On a Thursday evening, as I picked up the phone, disbelief gave way to an exhilarating reality—I had won the prestigious Kunstmaler Hans Grütter award.
What’s the Kunstmaler Hans Grütter award?
At first, I thought this was a scam. However, since I knew the person who called me, I was certain: I won CHF 4,000 with my work as a photographer! The fact that someone suggested me as a candidate among 20 others made this award a triumphant fusion of accomplishment and validation. Every fifth year, the Stiftungsverein pro Bornkapelle Kappel (Club for the chapel in Kappel) selects two people for the award of acclaimed painter Hans Grütter (1900-2000). The sum of CHF 5,000 is split between an honour award for an established artist and a sponsorship award for up-and-coming artists. You can find out more about Hans Grütter here.
The only requirement was to collect the prize in person at the annual meeting of the club – and deliver a speech about my work.
Presentation at General Assembly of the Club
The annual meeting of the Stiftungsverein pro Bornkapelle takes place on December 4th. About 150 people gather in Kappel to discuss and democratically vote on club matters. When Larissa and I entered the room, I recognized many familiar faces as we put some pictures on display. As the room filled with people, my nervousness rose.
Dinner: “Schnitz und Drungr”
Every year, the annual meeting offers the same dinner for its members. It’s called “Schnitz und Drungr,” a traditional meal from the cantons of Solothurn and Aargau. It consists of various types of bacon, but also includes beef tongue – which proved to be not to my liking.
After the official part of the club, President Roman Hellbach delivered a laudation in honor of the award recipient, artist Paul Wyss, known for his stunning sculptures, including the Nago fountain in front of Olten’s town hall.
Then it was my turn. Following a brief introduction and laudatio by Roman, I was presented with the prize by Martin Grütter, the grandson of the founder. We quickly conducted a photo shoot for the newspaper, and then I took the microphone, sharing my passion for the wild with the audience. As soon as I started speaking, my nervousness gave way to gratitude and joy.
Discussing my journey into the wonders of nature through fly fishing, I progressed to the kingfisher including behind-the-scenes. Exploring the natural world both near and far, I intertwined the travels of Hans Grütter in the Jura mountains with my own, only to circle back to where it all began. The audience responded with applause.
People congratulating me for the Kunstmaler Hans Grütter award
Many people came over after the presentation, congratulating me on this accomplishment. This filled me with a profound sense of validation, affirming the value of my efforts. I felt a deep appreciation for the recognition from others. Thank you very much indeed!
Once in a lifetime
I am thankful beyond words to be honored with the sponsorship award for my photographic and film work. This is, by far, the most exciting prize I have ever won, especially because I didn’t apply for the contest myself, but someone else suggested me. It means the world to me and motivates me to continue my path. I’m on the right trail.
(Larissa, my lovely girlfriend took the pictures – many thanks!)