A couple months ago I agreed to produce and curate a project that had the power to initiate the demise of my career. An art competition (don’t roll your eyes just yet) presented by Southern Comfort (wait for it) where the winning artwork will be transformed into a painted billboard, aka an advertisement (cue eyes rolling and all sound effects suggesting disaster). It took a lot of brainstorming and nightmares to come up with a formula that guarantees the support of the local art community and the protection against complete rejection and denial from said art community. It was a tough tough challenge but I embraced it with as much fear and hesitance as a little girl afraid to peek under the bed but also with enough determination to make this shit work.
The 100 Proof Project is the outcome of much deliberating, brainstorming, editing, and starting from scratch. It’s focus is community; supporting it, harvesting it, and relying on it as a tool for both parties of the project to benefit from. For me the project is an opportunity to approach and engage with the art community in Brooklyn in a different way and help artists to form not only new relationships but a means for artists to create an economy, providing an opportunity to exchange in a new form of commerce.
Yes this is with the backing of a corporate brand, a brand that probably nobody drinks in Brooklyn because it’s too easily found in the dorm rooms of many a frat parties that make us cringe. Yes this is a project of a multi-million dollar company that has better things to do than trying to infiltrate a niche market like artists proliferating in North Brooklyn.
But guess what. Southern Comfort unlike any other brand or company out there had the nerve and audacity to approach a community organizer like me found through the grapevines of projects like Northside Festival, Greenpoint Open Studios and Brooklyn Night Bazaar and asked me to produce this project. Both SoCo and I are taking a huge risk approaching a community of creatives that are picky and discerning, against big corporations but obsessed with being the next small business entrepreneur, Refusing 9 – 5’s but embracing self-efficiency, self-employment, DIY EVERYTHING, and creating everything that has to do with the word ALTERNATIVE. I can only pray that the project is worthy of your blogging and retweeting, your nod of approval and of course the exhibition of your artwork.
So with that I give Southern Comfort the same kudos I give creatives thriving in Brooklyn and treat you all the same by introducing The 100 Proof Project. There’s something like three days left to sign up and I’m still bustin’ my ass collecting artist applications and updating the website but we’re opening the doors to artists who have ideas of creating an original artwork inspired by the brand and take their practice to another level, whatever that means.
Open call below, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your details and stay tuned for some serious updates. We’re talking interviews, videos clips, voting through social media platforms, reviews and comments from the art community, etc. I want YOU to be as engaged in this and be comforted knowing you’re being heard. You don’t like the abstracted drip painting of a liquor bottle of so and so artist? Share your thoughts. You want to give thumbs up for an artist to be 1 of 10 contestants for the 100 Proof Project art competition? Share your thoughts. You want an invite to the one night exhibition rife with music, drinks, and art? Hit us up.
You can always email me as well with your thoughts and questions: email@example.com
Announcing The 100 Proof Project, an Open Call for Artists
The L Magazine and Southern Comfort have teamed up to bring you “The 100 Proof Project,” an art competition comprised of three phases: An open call to artists working in various mediums including painting, photography, drawing and sculpture; a website documenting the process of artists creating an original piece of artwork commissioned and inspired by Southern Comfort 100 Proof with rigorous participation from the art community via social networks, reviews, blogging, and video; and an exhibition showcasing the works with a one night reception that will serve as judgement day with a panel of art critics, curators, and artists. One work will be voted and chosen to be on the face of a painted billboard in Williamsburg and the pages of Brooklyn Magazine. Each artist will receive a $200 commission for their work, and the final selected artist will receive a free trip to New Orleans.
The four C’s are of utmost importance in this competition: COMMUNITY, COLLABORATION, COMMUNICATION, and CREATIVITY. We seek to build a platform where interaction between artists and their viewers are active through daily updates and conversations on our website and social networks. We seek to redefine or consider the artist as a small business, entrepreneurs with a passion to not only create but build their own economy outside the realms of a rigid and inaccessible art world establishment. We are building a support system where artists and the community can speak and be heard, where art goes beyond the studio and gallery and interaction is immediate, direct, and engaged.
Southern Comfort is committed to supporting the artist community and our efforts extend specifically to artists working in Brooklyn, not because it is a guaranteed marketing campaign, it’s rather a risky counterintuitive effort as we seek to upturn current notions of commercial sponsorships and embrace the partnership for a mutual appreciation for community and creativity.
Deadline to submit: EXTENDED TO DEC 7
Commissioned work: Dec 7 – 31
Prepare for exhibition: Jan 1 – 11
Exhibition / Panel: Jan 18
To submit, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following info:
How do you contribute to the art community in Brooklyn?
What does it mean to be a SoCo Artist?
How do you define the role of the artist today and how might this competition open up that role to different opportunities?
Official rules can be found at 100proofbk.com. Must be 21 or older. Valid in NY only.