Beverage News / Wine & Spirits

Absolut collaborates with emerging artists for interactive outdoor art exhibit

Open Canvas inspires artists to depict the message “The Future is Yours to Create”

Through Absolut’s Open Canvas initiative, the Purchase, N.Y.-based brand of Pernod Ricard USA invited more than 15 emerging artists to transform Divisadero Street in San Francisco into a public interactive art exhibit. From coast to coast, Absolut is working to inspire creative risk-taking by collaborating with local artists to transform entire street blocks into pieces of art. The initiative first launched in Williamsburg, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y., earlier this summer and now is available for local San Francisco passers-by to interact with and enjoy through Sept. 1.

The Divisadero Street transformation began Aug. 12, when building facades became white canvases with the message, "The Future is Yours to Create," and a date, “8.24.13.” On Aug. 24, the collective artists made their respective artistic marks on the street while locals interacted with and experienced the free outdoor art exhibit.

"We're excited to bring the Open Canvas initiative to the West Coast by creating a free outdoor art exhibition for the local San Francisco community to experience," said Maxime Kouchnir, vice president of vodkas at Pernod Ricard, in a statement. "By collaborating with 15 celebrated artists, many of whom are local to San Francisco, we can continue to empower not only the art community but people everywhere to transform the present and future by taking risks every day."

Through Sept. 1, the San Francisco community is invited to experience Absolut Open Canvas and interact with the creativity that surrounds them, including: Olek’s "Money Won't Love You Back," piece that includes crochet, rainbow camouflage and framed insets; Lele Saveri’s Zine library installation; Henry Taylor’s "Henry's Family Reunion," series of acrylic painting depicting a gathering of Henry's actual family and passers-by that become like family; Daniel Arnold’s “Self Portrait: San Francisco 2013,” inspired by his cell phone, Instagram and the Internet; and Michael Krouse’s "1 Big Tree, 1000 Little Trees 2013," that forms one large tree from 1,000 tree-shaped, pine-scented air fresheners.

"I'm really proud to be a part of Absolut's Open Canvas initiative and to celebrate my hometown of San Francisco in such a unique way," said participating local artist Krouse in a statement. "From the beginning, Absolut gave us free reign to interpret and present our creative take on the belief that 'The Future is Yours to Create,’ giving us the opportunity to share our personal view on what it means to look toward the future."

Other collaborating artists in San Francisco include Alicia McCarthy, Aurora Halal, Brian Sharp, Darren Bader, Jesse Willenbring, David Benjamin Sherry, Henry Taylor, Jennifer West, Jenny Sharaf, Jerry Hsu, Joe Roberts, Mat O'Brien, Mateo Tannatt, Matthew McGrath and Tofer Chin. The initiative also includes poster artists including Asger Carlsen, Bevin McNamara, Blaise Cepis, Chris Shaw, Jason Nocito, Tim Barber and Kyle Brunel.

Check out the time-lapse video below showing the transformation of Divisadero Street.

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