Mikel Urmeneta receives the Vasco Universal award
Founder-member and creative director of Kukuxumusu, Mikel Urmeneta, yesterday received from the hands of the “Lehendakari” Patxi López at the Government seat in Vitoria, the award for the Universal Basque Person 2009 – The Vasco Universal 2009. This annual award is given by the Basque Savings Bank, the Caja Laboral and the Basque Regional Government. This year the award was shared by Mikel Urmeneta and the movie director of photography, Javier Aguirresarobe, who was unable to be present, due to work commitments. His wife accepted the award on his behalf.
After receiving the award, Urmeneta declared his deep satisfaction at receiving this award, and particularly so “being a man from Navarra”. He went on to state that he was proud to be able to share the award with someone like Agirresarobe and to find himself as part of a line of previous winners such as Juan Mari Arzak and others. He stated that he wished to share the honor with all the team from Kukuxumusu, and who were represented by the other two founder-members of this Pamplona firm – Koldo Aiestaran and Gonzalo Domínguez de Bidaurreta.
After his short expression of gratitude, Urmeneta left down his microphone and taking up some pen marker, he processed to sketch out a drawing there and then in front of the audience. In less than one minute he displayed all his skill and creativity in sketching out his particular vision of the coming Sanfermin fiestas.
For his own part, Basque Prime Minister Patxi López expressed his “personal admiration” for the two award winners and he defined Urmeneta as a depicter of our human foibles” and the photography director for “capturing our vices and passions.”
The Head of the Basque Government showed that he was well updated on Kukuxumusu’s activities when he reminded the audience that the firm was just recently represented in Tokyo when it gave its own award of the Guiri del Año – Foreigner of the Year Award to a Japanese photographer who regularly attends the Sanfermin fiestas. Later on, in a more informal atmosphere at the buffet table, the Prime Minister revealed that the has always been a fond admirer of Kukuxumusu and he was given a book-catalogue about the firm which contains drawings, photos and anecdotes about the Pamplona firm over the past twenty years of its existence.
The event, which was celebrated at the seat of the Government in Vitoria, was attended by a wide range of people and personalities from the political and social scene in The Basque Country. Among others, the former Prime Minister José Antonio Ardanza, the chef, Karlos Argiñano, the mountaineer, Juanito Oiarzabal, as well as some family and friends of the two award winners.