The Patrón Spirits Company announced the Grand Prize winner of their second annual “Art of Patrón” Bottle Art Competition, the brand’s signature program designed to underscore the artistry of their hand-crafted tequilas; as well as incorporating other artful pursuits, including the culinary arts, mixology and cocktails, music and culture, and the Patrón bottle. The “Art of Patrón” contest encourages fans and artisans to incorporate Patrón’s signature bottles as artistic inspiration for a chance to win $10,000.
Demonstrating that “Jersey Girls” do indeed rule, Rebecca Stoneback of Asbury, New Jersey, was selected from nine other finalists as the winner for her entry “La Abeja,” a one-of-a-kind necklace representing the more than 60 hands it takes to make Patrón’s iconic bottles. Seeing the other finalists, this Examiner noted “La Abeja” was the clear frontrunner destined to win.
Stoneback handcrafted a beautiful piece by melting and sculpting the glass from a Patrón Silver tequila bottle into 60 abstract beads. She then molded metal bee wings – representing the brand’s signature bee (and in what is surely a twist of karma, her own brand signature: The Sugarbee) – around a small glass vial containing Patrón Silver tequila placed in the center of the jewelry.
In an interview with this Examiner, Stoneback explained how she looks to tell a story with every piece she creates, so after learning of the contest (and with only a month or so remaining before submissions were to be closed), she headed to Bourbon Street Wine & Spirits in nearby Califon, to pick up the entry form, and a bottle of Patrón Silver Tequila. While she completed the work in a couple of weeks, she said, “I needed to conceptually play with the idea; to discover what story am I telling here.” And like every Jersey Girl over-achiever, Stoneback did her research and extra credit, too. Therefore, the 60 hands narrative to create a Patrón bottle spoke to her — and along with Stoneback’s exquisite rendering of the glass, a truly one-of-a-kind, artful jewelry piece was crafted. Stoneback also noted it was a lot more difficult to work with the Patrón glass bottle than the Murano glass rods that is the medium she most often uses in her artwork.
Winning is Fun
Who was the first person she told when she learned she was the grand prize winner? “I told my Mom.” Of course she did.
What was the first thing she did to mark the special occasion? “My family and I made up a Patrón cocktail on the fly — we used boiled grapefruit, Patrón, champagne, simple syrup, and mint leaves for a celebration toast (Stoneback could be an accomplished mixologist, too!) and then went out to dinner.”
She also exuberantly Tweeted from @Becca_Stoneback — “I won!!! Thank you so much to everyone who voted!!! #patron #artofpatron #glassart #jewelry #10,000 #grandprize
What will she do with all that money she earned with her winning entry? “I’ll buy more art supplies and upgrade my studio.” If it seems she’d have a lot left over, think again. “Glass-making equipment is very expensive — the oxygen generator runs $5K, a kiln a couple of thousand.” Add in a ventilator system to bring in much-needed fresh air to mitigate the effects of the propane needed to fashion the glass and all too soon, the winnings are almost entirely invested. “And oh — I will buy a very good camera,” Stoneback added eagerly.
To enter The “Art of Patrón” Bottle Art Competition, applicants created an original work of art or functional item that contained, was made from, or depicted a Patrón bottle or component. Along with the art, they submitted a short essay describing the inspiration behind the piece.
In a prepared statement, Lee Applbaum, Global Chief Marketing Officer at Patrón Spirits, said, “We’re proud that our iconic bottle and its design can serve as a vehicle of creative expression for consumers passionate about our brand.” He added, “The ‘Art of Patrón’ Bottle Art Competition represents and rewards the creative spirit of our fan base.”
According to the company, they received hundreds of entries. A panel of judges (representing artisans and members of the spirits community) selected 10 finalists based on overall creativity, unique use or representation of the Patrón bottle, visual appeal, and the persuasiveness of their essay. From Aug. 10-23, 2015, the top 10 submissions were featured on the Art of Patrón website, www.ArtofPatron.com, for public voting to help select one entry as the Grand Prize winner.
Stoneback netted the highest total score from combining the Judging Panel Score with the Public Vote Score to win $10,000 and national exposure for her art. The remaining nine finalists each received $1,000.
Later in the year, several Art of Patrón events are planned across the country as well, in addition to Secret Dining Society dinners, activations with partner Rolling Stone, and numerous sponsorships of culinary, food and cocktail festivals.
About Patrón Tequila:
From hand-harvesting the highest-quality 100 percent Weber Blue Agave, to the traditional, time-honored distillation process and individual labeling, numbering, and inspection of each bottle, Patrón tequila is crafted with meticulous precision and care. Though Patrón has grown to become one of the most-recognized and respected luxury spirits brands in the world, it is still exclusively produced in the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico, in the same small batches and with the same commitment to quality and craftsmanship. For more information about Patrón tequilas and liqueurs, please visit www.patrontequila.com.