Davidoff Announces Details of New Art Initiative to launch in the Caribbean

By ARC Magazine Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 Categories: ARC, Art Residencies, Updates

The Oettinger Davidoff Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, has revealed details of its new Art Initiative at a press conference at Art Basel Miami Beach. First made public at Art Basel in June 2012, the Initiative marks a new stage in the evolution of Davidoff’s cultural patronage, from art fair sponsorship to the encouragement and production of contemporary visual art. Most of the Initiative’s activities will focus on supporting the art and artists of the Dominican Republic, where Davidoff cigars are crafted, and  of  the Caribbean region. Oettinger Davidoff Group President and CEO, Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, and Andras Szanto, the Initiative’s Chief Consultant, will attend the press conference.

The International Studio & Curatorial Program

The International Studio & Curatorial Program

The centerpiece of the Initiative will be the annual Davidoff Residency, which will bring five  international artists  to  the Dominican Republic and  send five  artists  from the Dominican Republic to major art centers of the world. As of now, locations in New York City and Berlin have been confirmed.

Slated to begin in fall 2013, the New York City Residency will be based at Brooklyn’s International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP). It will provide an artist with resources for three months, including funds for domestic travel. The German Residency, which will begin in late spring 2014, will be  housed in the Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin. It will also provide an artist with resources for three months, including funds to  travel to Switzerland during Art Basel. Other Residency Programs under consideration include sites in Spain, China, South America, and Switzerland.The  Dominican Republic  Residency will provide five artists with resources for two months and is currently being finalized. First details should be available during Art Basel in June 2013.

Enquiries about the residencies can be made by going to www.davidoffartinitiative.com,which will be frequently updated with additional information. The Davidoff Art Initiative will start accepting applications for the New York City and Berlin residencies in spring 2013.

Additionally, the Initiative’s development will be supported in part by expert guidance from the leading museum in the U.S. for the arts of the Americas: El Museo del Barrio. Having already helped the Davidoff Art Initiative by identifying talented artists in the Carribbean, El Museo del Barrio has designated curator Rocio Aranda-Alvarado to serve on Davidoff’s international Art Council, which is currently in formation and will decide on artists for residencies and other key issues related to the Initiative.

Portrait of Rocio Aranda-Alvarado

Portrait of Rocio Aranda-Alvarado

In addition to the partnership with El Museo del Barrio, Davidoff has appointed  Ms. Albertine Kopp, who most recently served as Project Director at the VOLTA art fair, as the Davidoff Art Initiative Manager. Ms Kopp will begin her post in February 2013. Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, President and CEO of Oettinger Davidoff Group, said, “Our desire goes beyond wanting to expand our company’s cultural programming and involvement. We have a deeper goal, which is to give back to the Dominican Republic,where much of our production and many of our people are based. With this Initiative we hope to bring opportunity to artists working in the Dominican Republic, and also give more visibility to the art and culture of the Caribbean region.”

Art Basel’s Director Marc Spiegler noted, “Davidoff’s participation as an associate sponsor is very valuable to our shows in Miami Beach, Basel, and soon, Hong Kong. We are pleased that Davidoff is expanding its involvement beyond Art Basel to undertake a broader art initiative that will benefit artists and organizations in the Caribbean.” During the Fair, Davidoff  is operating a 100 square meter (approx. 1,000 sq. ft.) VIP hospitality space inside the Art Collectors Lounge. This Davidoff Lounge  features a walk-in humidor and a master cigar roller from the Dominican Republic, who will demonstrate the art of blending and  of rolling a Davidoff cigar. An additional outdoor Cigar Lounge will be situated in the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, offering fair visitors a relaxed venue for discussion, reflection, and enjoyment of a fine cigar. All sales from the lounge will be dedicated to supporting the new Davidoff Art Initiative.

Other aspects of the Initiative, including a conversations program, a grants program, and a special edition series with artists, will be unveiled in Hong Kong in May and in Basel in June.

A Century of Davidoff 

The Davidoff Flagship Store in Geneva celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011. Henri Davidoff, who emigrated from Kiev to Switzerland at a time of political unrest, opened his first tobacco store in Geneva in 1911, laying the foundations for today’s worldwide network of 65 Davidoff Flagship Stores. Henri’s son, Zino Davidoff, learned the tobacco trade from the ground up. He resided for several years in Central and South America to deepen his knowledge of tobacco and cigar making. In 1930, he returned to Switzerland and thereafter successfully managed the business over four decades. Zino Davidoff transferred the family business to the Oettinger Group in 1970.

Art Basel

Art Basel stages the world’s premier art shows for modern and contemporary works, sited in Basel, Hong Kong, and Miami Beach. Defined by its host city and region, each show is unique, which is reflected in its participating galleries, artworks presented, and the content of parallel programming produced in collaboration with local institutions for each edition.In addition to ambitious stands featuring leading galleries from around the globe, eachshow’s singular exhibition sectors spotlight the latest developments in the visual arts,offering visitors new ideas, new inspiration, and new contacts in the art world.The Oettinger Davidoff Group – a Swiss family business steeped in tradition. With almost 4,000 employees around the world, the CHF 1.3 billion Oettinger Davidoff Group traces its roots back to 1875 and remains family owned to this day. The Group operates two distinctly different businesses: one focused on consumer goods distribution in the Swiss market, and one dedicated to its core business, the producing, marketing, and retailing of premium branded cigars, tobacco products, and accessories. The premium branded cigar business includes Davidoff, Camacho, Zino Platinum, AVO, Cusano, Griffin’s, Private Stock, Zino, and Winston Churchill Cigars. The Oettinger Davidoff Group is anchored in a strong “crop-to-shop” philosophy, having pursued a vertical integration from its tobacco fields in the Dominican Republic and Honduras to its worldwide network of 65 Davidoff Flagship Stores.

ISCP, New York 

The International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) is a leading nonprofit, residency based contemporary art institution for emerging to mid-career artists and curators from around the world. Founded in 1994, ISCP has hosted over 1,700 artists and curators from more than 58 countries, including the United States. In 2008, ISCP moved from Manhattan to East Williamsburg, Brooklyn to  an 18,000 square foot former factory constructed in 1901. This move expanded ISCP’s facilities to 35 studios, an exhibition gallery and a project space. ISCP annually presents a series of exhibitions,  public programs and participatory projects both on- and off-site. Each year, over 110 artists and curators are in residence at ISCP and approximately 10,000 individuals attend ISCP’s public programs.www.iscp-nyc.org

Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin

The Künstlerhaus Bethanien is an international cultural center in Berlin, an artist-inresidence programme with workspaces for professional artists and exhibition spaces. It is dedicated to the advancement of contemporary visual arts. As part of its residency scheme, it aims to establish a lively dialogue between artists from various backgrounds and disciplines, and the public at large. To achieve these goals, the Künstlerhaus Bethanien  Berlin  organizes a wide range of events ranging from monthly exhibition openings to private and public studio visits (“Open Studios”). The focus of its manifold missions is the International Studio Program, where artists from around the world conceive and present new projects with the help of its team.www.bethanien.de


ARC Magazine
ARC Magazine

ARC Inc. is a non-profit print and online publication and social platform launched in 2011. It seeks to fill a certain void by offering a critical space for contemporary artists to present their work while fostering and developing critical dialogues and opportunities for crucial points of exchange. ARC is an online and social space of interaction with a developed methodology of sharing information about contemporary practices, exhibitions, partnerships, and opportunities occurring in the Caribbean region and throughout its diasporas.