1982 I won an art reward given by the art commission for the town of Bern, Switzerland.
English Translation of Art Award
PRESIDIUM OF THE CITY OF BERN SECRETARY FOR CULTURAL QUESTIONS
Press report from the Municipal Art Commission, work contributions 1982, Bernese artists were asked for the first time to submit applications and work contributions to the Municipal Art Commission; not least to clarify whether there is any need for this funding measure at all. A total of CHF 12,000 from the municipal art loan stood reserved for the first attempt. Negotiations with the Education Directorate of the Canton of Bern, Department of Culture, revealed that the city contributions should be supplemented by cantonal donations wherever possible. 13 applications for a total of more than CHF 130,000, i.e., more than ten times the amount available, were received on time. The individual amounts applied always corresponded to the projects presented and the social circumstances of the artists; it was by no means a “monstrous fantasy sum.” Even if the Commission can hardly support some of the projects presented from the outset because of their nature because they are either too much in the artistic or commercial field, or because they would be classified more as amateur art, this support would remain, much more remains to do than the Commission can afford with its resources. In some cases, the support had to be foregone because, despite a municipal (and cantonal) contribution, residual financing was hardly conceivable, and the Commission, therefore, had to confine itself to supporting those projects that also have a real chance of being realized as a result. The Commission is also aware that some Bernese artists were discouraged given the total amount available or, out of solidarity with others, decided not to apply. With the selection made, the commission hopes to have made it possible for eight projects to be executed, which was also only possible thanks to the cooperation of the canton. Two artists are allowed to take part in a symposium in Germany that is important for their development; two others receive grants for stays abroad that are related to their work; three artists can be offered the opportunity to develop a project for a few months without a side job, whereby the material costs are also covered. Finally, for one artist, the contribution to the work should be an incentive to encourage the remaining financing from other institutions interested in the project. Contributions were awarded to the following artists: Nun Knöpfli, Raoul Marek, Christian Muehlemann, Anno Pildor, Vaclav Pozarek, Max Roth, Christian Staebler, Markus Zuercher. The 1982 experiment showed that this funding measure contributes to public support for contemporary art. The Commission is endeavoring to raise more funds for this in the future; not least, it is aimed at the communes in which they live. Bernese artists from the region hope they will recognize and support the city’s efforts with their contributions. Berne, June 3, 1982 Peter J. Betts