The Danube Art Master competition is an opportunity for the children of the Danube River Basin to consider and discover the health of their local rivers, and a moment to decide how they wish to help preserve these waters for the future. All eligible young artists are encouraged to use material captured, inspired, or borrowed directly from the environment itself in the creation of their artworks, and to look at their local surroundings as a key source of inspiration in the process.
As with the previous year, 2021 announced three categories, art, video and the newest one being map. The art category is still a dominant one, but competitors are increasingly interested in the map category.
The Danube Art Master winners are selected by a jury comprised of ICPDR experts the ICPDR's Public Participation Expert Group. The competition is open to all children and schools across the 14 countries that make up the Danube River Basin, including Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia Slovenia and Ukraine. Around 657 children from 119 schools participated, submitting 404 artworks including team submissions.
The Danube region's flagship international arts competition for kids and young people received some 62 artworks in three different categories in 2021: Art, Video, and Maps. A breakdown of the number of artworks received per category can be found below:
- Art: Junior (6-11), 11 artworks; Teens (12-18), 13 artworks
- Video: Junior (6-11), 9 videos; Teens (12-18), 12 videos
- Map: Junior (6-11), 7 maps; Teens (12-18), 10 maps
- Total international artworks submitted: 62
Now, let us present the DAM 2021 international round winners:
In the “Art” category, the winning work was Fish Lanterns made by Class 5 and 6 of Montessori Mittelschule in Vilshofen, Germany (Juniors); The riches of the Danube made by Antonia Cudalb from School no. 24 Galati, Romania (Teens).
In the “Video” category, Danube – I’m Life won the Juniors category, produced by Victoria Nikolaeva, Ilein Manasieva, Svetoslava Stokova, Ludmila Ivanova from High school “Hristo Botev”, Kozloduy in Bulgaria. Students from SL-entertainment, a friends' group from Pentling, Germany won the best video in the 'Teens' section, with Save the Danube.
In the “Map” category, Lovely Danube made by Zojka Némethová, Kristína Gubienová, Emka Józsová, Viktória Mészárosová, Mirka Švecová, Sára Fábriková, Veronika Szokoová from 1st Primary school of Rozmarínová 1, art class, Komárno, Slovakia (Junior) and Alexandru Denisa from Food industry college Elena Doamna, Romania with The beauty of the Danube (Teens).
As announced in advance all artworks also competed in the “most liked” online competition – an 'audience prize' – where the audience could cast their votes by liking the artworks online. The participants and their friends and families were free to share the photos in their networks and invite people to like them. The title of “Most liked artwork“ was ultimately awarded to Rusalke by students from OŠ ''Stefan Nemanja'', Niš, Serbia, with over 262 likes. “Most liked map“, with over 630 likes, was National park UNA by Aleksa Santic of Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina. Last but not least, “Most liked video“ with 122 likes was Aquastic music by trashtruments by students from the Szent Anna Katolikus Általános Iskola és Óvoda in Szany, Hungary.
As it was not possible to celebrate the children success in person at least the celebration was realised online. The international DAM winner awarding ceremony took place on 8th March 2022 via Zoom. The winning teams from Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Slovakia gathered together online for the Danube Art Master awarding ceremony. The prizes and certificates for the winners sent to them via a courier company. Depending on the category the winners received waterproof camera to better reflect the beauty of Danube and rocketbooks with endless reusability.
Danube Art Master is jointly organized by the ICPDR and the Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe (GWP CEE), an ICPDR observer organisation and one of the largest networks focusing on water in the world.