Kuvitustaiteen valtionpalkinto 2020 Marika Maijalalle

State Prize for illustration art 2020 to Marika Maijala

Marika Maijala receives the 2020 State Prize for Illustration Art

The Art Promotion Center states the following: 

Marika Maijala (b. 1974) is an illustrator, children's author and graphic designer specializing in children's picture books. Maijala has shown that there is a demand for visually ambitious works that challenge the mainstream of children's literature both in Finland and internationally. Maijala's illustration is both sketch-like yet expressive and graphically controlled. She uses different techniques, from watercolor to wax chalk, with impressive ease and confidence." 

Marika Maijala is happy about the award: "I am grateful and moved by the award. It encourages me to continue this work, which I have chosen as a child for myself after discovering the joy of creating and expressing myself specifically in books and picture books. I also see the award as recognition for the Finnish picture book illustration, which is created by a wide range of uncompromising artists. I want to  make picture books in which human life, together with the lives of other living beings, is shown in all its diversity, imperfection and beauty." 

Marika Maijala can be found at the office of the children's book publishing house Etana Editions on Tuesday 24.11.2020 from 12 to 2 pm at Kapteeninkatu 1 C, 00140 Helsinki. Publishers Jenni Erkintalo and Réka Kiraly will also be present.

Marika Maijala (born 1974) lives and works in Helsinki as a freelance illustrator and children's author. She has been awarded the prestigious Rudolf Koivu award twice in 2009 and 2019, and the book she illustrated has twice been nominated for the Finlandia Junior prize. Maijala's debut as a children's author, Ruusu matka (Rosie Runs, Etana Editions, 2018), was nominated for the Nordic Council's Children's and Young People's Literature Award, and in 2020 she was nominated for the ALMA Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Maijala's illustrations have been published not only in Finland but also in England, South Korea, India, Japan, China, France, Sweden, Germany, Taiwan, Denmark and Estonia. Marika Maijala's latest children's book Suden hetki (Wolf and His Gardener, not translated) was published by Etana Editions in 2020. 

The Visual Arts Committee decides on the State Prize for illustration art, and the prize is worth 14,000 euros. The State Prizes are rewarded in recognition of meritorious work completed within the last three years or for a long-term, meritorious artistic career or activity for the benefit of the field. 

The State Prizes are decided annually by the various state art commissions, which act as experts of the Art Promotion Centre (Taike). The director of the Art Promotion Center decides on the Prize for Children's Culture. This year, the State Prizes were awarded to a total of 14 distinguished artists and art communities, and their total amount is 226,000 euros. Minister of Science and Culture Annika Saarikko was supposed to present the awards on November 24, 2020, but the event was canceled due to corona restrictions. 

More information:
Tiina Erkintalo, tiina@etanaeditions.com

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