Bleeding Heart Rum Company, makers of Don Papa Rum, finally disclosed the winners of the first ever Don Papa Art Competition, aimed at engaging members of the artistic community and harnessing their creativity by way of conducting a visual arts competition.
Galleries were called in to get their representative artists to reimagine the Don Papa secondary packaging design based on the artists’ own notions about the island of Negros, Papa Isio, and the liquid that is Don Papa Rum. “When we first sent out the call, we were nervous, because what if no one submitted? We talked to the galleries because we felt that it was the easiest and the fastest way to get to the artist,” says Monica Llamas, Don Papa Rum’s communications and brand manager. “There were a lot who joined and there was even a gallery that sent out 20 names for its artist but eventually we had to pare it down,” she explains.
During the Art Fair Philippines last February 17-21, 10 finalist were chosen and their artworks featured during the five day exhibit at The Link Carpark. During the fair, the public was also asked to engage and give their vote for the People’s Choice entry.
The winning entry was announced on February 20 with Riel Hilario of The Drawing Room Gallery emerging as winner. His work entitled “The Spiritual Landscape of Papa Isio” was interpreted from his dream of Papa Isio. Hilario’s inspiration for his artwork came from Alfonso Ossorio’s “The Angry Christ” and a playful reference about “talking to the spirits” by using the visual composition of the Ouija board, the spiritual talking board.
“We looked both at the artistic impression and the canister impression. You know the painting as it looks really great, but we had to consider how it would look on the shelf because it is the final display,” explains Llamas.
Winning the first ever Don Papa Rum Art Competition entitles Hilario to a month of artistic residency sojourn in Paris, France – a getaway any discerning artist who wants to learn more would want stamped on his passport. The trip is complete with art museum passes, airfare and accommodation, pocket money, and a year’s supply of Don Papa Rum. The gallery the artist represents will also be part of the trip and will also receive Don Papa Rum sponsorship to major events for 2016.
“There’s no pressure for them to create something for Don Papa. It’s really for them to enjoy and create during their trip,” explains Llamas. “We just hope to promote the artists and their creativity,” she adds.
The winning canister with Hilario’s artwork will be released as Don Papa Rum’s official limited edition secondary packaging in October 2016 in the Philippines and in all other Don Papa markets. And upon the recommendation of Stranger and Stranger, Don Papa Rum’s design agency, the company has decided to release the artworks made by first runner-up Barry Cervantes, second runner-up Anjo Bolarda, and The People’s Choice Award that was given to Renz Bautista of Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery for his artwork entitled “Florence of Endeavor,” with a modern interpretation of Don Papa Rum using acrylic on canvas.