozens of countries from all continents, including such exotic ones as India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Philippines or Zimbabwe.

International Children’s Exhibition of Fine Arts Lidice (ICEFA Lidice) is a one round competition with a 35-year tradition for children 4 to 16 years for all types of schools in the Czech Republic and abroad. Since 2001 the exhibition has been announced again by the Lidice Memorial. Every year, ICEFA is held thanks to the support and under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the Czech Commission for UNESCO.

37. edition of ICEFA Lidice

As the year 2009 was declared the Year of Astronomy, the UNESCO proposed to dedicate the 37th ICEFA Lidice 2009 to the theme of THE UNIVERSE. Children could draw inspiration from the many following detailed themes: “Discovering the universe“, “How to fly to the stars “, “I wonder what is there on the other planets “, “Sky and stars over my country“, “What an astronomer looks like“.

We received more than 21 000 entries by children from 53 countries this year, with the most coming from Turkey (2 537 entries) and Serbia (2 026 entries). We are pleased to say that, thanks to enhanced publicity, this year witnessed much more participating schools from the Czech Republic (399 as against last year’s 137) and the Slovak Republic (71 as against last year’s 22). Moreover, we received entries from countries which did not participate in previous years, e.g. from Italia, Mexico, Germany, Norway, Austria, Spain or Afghanistan.

Like every year, it was very interesting to compare styles of submitted entries and their degree of elaboration as well as the inventiveness and the creative contribution of a child or a group of children. Most entries coming under the categories of Painting, Drawing, Printmaking and Photography represented children’s vision of the universe and extraterrestrial civilisations, repeatedly exploiting the themes of the Solar System’s planets, constellations, rockets, astronomers and space explorers. Czech schools, unlike the foreign ones, were allowed to submit 3D entries as well as ceramic works, this year representing groups of weird extraterrestrials, space vehicles or models of the Solar System’s revolving planets. Again this year there was presented another type of children’s group work – a school project resulting in a presentation of children’s creative activity. This year’s competition was enlivened by records of such projects, e.g. working with snow or making ice sculptures (Music School Staicele, Latvia), a cosmic feast (Primary school Poljčane, Slovenia) or a cosmic wedding (Primary Art School Prostějov, CR).

Statistical data

Out of the total 21,731 entries from 53 countries 1,467 were selected by the Panel of Judges to win prizes. Children from abroad received 593 prizes, out of which 48 were individual medals and 18 were medals to schools for their collections of exceptionally good works of fine art. Most of them were won by children from Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia and Romania. The eye of the panel of judges was caught also by pictures by children from Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, Peru and Mexico, which make a welcome change in the exhibition every year.

Czech schools were awarded 729 prizes, out of which 48 were individual medals and 32 were medals to schools for their collections. Among the most successful were children from the Primary Art School Kolín, the Primary Art School Strakonice, the Primary Art School Most, the Primary Art School Plzeň and the House of Children and Youth Ulita from Prague. This year’s prize of the Panel of Judges was awarded to the above-mentioned Primary Art School Kolín for an extraordinary collection of paintings, drawings and printmakings. Slovak schools won 145 prizes this year, out of which 8 were individual medals and 8 were medals to schools. The most successful were children from Primary Art School Spišská Belá, Primary Art School Žilina – Gaštanová street and Primary Art School Prešov.

The exhibition at Lidice will continue till 1 November 2009, then, in a reduced extent, can be seen at other places of the Czech Republic – at the Primary Art School Most Gallery, at NKP Ležáky, at the Museum of Trades and Building at Drnovice, at Techmánie in Plzeň and even at such an exotic place as the village of Lidice in distant Brazil. You are cordially invited to visit these places.

Let us conclude with thanks to our sponsors who significantly supported this edition of the exhibition. Our thanks go to Rückl Crystal for the crystal palette that was the prize of the Panel of Judges, the publisher Euromedia for books on art for the laureates, RWE for financial support and Techmánie Plzeň for providing the computer programme “Journey to the Planets”.

Mgr. Ivona Kasalická
Head of the Lidice Gallery and Curator of ICEFA Lidice

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