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American Delegation Reception Kicks Off FIDEM 2010
fidem medalBy Donald Scarinci
June 15, 2010
fidem meda

Participants from 22 countries registered today for the 31st FIDEM conference which is being held in Tampere, Finland from Wednesday to Saturday.

Participants were given brown canvas bags containing a hard cover conference catalog with color photographs of one medal from each sculptor exhibiting. For the first time, a DVD is included with a photograph of every medal on exhibit. A program, listing of participants and the FIDEM 2010 conference medal is also placed in the bag.

The FIDEM 2010 conference medal is designed by Assi Madekivi, cast bronze, 2009. It has the image of a nude male in motion with his arms stretched out reaching the edges of the medal on the obverse with the inscription,” FIDEM XXX1” around the border. The reverse features an image of a familiar Tampere scene with the words, “Tampere, 2001” around the border.

Delegates had time to visit area museums, many of which are holding special exhibitions in honor of the sculptors participating in FIDEM. The Lenin museum, located in the room where Lenin first met Stalin in 1905 has a special exhibit of soviet medals and badges. The Galleria Saskia has organized an exhibition of Finnish art medals and sculpture. The Metso library is exhibiting medals from their collection that span the last hundred years.

The American delegation hosted the first party of FIDEM 2010 at the Hiekka Art Museum. The delegates and participants from the United States were awarded an American delegation medal designed by Polly Purvis, 60 mm, mixed media: sand etched cast glass made of recycled “mineral water” glass, collaged copper and resin.

The insert included with the medal contains the poem: “Midsummer sun glowing softly/hovers long over shimmering lakes/Arched bridges traverse/We reunite/to speak the common language of medals.”

Mashiko, the United States delegate to FIDEM, welcomed the delegates from the 22 participating countries and all of the United States participants. She described the American delegation medal and briefly discussed how the tradition began with Alan Stal.

Mashiko spoke about the tradition of the American delegation medal. The tradition began when Dr. Alan Stahl, Princeton University Professor and John Cook, Penn State University Professor, first became FIDEM delegates in 1983. John Cook made the delegation medal that year in both bronze and silver. Since then, American sculptors, Merlin Szoz, 1985; Alex Shagin,1987 & 2002; Eugene Daub, 1990; Marika Smogyi, 1992 & 1994; Amunullah Haiderzad, 1996; Jeannie Stevens-Sollman, 1998; James Malonebeach, 2000; and Mashico, 2004 & 2007 have made American delegation conference medals.

Ilkka Voionmaa, President of FIDEM and host delegate from Finland spoke to thank Mashiko, Polly Purvis and the American FIDEM participants for hosting the reception and assisting to make the 31st FIDEM congress a success. He read the poem in the insert of the American delegation and looked out the window at the Finnish sky as he did.

Guests were treated to wine and pastries as well as a private tour of the Hiekka Art Museum hosted by Liisa Rintala, museum director. The Hiekka Art Museum was once the home of Kustaa Hiekka, a Finnish goldsmith. It now displays a collection of almost 400 pieces of Finnish art from the 1850’s which began with the beautiful objects that he collected.

The opening ceremony begins tomorrow at 10AM in Tampere Hall. It will be followed by a series of lectures during the day and a tour of an exhibition of Finnish medals at the Galleria Saskia located in Tampere.


Click here to visit Donald Scarinci's Twitter feed for updates from the conference.


Click here to view a video of Mashiko - sculptor and United States Delegate to FIDEM - as she speaks at the US Delegation reception.

Click here to view a video of Ilkka Voionmaa, President of FIDEM, as he reads the insert to the American Delegation medal awarded to all delegates.


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