MONTEVIDEO – Promoting innovation and creativity while seeking to “create a tradition” to “enrich” Uruguayan culture are the goals that government authorities hope to achieve with the awarding of the National Crafts Prize to deserving artists this Tuesday in Montevideo.
That was explained to the press by the director of the Crafts Division of Uruguay’s Industry Ministry, Alberto de Betolaza, who said he believes these activities “will stimulate the uplifting of Uruguayan cultural values in a number of different fields.”
“I believe we are helping to enrich Uruguayan culture through this very special sphere of craftsmanship,” he said.
The prizes will be awarded in two categories: Production Handicraft and Single Handicraft, with the prizes being valued at 70,000 Uruguayan pesos (some $2,350) in each category.
The prize in the Single Handicraft category went this year to artist Pedro Garcia Lanza, while the Production Handicraft honor was taken by Florencia and Victoria Apud.
“I believe crafts are like many other areas. In a global world we think, and I believe reality confirms it, that this is one of the activities based on local traditions and which in turn have great acceptation because they preserve unique cultural values,” Betolaza said.
The awards ceremony was held at the Pre-Columbian and Indigenous Art Museum of Montevideo, and was attended by Uruguay’s Industry, Energy and Mines Minister Carolina Cosse.
“I’m very pleased about the many years the ministry has awarded this national crafts prize. The quality of our handicrafts is world-class: ceramics, jewelry, adornments, precious items, toys... that really show the creative level of Uruguay and Uruguayans,” Cosse said.
She also said these works will have an ever-wider distribution and will provide opportunities for artisans through their participation in international fairs to make their products known, a ministry goal “for many years.”