Written by Alex Jurecko on 03.10.16

On September 8, 2016, Galerie Youn on Boulevard St-Laurent hosted the first instalment of the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series in Canada, a competition aimed to promote emerging visual artists. Since its beginnings in 2010, the Series has seen more than 20,000 submissions by talented artists in the US, and has showcased their artwork on an international high-profile platform. This year, Bombay Sapphire Gin and the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation have for the first time invited Canadian visual artists to join the competition.


In search of underrepresented talents, Bombay Sapphire Gin and the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation have enlisted the support of Canadian painter Kim Dorland. Being an artist in Canada himself, Kim knows “[e]xposure is the holy grail for young artists. It’s such a competitive and saturated scene in a pretty small country.”


By entering the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series, Canadian artists have the chance to win the attention of the international art scene at this year’s SCOPE Miami Beach art show. There, a jury will select the Grand Prize winner who will receive a cash stipend for a solo exhibit at the 2017 SCOPE Miami Beach as well as the opportunity to create a public art installation of their own.


Over the last years, participants of the competition have gone on to sell their winning pieces to the likes of Jay Z (2012 finalist Hebru Brantley) and George Lucas (2014 national winner Kristine May).


Montreal is the first stop out of 14 regional gallery events, all of which will select one winner each to exhibit at SCOPE Miami Beach in December. Out of 250 submissions in Montreal, and a selection of ten incredible finalists at Galerie Youn, Jérémie St-Pierre accepted the prize for his winning piece “Dédoublement” (acrylic on canvas).


The recent UQAM graduate was greeted not only by a round of applause, but also by a chorus of “Happy Birthday,” as he had just turned 33 years old. Inspired by contemporary Romanian painter Adrien Ghenie and UK artist Justin Mortimer, Jérémie describes his style as a collage of the “two spheres between his own inner reality and the reality of violence in the world.” Having only completed his Masters of Fine Arts at UQAM University last month, Jerémie was “very happy to win” and excited about the chance to exhibit his work at the prestigious SCOPE Miami Beach art fare in December.


While Jerémie has secured his ticket to the next stage of the Series, art enthusiasts can still put in their votes for the people’s choice contest from September 14 to November 7 . Both Jérémie and the people’s choice winner will receive a cash stipend to create a solo exhibit in their region.


Check out the other regional finalists and cast your votes online at the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series. For a chance to admire Jérémie’s art up close in Quebec, head over to La Foire D’Art Contemporain in Saint-Lambert this October, or wait for his return to Montreal in May 2017 at the Maison de la Culture Frontenac.


All photo credits to Bombay Sapphire Canada.

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