The Kings deliver this Thursday the Gold Medals for Merit in Fine Arts 2021 during a ceremony held at the TEA (Tenerife Space for the Arts). The king Felipe VI He explained that these medals are given “to those who have dedicated their lives to Culture; to those who, with their creations, have contributed to expanding the borders of our tradition and our Heritage”. He recognized that it was “stimulating” to bring together creators, artists, and institutions “that are already part of the highlights of our Culture.”
What could be seen at TEA “is a portrait of Spanish Culture, in all its diversity, its richness, its unlimited creativity” and he recalled that “the arts generate wealth, they are tangible heritage; but they are also in the field of the emotional, of the intangible”.
During his speech, he also had words for the land that hosted these awards and spoke of tea wood, which is “reddish, strong, almost imperishable” but added that TEA is also the name of the space that hosted the event and highlighted that “useful metaphor of what we celebrate today: the creative dialogue between history and future, the confluence of memory and avant-garde, the union of Heritage with tomorrow”.
I affirm that the work of the winners is like the canary tea“autochthonous, unique, resistant and, nevertheless, fragile when working it”.
With all this, he declared that these Gold Medals for merit in the Fine Arts “are sample of a debt contracted by the whole society” and “serve to point the way to the next generations with the names of those who played an essential role in the definition and evolution of our Culture”.
He ended his speech warning that “a collective commitment is necessary, from the institutions and from society itself, to raise the recognition and consideration of Culture.”
The name of the surrealist Óscar Domínguez –for whose memory the TEA was initially conceived– and that of other island artists such as Manrique, Chirino, Mercedes Pinto, María Mérida, Pedro Guerra or the young singer Quevedo paraded among the speeches that took place during the ceremony, the first of its kind takes place in Canary Islands.
Total, the Ministry of Culture awarded 32 Gold Medals. However, some notable absences were to be regretted. The first, that of the Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem, who could not attend because he was immersed in filming. The historian and Hispanist Ian Gibson, the photographer Isabel Steva Hernández (Colita), the composer and flamenco singer Mayte Martín, the visual artist Jaume Plensa and the poet Julia Uceda were also unable to attend.
The most emotional moments of the medal presentation were, without a doubt, those in which the daughter and widow, respectively, of the two posthumously awarded recipients took the stage: the well-remembered novelist Almudena Grandes and the law professor and specialist in intellectual property Ramón Casas Vallés.
Among the winners who were able to travel to the Island were the dancer Maribel Gallardo, the film director Agustí Villaronga, the musical duo Amaral, as well as Javier Gurruchaga, Paloma San Basilio and Anton Reixa. The Black Week of Gijón, the Max Aub Foundation and the Martín Chirino Foundation of Art and Thought also received their distinctive. Other winners were the graphic novel author Paco Roca, the businessman and theater producer Daniel Martínez de Obregón and the lyrical singer Saioa Hernández del Río.
They also traveled to Tenerife film director Iciar Bollain, fashion designer Ana Locking, photographer Chema Conesa, composer Teresa Catalán and writer Juan Muñoz, known for being the author of immortal children’s books such as Fray Perico and his donkey.
The list of winners was completed by the cultural manager Genis Matabosch, the illustrator and writer Carme Solé, the Drac Mágic cultural cooperative association, the singer-songwriter Pablo Guerrero, the Board of Qualification, Valuation and Export of Historical Heritage Assets and the video game developers Francisco Portalo and Francisco Suarez.
Some 500 people gathered at the venue and the event begins with a few words from the moose from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, José Manuel Bermúdez.
Mayor Bermúdez began his speech by recalling that Santa Cruz of Tenerife “It is a city closely linked to culture” and had words for the painter Óscar Domínguez and his work. I praise the talent of the Canaries who “have a successful career” and recalled that the capital has a intimate relationship with Fine Arts for many decades of the 20th century.
remembered the exhibition of sculptures in the street of the cityd and emphasized the “unstoppable process of recovery of its historical heritage with the reopening of the masonic templeunique in Spain”, which this afternoon will visit the Minos another of Culture, Miquel Iceta, also attending the event.
He took advantage of the occasion to thank their Majesties for their gesture: “Eight years ago we suffered a flood that required a collective effort to recover normality and this incident had the support of the King.”
The president of the Council of Tenerife, Pedro Martín, spoke of the necessary commitment of public institutions to Culture through budgets. “A developed society is the one that tries to make us transcend,” said the president who congratulated the winners on several occasions.
Following the projects, a tribute video sums up the artistic career of the winners. 32 medals are awarded to personalities of music, sculpture, interpretation or writing, among other artistic expressions.
First time in the Canary Islands
The Minister of Culture affirmed that they fall short with the awards ceremony because “it is difficult to choose.” “Without you we are nothing and for that we thank you”, he addressed the winners. He explained that it is first time that this event is held in Canary Islands, “and it was also time”. “It was convenient that these awards be transferred to the autonomous communities because that is how we enrich a vision of plural and diverse culture” and explained that “the concept of culture is becoming broader and more enriching, and that is why we award so many medals”
Iceta stated that “it is difficult to choose the delivery island” but specified that the choice of Tenerife responded to the desire to visit TEA Tenerife Espacio de las Artes to “honor the work of creating this island”.
The Minister of Culture also had words for palmeros “who need everyone’s help to get out of this situation” and recalled that “nature reminds us that it is there to enjoy it but also to respect it.” He also spoke about Oscar Domínguez, “who invented the decalcomania, which serves to open us up to dreams, and like Domínguez all the winners discover a path for us and your art helps us understand the world and work for a better society that goes through a better understanding among all”.
I will now go on to talk about each of the winners and recall that this edition distinguishes two deceased professionalsthe writer Almudena Grandes and specialist in intellectual property rights Ramon Casas.
The singer Eva Amaral spoke on behalf of the winners and declared that she “feels very small” surrounded by all the winners. “Emotion and deep impact” was what she felt when she attended the event. She extended this medal “to the voices and sounds that preceded them to do their work” and took advantage of her intervention to highlight the reality of peoples like the one who lives in Tindouf to talk about the different cultures that come together on the planet.
The president of the Government of the Canary Islands, Angel Victor Torresremembered that this land has seen the birth of artists such as Pedro Guerra, Quevedo, Valentina la de Sabinosa, Josefina De la Torre or María Mérida and spoke of the great cultural events that have hosted “these small islands in the middle of the Atlantic”.
“When we talk about culture we talk about a right of the first order,” declared the socialist who took the opportunity to recall thate Canarias has promoted the law of the public system of culture that shields the budget of the autonomous community “to make the right to culture permanent”. “Culture is a key dimension for the development of society” and for this reason, among other aspects, the Archipelago continues to work to be a movie set for more and more audiovisual productions with outstanding tax deductions.