Bombay Sapphire: 5 Questions on the 2017 Artisan Series

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Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series

Bombay Sapphire has launched “Art Without Labels,” part of the annual Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series that supports emerging artists. How the 2017 series works: Artists submitted their work online in June through August. From September through November 7th, judges from across North America select a group of Regional Finalists to be featured in each of the Regional Gallery events.

Online finalists and Regional Finalists will be featured on the Artisan Series website, which will be open to public voting. The two entries with the highest votes will advance and showcase their art at SCOPE Miami Beach during Miami Art Week in December, one of the largest global art fairs in the world.

To level the online playing field—and democratize the process—the Artisan Series website features Art Without Labels this year, removing all labels from a digital gallery so visitors can engage with the artwork on its own.

In a new twist for the Artisan Series this year, eye-tracking technology measured which pieces drew the most attention by visitors, using a webcam to record which of a pair of paintings drew the most attention.

Bombay Sapphire Art Without Labels 2017 eye tracking

The results from the virtual gallery tour are then presented to the visitor at the end, with a call to action to explore more artwork and vote—and even purchase pieces.

Tracking how people engage with the art helps the brand create a richer experience from the digital activation: “When you discover new art, the world becomes a much richer place. Change how you see the art world by visiting our interactive gallery.”

Stacy Belter Saltiel - Senior Brand Manager - Bombay SapphireStacy Belter-Saltiel (right), Bacardi’s Senior Brand Manager for Bombay Sapphire, shares more in a Q&A:

Stacy, how are you changing the digital customer journey and experience of the Artisan Series this year?

The Artisan Series competition has been steadily growing since its inception in 2010. We have seen record submissions and engagement with the competition yet again this year. What’s new this year is how we are talking about the competition and its participants. Last year’s campaign, the Artifier project, changed how we saw the internet. This year’s campaign will change how we see art.

When viewers reach the end of the digital gallery, they will be able to view the unbiased data pulled from eye-tracking technology to see which pieces they lingered on the most, regardless of the artist. The emerging artists’ websites and social channels will also be available should viewers wish to purchase art or contact the artist for information.

Bombay Sapphire - Artisan Series - Art Without Labels 2017 eye-tracking

How does the Artisan Series enhance and bring the Bombay Sapphire brand values to life?

“Stir Creativity” embodies the way Bombay Sapphire wants to enrich people’s lives. If we can inspire others to both act creatively and be inspired by the creativity of others, we can help them live a much richer life. Stir Creativity is about taking different types of ideas and blending them together to create something new. Taking artwork from two different worlds with completely different histories felt like a natural application of the line for Artisan Series this year.

It’s interesting that beverage brands align themselves with art, from Absolut vodka to PepsiCo’s LIFEWTR brand, from making their labels a canvas to sponsoring physical and digital activations. Are there plans to do more with the Artisan Series?

Up to this point, our efforts have been focused on how we can best support the journey of emerging artists. They have consistently told us they look for an opportunity to work with experts within the industry to create immersive artworks they otherwise would never have the chance to create. Last year the Artisan Series Grand Prize winner, Darius Frank, received a grant to collaborate with the esteemed non-profit Creative Time to create a public installation in Darius’s hometown of Washington D.C. This year’s winner will receive the opportunity to collaborate with the global arts platform Artsy on a public art installation in New York City next spring.

Why Artsy, and how did the partnership come about?

Artsy jumped out as a natural fit to partner with on this year’s series because our core values are very much aligned. Similar to the Artisan Series mission of supporting emerging artists, Artsy strives to make art more accessible and encourage more people to engage with art both online and offline. We’re excited to work with them and can’t wait to see how their collaboration with this year’s winner on a public installation in New York next spring will come to life.

And how will this year’s Artisan Series wrap up?

The Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series finale takes place during Miami Art Week (Dec. 5-10). Each of the 16 finalists will have the opportunity to showcase their work at SCOPE Miami Beach. Participating in this critically-acclaimed art show, which attracts curators and collectors from across the world, offers an incredible career-building opportunity for artists.


Get more insights in our Q&A series and suggest a Q&A via editor@brandchannel.com.

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