The 3rd Annual Artisan Series Competition

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE and Russell and Danny Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Art Foundation continue their longstanding partnership with the Artisan Series in 2012.  The Artisan Series competition occurs at various venues across the country and provides an exceptional opportunity for talented emerging artists to showcase their works.  During the competition, a select group of artists are chosen from online submissions and local-gallery events to compete at Art Basel Miami.  There, two winners are chosen to have their own art exhibit at Russell and Danny Simmons’ Rush Arts Gallery in New York’s Chelsea arts district during February 2013.  The third annual Artisan Series is underway and artists are encouraged to submit their works on the custom-made website no later than August 24, 2012.

 Miguel Ovalle, Dizmology, mixed media, 15

Tim Davis, director of International Visions Gallery, is very impressed with the Artisan Series.  His gallery was the host site for the 2010 and 2011 competitions in the Washington, D.C., area.  He states that the Artisan Series is so important to emerging artists who are selected to participate because it offers them the possibility of showcasing their talent in the nation’s largest art event – the Art Basel Miami Beach international art fair.  Even if they don’t succeed in getting there or winning, he says that the mere fact that they have been selected to compete will significantly enhance their visibility and reputation in the art world. 


Davis also points out that the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation is dedicated to providing under-served urban youth with significant exposure and access to the arts. 

African American and other minority artists can be assured that their involvement with one of the Artisan Series sponsors will give them a meaningful opportunity to succeed in this visual arts competition, Davis emphasizes.  This is evidenced by the fact that minorities were winners in the first two competitions. Lerone Wilson, A Path Through the Sky, encaustic on wood, 27 3/4


It is clear that the Artisan Series is gaining momentum and generating lots of interest among emerging artists.  For its initial competition in 2010, it received almost 2,000 entries from artists across the country.  That number increased to about 3,000 in 2011.


The art competition is also gaining interest among fine-art buyers.  In 2011, international art dealers purchased six Artisan Series works – three fine-art prints by Michael Coakes of Chicago; Reciprocity by Alvin Burts of Washington, D.C.; Down South by Bryan Keith Thomas of San Francisco; and The Will by Jose Romentaria of Miami.  These artists join a growing list of artists who have sold their artwork because of their participation in the Artisan Series.

2011 winner of the International Vision's D.C. regional competition: S. Ross Browne, Persistence of History, acrylic on canvas. The artist with his work.