Last night during SCOPE Miami Beach, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin, along with Russell and Danny Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, announced Philadelphia based artist Darius Frank as the Grand Prize Winner of the 7th Annual BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series. Once again, the annual arts competition embarked on a North American search for the next big name in visual arts; bringing 16 finalists to SCOPE Miami Beach to showcase their work in front of an esteemed panel of judges including Rush Philanthropic co-founder Danny Simmons; SCOPE Miami Beach Vice President Daria Brit Greene; Creative Time’s Executive Director Katie Hollander, and Artisan Series Canadian Ambassador/Painter Kim Dorland.
As the Grand Prize Winner, Darius Frank will now move on to collaborate with New York based non-profit arts organization, Creative Time, on a groundbreaking public arts project scheduled to be unveiled in Spring 2017 and win a solo exhibition at next year’s SCOPE Miami Beach.
An illustrious mix of artists, celebrities, musicians, socialites, fashion designers and art industry influencers came together for the private event on Thursday, December 1 to celebrate the 7th Annual Finale at 1111 Lincoln Road. Guests, including A$AP Rocky, Russell Simmons, Rosario Dawson, and Sasha Lane, enjoyed artfully crafted BOMBAY SAPPHIRE cocktails and hor d’oeuvres while dancing to beats by Guest DJ Jermaine Dupri.
Launched in 2010 as a collaboration with Russell Simmons and Danny Simmons’s RUSH Philanthropic Arts Foundation, the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series is an annual arts competition committed to discovering the next big name in visual arts. Thousands of artists were invited to enter the 2016 Artisan Series by creating a piece of inspired, original art. The works of 14 artists were then selected from local gallery events across the US and Canada – including New York City, Chicago, New Orleans, Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta, San Francisco, Miami, Austin, Los Angeles, Seattle, Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto – while two additional finalists were determined online by popular votes.
Along with Grand Prize Winner Darius Frank, two other artists were selected among the 16 finalists who had made their way to the exclusive Finale in Miami: First Place Prize Winner Jimmy Jenkins Jr. and People’s Choice Winner Ivan Alifan. Coming together to announce the top three winning artists, Artisan Series program curator Andre Guichard, Judge Katie Hollander (Creative Time), and music mogul Russell Simmons toasted to the program’s incredible achievements and plans on expansion. Russell Simmons addressed the finalists: “Over the past seven years, the Artisan Series program has uncovered truly inspiring talent and in doing so, has cemented its mark in the creative community. I am so proud of our longstanding partnership with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE as we continue on our journey of discovering visual artists across North America. I can’t wait to see how Creative Time and Darius Frank’s collaborative vision come to life next spring. “
Of his Grand Prize win, Darius Frank said, “Exposing your work to thousands of artists, critics, collectors and art industry leaders at an international festival like SCOPE Miami Beach is something you always dream of as an artist. I am so grateful to have the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series as a platform and to have met so many inspiring creatives throughout this process. I look forward to collaborating with a groundbreaking arts organization like Creative Time and learning how to inspire people with my work.”
BOMBAY SAPPHIRE VP, Brand Managing Director Ned Duggan added, “Now in its 7th year, the Artisan Series program has completely established its presence within the creative community and continues to evolve with this year’s new Creative Time collaboration. The caliber of talent and quality of work gets better year upon year and I look forward to seeing Darius Frank’s solo exhibition at SCOPE Miami Beach next winter.”
This year’s collaboration with Creative Time will help expand on partnership between BOMBAY SAPPHIRE and Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation will enhance the brand’s longstanding commitment to fostering creativity and supporting artists. With BOMBAY SAPPHIRE and Rush’s mission of providing exhibition opportunities for emerging artists, and Creative Time’s worldly imagination, the annual arts competition will push the boundaries of what art can be and how it can be experienced like never before.