October 24, 2015. The 6th Annual Bombay Sapphire LA Artisan Series Competition hosted by Bombay Sapphire gin and Russell Simmons’ RUSH Philanthropic Arts Foundation, which took place in the highly popular art commune, Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, CA. Guests had the exclusive opportunity to view the innovative work of 20 emerging artists from Los Angeles who were vying for a chance to represent their hometown and participate in the Artisan Series National Grand Finale alongside some of the nation’s top up-and-coming talent during SCOPE Miami Beach in December. The top three winning artists from the finale will receive the unique opportunity to create a mural in their hometown in order to bring their visions to life, and give back to their communities.

IMG_0081Last night, LA’s Lilli Muller and her mixed media sculpture titled “Distorted” was announced as the 2015 LA Winner of the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series competition. Inspired by constriction, transformation and change, her piece proved imagination and creativity – key elements of RUSH Philanthropic Arts Foundation and Bombay Sapphire’s mission in the Artisan Series program. Other LA regional semi-finalists included: Ricardo Garcia, Jesse Cilio, Tara Josu, Salvatore Matteo, Andrew Augusto, Biscotti Smith, MB Boissonault, Zhenya Gershman, Andreas Hijar, Jorge Hernandez, Sona Mirzael, Carl Shubs, Koshin Finley, Aaron Stansberry, Mark Posey, Wanda Knight, Jeff Iorillo, David Cruz and John Ortiz.

As you may know, the Artisan Series program, launched in 2010 as a collaboration between Russell & Danny Simmons’ RUSH Philanthropic Arts Foundation and Bombay Sapphire gin, is a nationwide search for the next big names in visual arts with a focus on fostering the talents of emerging and underrepresented artists. IMG_0033Since its inception, the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series competition has received more than 20,000 submissions, and over $260,000 of artwork by competition finalists has been sold. In 2012, Chicago finalist Hebru Brantley sold his finale piece to Jay Z for $20,000 during Art Basel.  Brantley went on to paint Lil Wayne’s skate park and was commissioned by Swizz Beatz in 2013 to create a custom piece. More recently, 2014 National Winner Kristine Mays’ incredible work was purchased by Star Wars film director George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson at the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series solo exhibit at SCOPE NYC – a testament to the exceptional caliber of talent receiving exposure from this annual multicultural arts competition.


Photo credit: Rick Gustafson on behalf of Bombay Sapphire Gin

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