Awards inspire future efforts

Candidates for Union State Award in field of literature and art for 2013-2014 are named in Minsk
By Valentina Matusevich

The award was first given in 2002, received by Russian actor Alexey Petrenko, Belarusian playwright Alexey Dudarev and People’s Writer of Belarus Ivan Shamyakin. Since then, the prize has been awarded every two years. Laureates have included artists Mikhail Savitsky and Valentin Sidorov, the Tkachev brothers and Leonid Shchemelev, actors Alexander Kalyagin and Rostislav Yankovsky, composer Alexandra Pakhmutova and conductor Mikhail Finberg. In the opinion of the Expert Council, all have made a major contribution to strengthening brotherhood, friendship and co-operation between Union State members.

This year, eleven candidates have been announced. Those from Belarus are sculptor Ivan Misko, People’s Artist of Belarus Gavriil Vashchenko — for his Courage series of paintings, and the National Academic Folk Chorus of Belarus (named after Tsitovich and headed by People’s Artist Mikhail Drinevsky).

Mr. Misko admits, “I was nominated once before but didn’t win. Maybe this time, I’ll be lucky.” He loves to take part in competitions, although winning is not most important to him. He simply loves to try something new and move forward, although he certainly knows how he’d spend his prize money: on furthering his work. Not a day goes by without him sculpting. His personal exhibition launches soon, so he’s working on new projects. He also tells us, “We’re planning to install a relief sculpture depicting astronauts Piotr Klimuk, Vladimir Kovalenok and Oleg Novitsky: all of Belarusian origin. It would be placed on the end of a building on Kosmonavtov Street, in Minsk. Oleg Novitsky learnt of the project on returning recently from his space mission, when he visited his homeland.”

Of the current candidates, Ivan Misko is the only sculptor. He comments, “I’m not familiar with the other contenders for the award but I know that there are no other sculptors. I will hope for good luck. In any case, the rest of my life lies ahead so I’ll keep moving forward, studying the unknown. The award is another source of inspiration, giving me strength to work, work and work.”

All of the projects and candidates will soon be submitted for public discussion, going on show at the 22nd International Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk Arts Festival. The final decision will be made in November.
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