“Who am I and how can I express myself through art?” That’s a question that all artists are asking themselves against today’s identity-focused, geopolitical climate. It’s a question at the forefront of Star Individuality Foundation’s art division’s upcoming event and auction in Miami titled Emerging Expression, which will present the work of over 14 upcoming artists from around the world providing them with a platform to display and share their art with established collectors, artists and enthusiasts. Staged for the first time and structured around artist empowerment, the Emerging Expressions event will see the transformation of Soho Beach House’s sleek Ocho Rooftop into a three-hour open gallery as well as the live auction of over USD $ 150,000.
Founded in 2014 by former national-level champion fencer Austiage Medici de’ Valois Soleimani, the Star Individuality Foundation is a nonprofit organization supporting young adults in cultivating their unique personality. Austiage’s book The Mirror Said, "You're Be-You-Tiful" explores the societal pressures that many people are faced with today and offers a game plan for nurturing individuality as well as learning how to own one's beauty. Artists displayed include works by Gary Scott-England, British Lauren Baker, Eleanor Carodozo from Switzerland, Madrid-based Alejandro Botubol, and Los Angeles-based Alex Richanbach, among many others.
Rasha. Les histoires d'amour de Paris. 2018. Photograph.
“I developed the foundation when I retired from my fencing career,” says Austiage. “My dad is an architect. I grew up in the creative world realized how important it was to develop a foundation that assisted the artists to get a head start in their career. The biggest thing that differentiates this foundation from others is the platform and support system that we provide connecting artists to established collectors, galleries, and other artists.”
“We found all of these artists through social media – it was about looking at their work through Instagram and social media and seeing which would work best,” she adds. “We were looking for artists who were being really innovative and pushing the boundaries – most of the works are done in oil and acrylic on canvas.”
The evening will also showcase the launch of The Star Individuality Foundation’s second Contemporary Époque Scholarship, a contemporary fine arts scholarship awarded to two upcoming artists who represent innovation and creative change within modern art world. The purpose of the contemporary époque scholarship is to provide innovative artists with both the platform and resources to continue to enliven the contemporary art scene. The scholarship will vary along the range of $3,000 to $50,000 depending on the needs of the artist.
Jay Jerymn. Filtration. 2018. Digital mixed media.
“Design Miami is a hub of creativity and exploration into the art world. We love what the foundation stands for, teaching young people to be themselves and to express their individuality, it can be easy to lose yourself in the world we live in today," says Sophie Stanbury. "We are excited to host a fundraiser to give emerging artists and new talent a platform in which to showcase their work and become part of this incredible creative environment. Caroline and I were thrilled to have the opportunity to get involved with the Star Individuality Fundraising event at Design Miami. We believe this is a perfect place to celebrate art in every form, from emerging to established artists, collectors and enthusiasts."
The evening's other host, lifestyle entrepreneur Jillian Jacobson, has cultivated her love for supporting the arts and her involvement through many art driven charities. She's also the founder of several apothecary brands as well as the popular Jillicious lip gloss.
To top it off, the evening’s sponsor, Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour, will bring to the event a variety of coveted fashion and luxury items from brands like Valentino, Louboutin, Chanel, and Dior. “Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour is proud to support Emerging Expressions by Star Individuality,” says Hadley Henriette, Public Relations Manager for Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour. “The company has made a conscious effort to support organizations promoting youth arts organizations and the arts over all. I have been involved with Miami’s emerging art scene for a decade and am thrilled by the global stage that Art Basel provides for talented artists of all ages. I am pleased Neiman Marcus can join with Harper’s Bazaar Art in sponsoring these scholarships and looking forward to the big reveal at the event.”
Ultimately, the scope of the event is the relay The Star Individuality Foundation’s message to "Just be yourself." That’s what self-expression through artistic creation is all about: establishing one’s voice and authentic character.