BOMBAY SAPPHIRE®, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, and Complex Media Announce Winners of the Bombay Sapphire® Artisan Series

Stan Squirewell of Washington, DC and Jorge Cavalier of Miami, Fla. Selected from Thousands to Exhibit at Rush Arts Gallery in New York City

Dec 21, 2010, 12:01 ET from BOMBAY SAPPHIRE (R)

MIAMI, Dec. 21, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- This fall, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin and Russell and Danny Simmons' Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation teamed up to create the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series -- a nationwide search to discover the next big names in both urban photography and multi-media art.  During a series of regional gallery events, twenty artists from these two categories were shortlisted and invited to Miami for a grand finale event during Art Basel.  After much deliberation, a jury panel which included Rush Philanthropic co-founders Russell and Danny Simmons, the program's national curator Andre Guichard, photographer Eric Henderson and Marc Ecko selected Washington, DC photographer Stan Squirewell and Miami artist Jorge Cavalier as the first ever winners of the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series.  Both artists will have their work installed at the Rush Arts Gallery in Manhattan from Jan. 13 to 27, 2011.

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The finale event, held Dec. 4 at Miami Beach's Paris Theater, featured a wide range of work from the talented artists and photographers who participated in the Artisan Series.  As they sipped signature BOMBAY SAPPHIRE cocktails, guests danced to music spun by DJ D-Nice and enjoyed a high-energy performance by Miami's New Century Dance Company.  Just prior to the announcement of the winners, Artisan Series program curator Andre Guichard called the top twenty onto the stage, all of whom were met with thunderous applause from the crowd.  Rush Philanthropic co-founder Danny Simmons addressed the finalists saying, "I've been making art for years and I still consider myself an emerging artist," encouraging the group to continue evolving and growing as artists.  Finally, Russell Simmons took the stage and, after commending each of the artists on their "deeply personal" work, Simmons announced Squirewell and Cavalier as the winners.  Squirewell's acrylic on pigment print is titled The Carbon Anomaly and Cavalier's dramatic three piece sculpture comes from a series titled Labyrinths.  

Of his win, Cavalier said, "Art Basel is one of the largest art fairs in the world. Having the opportunity to show my work here was amazing and to win tonight is more than I could have imagined."  Squirewell added, "This level of exposure is one of the most important things an artist could ask for. I'm thrilled to be recognized as a winner tonight and am looking forward to bringing my work to New York."

In relationship with Marc Ecko's Complex magazine, emerging artists were invited to enter the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series by creating a piece of inspired, original art.  In its first year, the BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series received nearly two thousand submissions from artists across the United States.  Submissions were judged by an esteemed panel, and selected artists were invited to have their work displayed at gallery events in Washington DC, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta and New York City.

The relationship between BOMBAY SAPPHIRE and Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation evolved from BOMBAY SAPPHIRE brand's longstanding support of the arts, especially in the Miami locale. BOMBAY SAPPHIRE has had an ongoing presence at Art Basel Miami over its nine year lifespan, matched more recently by its involvement with the new Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, of which BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin is a key sponsor. Commenting on the union, Brand Manager Richard McLeod said, "We were so impressed by the talented artists that participated in this year's BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Artisan Series.  Both BOMBAY SAPPHIRE and Rush Philanthropic are committed to continuing this program and building on the success that we saw in this inaugural year."

About BOMBAY SAPPHIRE®

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® is the fastest growing premium gin in the world and world's number one premium gin by value.  BOMBAY SAPPHIRE is created with a unique combination of ten hand-selected botanicals, sourced from around the globe. The brand's global essence and signature vapor infusion process impart a refined and perfectly balanced taste, versatile enough for both classic cocktails and exotic recipes.  A leader among gins, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE is a symbol of the exploration of worldly and sophisticated lifestyles. For more information, please explore www.bombaysapphire.com.  

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About Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.

Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. is the United States import and distribution arm of one of the world's leading spirits and wine producers. The company boasts a portfolio of some of the most recognized and top-selling spirits brands in the United States including BACARDI® rum, the world's favorite and best-selling premium rum, as well as the world's most awarded rum; GREY GOOSE® vodka, the world-leader in super-premium vodka; DEWAR'S® Blended Scotch Whisky, the number-one selling blended Scotch whisky in the United States; BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, the top-valued premium gin in the world; CAZADORES® blue agave tequila, the number-one premium tequila in the world; MARTINI® vermouth, the world-leader in vermouth; and other leading and emerging brands.

ABOUT RUSH PHILANTHROPIC ARTS FOUNDATION

Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation is dedicated to providing underserved urban youth with significant exposure and access to the arts, and to offering exhibition opportunities for underrepresented artists and artists of color.  Rush was founded in 1995 by three brothers: Danny Simmons, visual artist and community builder; media mogul Russell Simmons; and Joseph "Rev. Run" Simmons of the legendary hip-hop group Run-DMC.  Their goal was to fill the gap that poor and minorities face in both accessing the arts and exhibition opportunities.  Over the past 15 years, Rush has served over 700,000 urban youth and has developed a broad base of friends, collaborators and supporters dedicated to addressing these issues. In addition to the 2,000 students served each year in its education programs, Rush exhibits the work of 40 to 50 emerging and community-based artists in its galleries; welcomes over 10,000 gallery visitors; distributes grants to nonprofit arts organizations in NYC and South Florida; and provides unique opportunities for young people interested in careers in the arts.  Rush currently operates two galleries, Rush Arts Gallery and Resource Center in Chelsea (Manhattan) and Corridor Gallery in Clinton Hill (Brooklyn).

Rush Philanthropic believes that if you give young people the opportunity to practice and appreciate art -- whether poetry, music, dance or the visual arts -- you will see lives transformed. Nurtured in early childhood, and anchored in sustained, creative experiences throughout one's life, it is through art that we see young people learn to value their own unique voices and visions; and it is through art that we see artists transform the minds and eyes of society. For more information on the Artisan Series, please visit www.complex.com/SapphireArt. For more information on Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation visit www.rushphilanthropic.org.

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