Red bull is known to give you an extra boost. Now, the popular drink company is energizing the art community in Dallas. For the first time ever, the Red Bull Curates “Canvas Cooler” competition is in Dallas. It’s a creative competition like no other and features the talents of 20-area artists.
“Life is creation and without creation, there is no life,” contest participant Miguel Don Juan said as he carefully worked on his piece.
Red Bull Curates features talented artists, like Don Juan, from major cities across the United States. This year, the city of Dallas was selected as a stop for the competition. Other major cities include: New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
“We try to get a group of artists with different styles, different backgrounds,” contest producer Billy Franchey said. Franchey is with Term of Art.
He says the emerging art scene in Dallas was a factor in deciding to bring the notable contest to the city.
“I was a baseball player, played in college; that was my life. I was even drafted by the mariners back in 2004,” participant Leighton Autrey said.
“I’ve been doing graffiti and art work gallery work for about past 13 years,” Don Juan said of his experience.
Participating artists are paired with a social venue in North Texas, and are charged with painting a Red Bull cooler that’ll be placed at their corresponding venue.
“It serves for the artists as a public work in a social setting,” Franchey said.
Autrey is paired with Like in Deep Ellum – the venue hosting the event.
“I did an abstract graffiti background with light colors,” Autrey explained of his work.
“I use mainly spray paint, oil markers and acrylics. I`m doing a lion theme, it`s actually from a bible verse, the righteous are as bold as lions.”
Don Juan was teamed with It’ll Do Club of Dallas.
“I grew up doing graffiti and it was a whole thing about masking and hiding your identity,” he said of his piece. “So, it`s more about the work speaking for itself than having an actual face or an actual name to what you`re doing.”
“It`s the most humbling art form there is; you don`t have an arena, you don`t have a gallery, you`re doing it for yourself and to empower yourself,” Don Juan said.
Artist Alison Jardin moved to Dallas from London back in 2003. She is a full-time artist with a studio in Deep Ellum. Jardin was paired with The Loop Hole in Denton. Her cooler bears vivid colors of pastel hues.
“I wanted to show oils can be modern and versatile,” she said of her creation.
“This year I went to Tokyo and I experienced the cherry blossom,” Jardin said. “Rather than do a representational piece, I tried to get a more universal language, right at the edge of representation.”
Yet the experience is more than just an outlet for creative expression, all 20-participants will compete for a shot at attending Art Basel in Miami. Two artists will be selected, based off their cooler. One other participant will be selected as fan favorite to also attend.
The artists will appear alongside other talent from various cities like New York, San Francisco and Atlanta.
The competing artists know this is an opportunity of a life-time.
“Contests like this help tremendously,” Autrey said. “It propels the artist farther than you could on your own. Things like this just don`t come along all the time.”
“I`d call it the super bowl of the art world. It`s just artists from all different parts of the world,” Don Juan added.
The competition highlights Dallas talent and their contribution to the art community.
“Programs like this can really help artists to make new contacts, make new connections, and to be seen by a wider audience,” Jardin said.
A big congrats to one amazing local artist! Jody Pham was selected as the winner of the Red Bull Curates Cooler Canvas project. Jody was among 20 area artists selected to create a colorful cooler for a local business.