During the 7th and the 13th of May 2007 Bucharest’s InfoEUROPA Centre (Calea Victoriei, 88, sector 1) is hosting the 100% International Ecological Cartoon Contest, organized by Suceava’s GEC Bucovina non-governmental organization. The works exhibited are the best 100, according to the last year’s autumn Ecological Cartoon Salon “100% Natural” – 2006 edition international Jury’s quotations.
         The “100% Natural” International Ecological Cartoon Salon was launched in 2003, with the support of the European Commission’s Delegation to Bucharest, by means of it’s financing the “Defend Nature Even If No One Sees You” (Phare 2002) project.
         The works from two of the previously held editions of this Salon were shown at the InfoEUROPA Centre in Bucharest in the presence of His Excellency, Ambassador Jonathan Scheele, then they were exhibited in various InfoEUROPA centers around Europe, including Brussels, where they were shown during the “Green Week” manifestations (at the beginning of June).
         At every edition of the Salon more than 300 cartoonists from over 50 states have participated. 261 artists from 41 countries have participated to the 2006 Edition.
        The judging of the works is made electronically, by international juries. According to the rules of the Salon, the first rated become members of the Jury in the following edition. Judging is not remunerated. The awarded prizes ensure the participation of the world’s best cartoonists.
         The “100% Natural” Ecological Cartoon Salon 2006 edition’s theme was: THE RAIN.The 2006 Edition’s Jury was comprised of seven personalities of world culture:

  • Mr. Clive Collins, Essex, U.K (Master President of the jury), Secretary of the British Cartoonists' Association, Life Vice-President Cartoonists' Club of Great Britain;
  • Mrs. Ana von Rebeur, Buenos Aires, Argentina (member of the jury), called The First Lady of South-American Cartoon, editorialist, President of FECO Argentina;
  • Mr. Cristian Topan, Bucharest, Romania (member of the jury), editorialist cartoonist internationally awarded, President of FECO Romania;
  • Mr. Jurij Kosobukin, Kiew, Ukraine (member of the jury), Cartoonist, awarded on over 200 international cartoon contests;
  • Mr. Alexandar Blatnik, Nis, Serbia (member of the jury), Cartoonist, Painter, Writer, Architecth, 30 personal and 250 group exhibitions;
  • Mr. Pavel Constantin, Focsani, Romania (member of the jury), Founder member of FECO Romania, numerous national and international awards;
  • Mr. George Licurici, Suceava, Romania (member of the jury), Founder member of FECO Romania, over 30 awards on national and international contests, Art Director of GEC Bucovina Association.

The winners of the “100% Natural” Ecological Cartoon Salon are:

Vlado Volas, Serbia - 1st Prize, 1000 euro
Jiri Sliva, Cehia - 2nd Prize, 600 euro
Ross Thomson, United Kingdom - 3rd Prize, 300 euro
Anatoly Stankulov, Bulgaria - Mention, 150 euro
Sergey Savilov, Rusia - Mention, 150 euro
Rumen Dragostinov, Bulgaria - Mention, 150 euro

Apreciations made by winners and members of the jury :

Jiri Sliva – 2nd place: Dear friends, I was very pleased by the news, that I was awarded with the 2nd Prize in your Bucovina festival. Best wishes, Jiri Sliva, Prague.

Anatoliy Stankulov – 4th place: Dear Sirs, Let me thank you for your attention in my cartoons submitted to your "100% Natural" cartoon contest. I'm really happy that one my cartoon has been nominated fourth position. Respectfully, Anatoliy Stankulov.

Sergey Savilov – 5th place: Dear sirs, Many thanks for a prize. With results of competition it agree.
Yours faithfully, Sergey Savilov.

Rumen Dragostinov – 6th place: Dear Sirs, I would like to thank you very much for your invitation and to tell you that i am very proud of the honour you have given me by this award.

Clive Collins, Anglia – Master President of the jury: It's always a pleasure to be in the company of my fellow cartoonists, even though we were only able to deliberate together via e-mail, and I have high regard for their opinions and judgments. It was also a great honour to have been asked to be part of this year's panel of judges, and I'm delighted to find that between us we have come up with such a result. A large number of the artworks that I looked at were drawn by names whose work I have followed for some time now, while others are new to me, but show great promise. I hope that over the coming years, '100% Natural' will go from strength to strength, encouraging artists, both well-known and newcomers, to try their hand at Natural Themes.

Ana von Rebeur, Argentina – member of the jury: It was an enormous honour and delight to take part in the important 100% Natural Cartoon Contest, and the honour is doubled considering we are cooperating with an ecological institution as GEC Bucovina. It was amazing to see how many different possibilities the artists have found respecting a subject as simple as rain. Forced to look at over 400 different cartoons, over and over againg to put a fair qualification to each, I could not - and did not want - to look at the signature of each artist. Therefore, my personal way of qualifying the works was absolutely objective, for me the works werealmosts anonimous, and I priorized the funny effect of the work above it all.
After all, this is a humor contest and the first thing a cartoon must provoke are smiles. The result - the awarded cartoons - show that all of us , jury members, even though working far appart , were all looking for the same objective : awarding the funniest works. For me it was a great pleasure to see that the first ten awards were voted almost simultaneosly and unanimously for all jury members, as if we were working together on the same place, over the same table. The first prize went to a perfect cartoon: the one about the public in the art gallery, looking dissapointed at the rain outside, instead of enjoying the pictures while it is raining. Such a situation is so human, so well known by all of us, that it is the most "100% natural" cartoon I have ever seen.
Congratulations to the winner and congratulations to the organizators for the effort and for the message this contest send to all the world: the best cartoons are the best understood by everyone, and jury members can work as a team, with identical criteria, because though we are far appart, we feel close together, united by the biggest bridge of Humanity: humor, laughter and sensibility. Thank you for letting me be part of it.

Alexandar Blatnik, Serbia – member of the jury: It was my great honor to be a member of the Jury for one of the most prestigious cartoon festivals in the world. I am particularly pleased with the fact that the winning three cartoons were graded 10 in my personal estimate, as well as that all the top ten were highly positioned in my judgment. Also, I am happy that my grading coincided with the grades of other members of the Jury, Clive Collins, Ana von Rebeur and Yuri Kosobukin, who are well known in the world of caricature as great masters of humorous drawing.
I would hereby like to congratulate the winners and all the top-ten cartoonists, as well as to compliment you on the perfect organization and most correct Jury work, expressed as an arithmetic average, which is unique in the world.

Constantin Pavel, Romania – member of the jury: Thank you for sending me results of the 100% Natural Cartoon Saloon. The nobility of your efforts has been rewarded with a clean summer RAIN, a downpour of spirit in some places, thunder-ideas in others, and lightning strikes in our minds. I have gladly thrown away my umbrella faced with such weather. Now I will take some clothespins and hang myself out to dry, bur not before congratulating you for all that you’ve done and thanking you for the honor of inviting me in the Jury.
Best wishes, Constantin Pavel.

George Licurici, Romania – member of the jury: No one laughs about rain, though you could laugh about stupid reactions or man’s indifference in giving rain acid or basic nuances. The fight for existence is no child’s play and nobody laughs about it. But man’s persistence to use expensive toys for cheap results is laughable. Of course it has been an honor for me to be a part of those who dared to build this saloon’s pyramid. Perhaps we couldn’t be perfect in our appreciations, however we tried our best, and I say this by looking at the first tens of cartoons. In the first place, they were a tonic flood of humor. Then, a extremely ingenious use of the theme. Intelligent associations, unexpected interpretations, novel poses. More so, caricature’s own language has been diluted by astonishing graphical representations, which made me forget for a moment that we are talking about an art considered minor. Besides the educational, ethical or esthetic aspect of this cultural event, I must confess that sometimes I laughed wholeheartedly. I’m sure that God, looking over my shoulder smiled Himself, amused by the beautiful shenanigans’ of these intelligent artists.

Images from the itineration of cartoons:

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