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On December 8, in Miami at the Villa Casa Casuarina, known to many as the old Versace Mansion, Bombay Sapphire held its 8th annual “Artisan Series.” Hosted by actress, writer, and producer, Issa Rae, guests enjoyed the lively night while mingling amongst the 16 finalists. Those finalists were also showing work at SCOPE Miami Beach.
“It excites me to be a part of a program that champions emerging talent and shines a spotlight on the remarkable works of underrepresented creatives throughout North America,” said Rae. “Similar to the entertainment industry, there is such an immense pool of undiscovered and diverse artists who oftentimes are not given a platform to showcase their talent. In order to help breed the next generation of outstanding creatives, it’s crucial to support organizations dedicated to broadening the industry’s spectrum.”
All competitors were vying for the grand prize—a public art installation in New York, unveiled in spring 2018 with Artsy. After the judges (Curator of Artsy Projects, Elena Soboleva; SCOPE’s Vice President, Daria Brit Greene; and Artisan Series International Curator, Andre Guichard) considered each piece, the night’s festivities culminated with the award ceremony. It was then that Vancouver-based Vanessa Lam was announced as the grand prize winner—the brand’s first Artisan Series winner from Canada.
“It’s been an incredible journey since being a part of the Artisan Series earlier this year,” said Lam. “Exhibiting my work and getting to know so many inspiring artists during this year’s Artisan finale is something I will never forget, and I am grateful to have been offered this remarkable platform to share my art with the world.”
Second place winner Ariel Vargassal from Los Angeles was all smiles, as was the People’s Choice winner, Charity White, from Chicago. For their prizes, both artists will present works at the gallery of their choice in their hometowns next year.
“Over the past eight years, the Artisan Series program has committed to supporting the industry’s top emerging visual artists,” said Bombay Sapphire Senior Brand Manager Stacy Satiel. “It has been inspiring to see these artists go on to create a lasting impact in the creative community and we’re excited to see how Lam will continue to push boundaries and take her talent to new heights.”
Moving between the luxurious rooms of the mansion and the iconic courtyard and pool, guests like Eva Longoria, Olivia Culpo, Mark Ronson, Beau Dunn, and Gigi Burris were seen enjoying celebratory gin cocktails—including Epiphany, Ginger Mosaic, Wellspring, and Formations, which were all uniquely made for the ceremony—and dancing well into the night.