Monday, July 24, 2017

The DMV's Darius Frank is the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series Grand Prize Winner!

WHAT: Opening of a special art installation in collaboration with CREATIVE TIME for the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series
WHERE: Dock 5 at Union Market | 1309 5th St. NE, Washington, DC 20002
WHEN: OFFICIAL PUBLIC OPENING: Free & Open to the public daily on July 29-30 from 10AM-6PM RSVP LINK for the public:

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin has announced that DC-based emerging artist Darius Frank’s first public art project Darius Frank: Things I Love/d. The exhibition will be free and open to the public at Dock 5 in Union Market in the artist’s hometown of Washington, DC on Saturday, July 29 and Sunday, July 30, 2017 from 12PM to 6PM. 

The project was developed in collaboration with NY-based public art nonprofit Creative Time for the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series, an annual competition committed to discovering the next big name in visual arts. The organization acted as an advisor to Frank on producing a public work of art in a medium that is new to the artist. The exhibition was commissioned as part of 7th Annual BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series national grand prize, which Frank was awarded in December 2016.
Through a multi-media art installation, Frank looks at the histories, culture, and communities of Washington DC over the past 35 years; a time when Washington DC, like many cities across the country, has experienced rapid change. In a public exhibition that takes both a nostalgic and honest lens towards the past and present, Frank uses individual storytelling and testimonials as a vehicle to give personal texture to things lost and loved by former and current residents of the community. A multi-channel video installation juxtaposes candid and vibrant tales of what each storyteller used to love about "old DC" alongside the things they might appreciate about the "new DC. The resulting stories traverse the changing eras of metropolitan regions, and weave a human narrative of evolution with universal resonance.

Darius Frank (b. 1987, Bethesda, Maryland) is a Washington, DC-based artist whose work explores human connection and expression. Through his practice, Frank seeks to contribute to a greater representation of black Americans in contemporary spaces. Primarily focused on figurative painting and illustration, Frank celebrates the individuality of his subjects while illuminating a shared, universal humanity. He received a BFA in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Washington in 2009, and his work has been exhibited at Art Basel, Miami; Artloft, Washington DC; Big Chief, Washington DC; and Artomatic, Arlington, VA. Frank is the winner of the 2017 BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series Grand Prize, and the resulting exhibition, Things I Love/d, will be his first large-scale public exhibition.

ABOUT THE BOMBAY SAPPHIRE ARTISAN SERIESLaunched in 2010, the Artisan Series is an annual arts competition committed to discovering the best emerging visual artists. Over the past seven years, the Artisan Series has received more than 26,700 submissions from emerging artists across North America and has precipitated hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales for artists over the program’s history.   

“Developing my first-ever solo exhibition in my hometown has been a dream come true,” says artist Darius Frank. “Before winning the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series, I never imagined I’d have the opportunity to debut a work of art on a national scale, and collaborating with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE and Creative Time pushed my creativity to new boundaries. Allowing my neighbors to become storytellers through this exhibition is a message that I look forward to showing the rest of the country. I hope that this incredible opportunity can inspire other emerging artists to take a chance and get involved with this program that truly fosters talent.” 

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE VP, Brand Managing Director Tom Swift adds, “Our goal for the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series has always been to champion artistry by reinterpreting how it can be experienced, and we look forward to catapulting the competition to even greater heights through this collaboration. We are excited to see Darius’s vision come to life, and we’re proud to be a part of such a tremendous moment in the career of a talented emerging artist.”

The BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series fosters the talents of emerging artists through a nationwide search for the best up-and-coming names in visual arts.  Each year, thousands of artists are invited to enter the competition by creating and submitting a piece of inspired, original artwork online and then move on to regional gallery events across North America. The works of 14 artists are selected from the gallery events – with cities including New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Austin, New Orleans, Detroit, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Philadelphia – while two additional finalists are determined online via popular vote. These sixteen artists move on to the finale in December at the SCOPE MIAMI BEACH ART Show where the Grand Finale and First Prize winners are announced by an esteemed panel of judges and People’s Choice winner is selected by the event attendees.

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