The Davidoff Art Initiative (DAI) will add the fourth component to its global Art Residency program - an annual residency for Caribbean artists or curators at Atelier Mondial in Basel, Switzerland, in collaboration with the Institute of Art at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design. The residencies will take place from October to December each year, starting in 2015.
"Ever since we started the Davidoff Art Initiative, it has been our intent to have one node in our network in Switzerland," said Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, CEO Oettinger Davidoff AG. "We are all the more delighted that our Swiss residency partner is right here in Basel, where both our company and our lead cultural partner, Art Basel, are headquartered. Under the expert guidance of Chuz Martinez, the new residency will bring the Davidoff Art Initiative back home to us, allowing our Davidoff colleagues to interact closely with the visiting Caribbean artists."
Atelier Mondial's studios are located in the newly constructed building complex at Freilager-Platz in the Dreispitz area, an emerging art zone just behind the Swiss railway station. The complex is directly opposite a new FHNW high-rise, designed by the architects Morger & Dettli, and the so-called "offspaces" - a cluster of independent, non-commercial exhibition spaces. Each year, the Davidoff Art Initiative will invite one artist or curator from the Caribbean to participate in a three-month residency at Atelier Mondial.
"It is my firm belief that the Caribbean region has some of the most exciting voices in the contemporary art world today," said Chuz Martinez, Head of the Institute of Art at the FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel. "Yet these artists and curators are often overlooked. They demand our urgent attention. The new residency collaboration will be an important vehicle to developing a deeper and much needed cultural bridge between our respective regions."
Earlier in 2015, DAI started a new residency for international artists visiting the Caribbean, in collaboration with the Altos de Chavón School of Design, in La Romana, Dominican Republic.
Launched in 2012, the Davidoff Art Initiative aims to support contemporary art and artists in the Caribbean, in particular the Dominican Republic, and to foster cultural engagement between the Caribbean and the rest of the world. The Initiative is motivated by a commitment to bring much-needed exposure and resources to the cultural community of the region where many employees, and much of the production of Oettinger Davidoff are located.
Newly Designed Davidoff Lounge
As an Associate Partner of Art Basel for the fourth consecutive year, Davidoff will unveil the newly designed VIP hospitality lounge in the Collectors Lounge at Art Basel from June 18 - 21, 2015.
The Davidoff Lounge at Art Basel is designed by the renowned Swiss firm of Atelier Oï and will showcase the artists and activities of the Davidoff Art Initiative, and serve as a place to give expression to Oettinger Davidoff's core values: the company's respect for the natural environment, its support for the time-honored techniques of premium tobacco cultivation and cigar production, and its embrace of the cultural heritage and contemporary artistic vibrancy of the Caribbean region. As a result, the lounge will convey a feeling of warmth, luxury, and authenticity associated with the Caribbean and reflected in Davidoff's motto, Time Beautifully Filled.
A digital screen serving as the centerpiece of the lounge will feature interactive images from the Davidoff Art Initiative's growing network of Caribbean artists and arts organizations, and photographs by Polibio Díaz - a Dominican artist who participated in the Davidoff Art Residency program at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in Brooklyn, New York, in the fall of 2014.