Jakopič Prize goes to illustrator Ančka Gošnik Godec

Ljubljana, 2 April - The Rihard Jakopič Prize for 2024, the highest national award for lifetime achievements in fine and visual arts in Slovenia, went to illustrator Ančka Gošnik Godec, who belongs to "the first generation of painters who graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design and dedicated her entire oeuvre to illustration", the jury said.

Illustrator Ančka Gošnik Godec.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA
File photo

She will receive the award on 10 April at the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana.

Gošnik Godec started illustrating children's magazines Ciciban, Pionir and Pionirski List before moving to children's books. Her illustrations of the Slovenian fairytales, including Slipper Keeper Kitty, became iconic.

"With a particularly subtle sensitivity, she presents ethnographic themes in her depictions of folk tales," the jury said in explaining its decision.

It noted Gošnik Godec's special sense for the Slovenian landscape and material heritage. She approaches these topics so thoroughly and with such an academic approach that her illustrations often have an ethnological value, said the jury.

She has illustrated some 130 books, and many of them are gathered in the collections of tales Zlata Ptica (The Golden Bird) that was published by Mladinska Knjiga in 2011. She has received many awards for her work in Slovenia and abroad, including two Levstik award for book illustrations.

In 1997, she received the Hinko Smrekar Prize, the top Slovenian award in illustration, and in 2001 the Levstik Prize for lifetime achievements in children's and youth literature. In 2002, she was nominated for the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY).

Gošnik Godec is one of only five female artists who have won the Jakopič Prize since 1969. "At the same time, the prize, named after a painter and illustrator, confirms the importance and equal status of the artistic contribution of illustration to the leading currents of art in the second half of the 20th and 21st centuries," the jury added.

The Jakopič Prize was launched in 1969 by the Association of Slovenian Artists (ZDSLU), the Academy of Fine Arts, and the Museum of Modern Art, which were later joined by the Slovenian Association of Art Critics, while the funds come from the Culture Ministry.

It is named after Rihard Jakopič (1869-1943), the pioneer of Slovenian impressionism and leading Slovenian painter of the first half of the 20th century.

Last year the award went to visual painter Staš Kleindienst.

© STA, 2024