2010 National Silver Award
On September 9, through the Fomento Cultural Grupo Salinas (Grupo Salinas Cultural Promotion fund), we had the honor of once again granting the Hugo Salinas Price National Silver Award, in recognition of the work and creativity of the most outstanding silversmith artisans.
How time passes! It seems that it was only yesterday when Abdón Punzo won the first award in 2002, using a design of a fish, which, among other contributions, can be admired on our web page.
Over the course of these years we have seen many artisans compete for this prize, offering a large number of submissions. I am still impressed by how this Santa Clara del Cobre family, the Punzos, continues to accumulate awards. Congratulations are in order.
I was also very pleased to see among the award winners Carmen Tapia, who is the daughter of the author of a beautiful mural –a work of exceptional beauty and detail- that we have in the offices of Grupo Salinas.
And finally I would like to thank the Popular Art Museum for once again opening its doors to us, the Social Development Ministry (SEDESOL) and the National Crafts Development Fund (FONART) for the support they provided, and to all those who worked to make this award a reality.
I believe that this is an effort that is very worthwhile. As my father -a dedicated promoter of silver in Mexico- said, the question of art goes very much hand in hand with values and life itself, and I feel that these are among the facets of our Mexico that we should celebrate: its life and its values.
Finally, I would like to share a fragment of the thoughts of my father, Hugo Salinas Price, which will undoubtedly lead us to reflect on the value of art in our society:
These values are expressed in works of silver, in the craft of silversmiths. It is perhaps not the most lucrative job in the world, but it is an occupation that fills those who are engaged in it with satisfaction.
That is something that I admire; that the experience of so many and such long years, combined with creativity and values, provides a personal satisfaction that is the payment for the art. As the Romans used to say, ars gratia artis, that is, art is an end in itself, the artist’s reward is what he has created. If he later sells it, that’s another matter, but its creation is a reward unto itself.
And art is of supreme importance in the life of a nation; art is the creation of beauty and beauty raises the spirit.
We also know that art is very much tied to values; where there is art, there is life, and where there is no art, spiritual life ceases to exist.