CARIBBEAN AND INTERNATIONAL GUESTS GATHER FOR THE SECOND DAVIDOFF ART WEEKEND IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Davidoff Art Initiative Inaugurates New Art Studios at Altos de Chavón School of Design in La Romana February 11 – 16, 2015
Basel, Switzerland, February 26, 2015 – On February 11-16, 2015, the Davidoff Art Initiative hosted the second Davidoff Art Weekend in collaboration with Altos de Chavón School of Design and Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic. The culminating event of the weekend was the visit to the new artist studio facilities for the Davidoff International Art Residency at Altos de Chavón School of Design, which is currently hosting its first five international artists through April 5, 2015, thus rounding out the global initiative into a two-way cultural exchange.
“The opening of the Davidoff International residency program in collaboration with the Altos de Chavón School of Design is a major step for the Davidoff Art Initiative,” said Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, CEO and Member of the Board of Oettinger Davidoff AG. “It is our aim to provide greater international recognition for the cultural community in the Dominican Republic. The second Davidoff Art Weekend brought together artists, curators, writers and supporters of the Art Initiative to experience the art and culture of the Caribbean region. This is another important step in our collaboration with the Altos de Chavón School of Design and Casa de Campo to help make our long-term mission a reality in the Dominican Republic where most of our people are employed.”
The weekend began with a tour of the tobacco fields and Davidoff facilities near Santiago, where the guests enjoyed an exclusive introduction into the production of premium cigars from the crop to the hand rolled cigar. At Altos de Chavón School of Design’s Chavón Gallery, Rector of the School Stephen Kaplan led a tour of the current exhibition, Synergy: Artists in Residence and Students, a celebration of the arrival of the first five Davidoff Art Initiative artists in residence. The exhibition documents the history of Altos de Chavón’s long-established Artist in Residence Program, and underscores the influence of AIRs on the students of the school.
Among other events, the weekend included: a tour of the School’s facilities; Open Studios of the new studios in Altos de Chavón, with international artists in residence Alia Farid, Nuria Montiel, Cathleen Mooses, Mathilde Rosier and Soledad Salamé; the Davidoff Art Dialogue entitled Caribbean Art: Past, Present and Future, moderated by A n d r á s S z á n t ó , Chief Consultant of the Davidoff Art Initiative, with participants: Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, Associate Curator of El Museo del Barrio; H o l l y B y n o e , co-founder and editor of ARC Magazine; and Raul Miyar, Professor and Chair of the Fine Arts/Illustration Department at the Altos de Chavón School of Design; a tour of Centro León led by Sara Hermann, Dominican art historian, curator and founder of the creative collaboration agency Estudio de Sur and member of the Davidoff Art Advisory Council; and a tour Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo led by artist Engel Leonardo – a recent recipient of a Davidoff Residency – with visits to Casa Quien, ASR Gallery, and Museo de Arte Moderno. The program was designed to bring critical attention to the arts and artists of the Caribbean and Dominican Republic, and to celebrate the groundbreaking presence of the Davidoff Art Initiative in the region.
“We are grateful to be part of the inauguration of the Davidoff International Art Residency Program,” said Dr. Claudio Silvestri, Chairman and CEO of Premier Resorts & Hotels. “With the program’s commitment to cultural immersion and creative exchange, we believe that the participating artists will make connections within a global network while they become immersed in the rich culture of the Dominican Republic – while they also enjoy the wonderful Casa de Campo community.”
The Davidoff International Art Residency is the cornerstone of the Davidoff Art Initiative and seeks to offer opportunities for creative exchange between the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic and the rest of the world. Going forward, each year, the Davidoff Art Initiative will welcome five international artists to Altos de Chavón School of Design to work on their own projects, interact with school students and faculty, and travel inside the Dominican Republic.
“We are honored to be working with the Davidoff Art Initiative and be part of this budding international dialogue between the Caribbean and the rest of the world,” said Stephen Kaplan, Secretary of Altos de Chavón Cultural Center Foundation and Rector of Altos de Chavón School of Design. “We were thrilled to receive the first five international artists who are interested in engaging with the social and cultural fabric of the community and look forward to a successful residency program.”
The collaborating organizations intend the Davidoff Art Weekend to become an important annual event for those interested in the arts and culture of the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic to gather together, network with each other, and immerse themselves in the arts and culture of the region.
About Altos de Chavón School of Design
The Altos de Chavón School of Design is a study center of global impact, a pioneer in the teaching of art and design in the Dominican Republic. Founded in 1983 to meet the growing commercial and industrial demands of the Dominican Republic, The School offers degree programs in all areas of art and design in formats long and short duration: Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Fine Art, Illustration, Digital Design, Interior Design, Photography, Film Production and Architecture. For more information, please visit: altosdechavon.edu.do
About the Davidoff Art Initiative
The Davidoff Art Initiative supports contemporary art and artists in the Caribbean, strengthens art organizations in the Dominican Republic, shares knowledge and expertise about contemporary art and fosters cultural engagement between the Caribbean and the rest of the world. At the core of the Art Initiative, Davidoff aims to engage closely with the arts and culture of the Dominican Republic cultural community, where much of its production and so many of its employees are based, bring opportunity and visibility to the art and culture of the Caribbean region, extending the company’s long-standing commitment to artistry, craftsmanship, community and quality.
The Davidoff Art Initiative’s four global program areas are: the Davidoff Art Residency, Davidoff Art Dialogues, Davidoff Art Grants, and Davidoff Art Editions. For more information, please visit: davidoffartinitiative.com
Oettinger Davidoff AG – A Swiss Family Business Steeped in Tradition
With over 3,500 employees around the world, the CHF 1.2 billion Oettinger Davidoff AG traces its roots back to 1875 and remains family owned to this day with two distinctly different businesses: one that is focused on FMCG distribution in the Swiss market and one dedicated to the core business of producing, marketing and retailing premium branded cigars, tobacco products and accessories. The premium branded cigar business includes Davidoff, AVO, Camacho, Cusano, Griffin’s, Private Stock, Zino and Zino Platinum. Oettinger Davidoff AG is anchored in a strong “crop-to-shop” philosophy, having pursued a vertical integration from the tobacco fields in the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua to the worldwide network of almost 70 Davidoff Flagship Stores. oettingerdavidoff.com