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Calling all you graphic art students, who might love creating a wine label

There’s a great new contest that just launched called “The Canvas Artist Series Contest.” It’s sponsored by Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and Folio Fine Wine Partners (Michael Mondavi’s wine company).

According to Michael Mondavi:

“It’s an honor to develop a special blend for a hotel company of Hyatt’s caliber. Our goal for Canvas was to create three premium California varieties that could be enjoyed on their own by the glass or paired with a nice meal. The name ‘Canvas’ represents the ‘art of living,’ and also refers to the artisan approach we took when making the wine — from sourcing only quality fruit from the top growing regions in California, to the careful barrel-aging and blending process.”

The contest gives students with a passion for fine arts the opportunity to create a signature wine label for Hyatt’s exclusive Canvas wine bottles, beginning in 2011.

Click here for full details for The Canvas Artist Series Contest.

From now through August 15, qualified art students in the United States may submit an original piece of art depicting the characteristics of one of the three Canvas varieties, which include:

  1. Chardonnay – pure fruit and toasty oak.
  2. Cabernet Sauvignon – cedar, tobacco, rich dark fruit, and hints of oak and spice.
  3. Merlot – pure fruit, toasty spice and rich, ripe tannins.

Judges will select three finalists for each cultivar, whose art work will be displayed on the Canvas Wines website.

Online voting for those labels will take place between September 15 and October 15, 2010.

Winners will be chosen based on the following:

  1. On-line popular vote (20 percent)
  2. Originality of Finalist’s Artwork creative interpretation of the Varietal Characteristic of one (1) of the Canvas Wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, or Merlot (50 percent)
  3. Originality and appeal of his or her written description of his or her Artwork inspiration, and career aspirations of why Finalist would like to be an artist as described in the Essays (30 percent).

One winner for each Canvas variety will be selected by November 1, 2010; and, the signature wine labels will be introduced to Canvas wine bottles beginning in 2011. Three additional winners will win a $5,000 scholarship to their art schools.

This is an amazing opportunity for a student’s portfolio. The exposure is going to be phenomenal.

I just love how this includes another unique social media, viral opportunity. Word is going to spread on the internet. Both art fans and fans of the artists will be able to encourage these new image creators, and help decide who will have his/her own art work on a bottle of wine.

I know of one other real success story when it comes to an annual label art contest. The images pictured at the right are from fine art student Anthony Ciarlo.

Oak Knoll Winery, the Portland Rose Festival’s Official wine sponsor, (Hillsboro, Oregon in the Willamette Valley) has been conducting this type of art contest for years, by having an artist-a-year be chosen for the official wine label art used to represent the annual Rose Festival wines. According to President Greg Lint, “This is exciting for us. Each year we get more students submitting work. The festival’s theme ‘Rose Spirit’ gives the students a lot of opportunity to open up and express themselves.”

Taking this concept to an international hotel chain tells me that this concept has arrived, and should inspire a lot more companies to find a way to not only market their wine in a unique way, but to also encourage art students and reward them with scholarship funds.

All art contests of this kind are highly encouraged and welcomed, in my humble opinion.

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