Denver’s McNichols building played host to 700+ art patrons for the Red Bull Curates: The Canvas Cooler Project on Wednesday night. The project brought twenty of the city’s top artists together and challenged them to transform a blank canvas-wrapped Red Bull cooler in to an inspired work of art. The completed coolers were exhibited in a one-night only public showcase where guests, along with a panel of curatorial judges voted on each piece, ultimately selecting the work of two artists to show at SCOPE Art Fair Miami in December during Art Basel week, the world’s premier international art show for modern and contemporary art. At the end of the night, the judges selected Mario Zoots and Jaime Molina as the night’s top two.
“I was already planning on going to SCOPE, but now I have a definite reason to go,” explained Mario Zoots, who’s art inspiration often comes from repurposing and recycling materials he gathers. He then turns his treasured finds into stunning collage pieces, which captured the attention of the judges. The soon to be Masters of Art graduate is a Denver native expressed that his canvas creation was a perfect match for the Forest Room, where it will ultimately reside. “This was such a great experience, and unique challenge for myself. As soon as I knew where my cooler was being placed, I couldn’t wait to get started. I’m so happy my vision came through!”
A distinguished panel of judges voted on the twenty artist submissions, including: Fine Arts activist Bobbi Walker, Black Book Gallery owner Tom Horne, Denver Nuggets shooting guard Randy Foye and acclaimed photographer Mark Sink. “It’s a breath of fresh air when exhibitions like Red Bull curates can happen, and excel,” said Mark Sink. “I feel like there is this rise of the creative class, and when you can circle in on that, and display the amazing work that’s coming out of cities like Denver, it’s a real boon to the larger industry when it comes to supporting local art.”
Red Bull Curates: The Canvas Cooler Project has been hosting challenges in multiple cities since it’s conception in 2012 and this year, this unique concept made it’s way to Denver’s thriving art scene. In addition to displaying their canvas creations, an exhibition room was added to showcase the artists’ work.
“I wanted to keep my design natural and real,” said representing artist, Jaime Molina, about his cooler, which was etched and engraved with wood paneling. “I feel that my installation is going to fit in really well with the vibe at the Meadowlark, it’s very down to earth, so I wanted my cooler to reflect that as well.”
In addition to Denver’s own Jaime Molina and Mario Zoots, a pair of additional artists from each of the additional seven cities hosting Red Bull Curates: The Canvas Cooler Project events are entered to vie for the overall People’s Choice Award. The coveted award will give one more artist the chance to join the group show at SCOPE Art Fair in Miami. The two artists entered in to the pool from each city are chosen based upon the number of social media mentions using their custom hashtag on Twitter. Denver’s People’s Choice candidates are Emily Dwan and Gamma Acosta.
In addition to the Molina, Zoots, Dwan and Gamma, other entries that were submitted for Red Bull Curates: The Canvas Cooler Project include: Chris Huth • Sandra Fettingis • Earl Chuvarsky • Jason Thielke • Ian Cochrane • Yiannis Bellis • Faim Worldwide the art of Jesse Frazier • Jon Streiby • Bimmer Torres • Delanie Holton-Fessler • Chris Haven • Axel Geittmann • Lord Science Universal • Alberto Kroeger • Delton Demarest • Ellie Rusonova
The completed Red Bull coolers will be installed in some of Denver’s hottest local bars, lounges, and restaurants. The participating Denver venues include: Meadowlark Lounge, The 1Up on Colfax, Forest Room, Beauty Bar, The Walnut Room, DaDa Art Bar, Funky Budha, Larimer Lounge, Gozo, Blake Street Vault, Marquis Theater, Acorn, XBar, Bluebird Theater, Ogden Theater, Satelite Boardshop, Family Affair, Emage, Berkeley Supply and Tattoo Shop.
The Denver event at McNichol’s Building was the fourth of eight stops on the national art tour, which includes six new cities this year as the Red Bull Curates program continues to expand its reach in providing emerging artists from all over the country with a chance to show their works on an international stage. Having kicked off the tour in Los Angeles and then Portland in early March, the tour made its way in to Chicago in April, Denver in May, and plans to continue throughout the year with additional exhibitions in New Orleans (June), Orlando (July), Houston (August) and Philadelphia (September), honoring a diverse group of artists from mixed disciplines including fine art, street art, graphic design and more. By combining social media, local industry and a no-boundaries stance on art style, this forward-thinking art tour has set a new tone for taking local artists communities and placing them on a global platform.
To find additional information about Red Bull Curates: The Canvas Cooler Project, please visit http://www.redbull.com/canvascooler. [Press Release]