ARTS AND CRAFTS: Seven young artists have won a sponsorship jackpot from Tiffany & Co., part of an ongoing partnership with the Outset Contemporary Art Fund. The jeweler provides promising arts graduates with rent-free studio space for a year to help them refine their work and kick-start their careers.
Richard Moore, the brand’s divisional vice president, store design and creative visual merchandising, revealed the names of the seven winners for this year during a breakfast held at Tiffany’s new Covent Garden concept space.
They are James Fuller, who is best known for creating art pieces out of mundane, everyday objects; multidisciplinary artist Mark Corfield-Moore; sculptor Miriam Naeh; contemporary jewelry designer Neung Wi Kim; painter Roy Efrat; Sofia Mitsola who stands out for her abstract portraits, and mixed-media artist Yasmine Robinson.
“Art has been such an important part of our brand narrative,” said Moore. “We really wanted to create not only an opportunity for young and emerging artists in London to be able to make those first steps up the ladder, but also to create that sense of community. It’s one of our brand purposes, as big organizations should really be supporting the community and the world at large.”
The winning artists will be given the opportunity to display their works in the Tiffany Covent Garden boutique as part of a three-week exhibition that will expose them to the wide-ranging audience the brand attracts in its new concept space.
The brand is known for keeping close ties with the art world since it was founded 181 years ago, with Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper John being some of its early beneficiaries. This is the second year of the prize.
Designed to inspire a less formal atmosphere and speak to the new generation, the Covent Garden space, which comes complete with vending machines selling perfume, personalization stations where customers can engrave their own illustrations on jewelry and gigantic video screens, is said to attract up to 2,000 visitors on weekends, which is higher than many local art galleries.
“It’s really about creating that brand experience for our clients. You can buy anything online nowadays, so you need a reason to come into the store,” added Moore. “When you come here, you get to try things on, style them together and learn about the ideas behind the brand. Using the store to expose these seven different artists and some of the amazing work that they do is hugely important because art really enriches peoples lives. It makes us more educated, it makes us better people, and therefore being able to introduce these works to some of our customers who wouldn’t go to a gallery or a museum necessarily, is key.”
Moore added that by supporting these types of initiatives and experimenting with new retail experiences, Tiffany can also shine a light on its ongoing commitment to craftsmanship and refresh its image.
“The whole store is really about creating this different personality and different view of the brand. The concept here is centered around creating things and making them your own with personalization, which is also linked to the idea of an artist creating their work by hand. This is a big part of our story and even though people might see Tiffany as this big sort of corporate machine, the team back in New York is actually constantly working with artists, illustrators, stylists and florists and making things by hand at our studio.”