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Company launches art competition for cellphone skins

Have you ever wanted to see your artistic design on everyone’s cellphone?

Islandz, the company that has been changing the way we view art locally by bringing it into the realm of everyday objects, has announced a competition to bring fresh designs onto the market and meet their large customer demand.

The company, which began after winning the 2010 Inter-American Development Bank’s Opportunities for the Majority Division Business Plan Competition, has tapped into the intersection between technology and art, offering USB drives within hand-carved wooden pieces and cellphone skins and laptop skins featuring Bahamian art.

Designs by established artists such as John Cox and Kishan Munroe have been appearing on Blackberries and iPhones alike this year. Yet the company’s founder, Jaime Lewis, says this competition is a way to expand the skin designs into the realm of up-and-coming artists to appeal to their young demographic.

“We are really just trying to revolutionize art right now,” says Lewis. “The more and more we get into it and the more and more opportunities we think up and follow, it’s definitely completely out of the norm of an artist making a collection and having a gallery show.”

“We want to disrupt the whole present model so I’m sure there are going to be some people who will be apprehensive, but I think the young people are going to get it and ultimately in the long term, they will be key.”

The theme for the skins design, “Spirit of the Islandz”, is open to all media—painting, printmaking, computer design, photography, to name a few—and can be entered in two categories: Local Audience and Tourist Audience.

“In general we think we speak to these audiences in different forms, so we want the artists to visually represent that difference in perspective,” says Lewis.

“We want people to run with that theme and use their creativity to show what their view is of the spirit of the islands of The Bahamas. We’re open to seeing just how creative people can be.”

Once the judges choose six finalists in each category, the twelve designs will be posted on Facebook to be voted on as the “Islandz Fan Favorite”, winning a cash prize and the opportunity to see their design in the hands of Bahamians everywhere.

Yet all finalists may have the opportunity to see how the market responds to their designs in a trial run—if positive, Lewis says they may also have the opportunity to enter into a licensing agreement with Islandz to use their design.

Indeed, the most important part, says Lewis, is to give local artists opportunities and to be the bridge between the art world and the general public.

“I’m really excited to see what people will create,” he says. “We look forward to doing it again and hopefully artists will see that we are a credible organization and that we are here to provide great opportunities to them. Hopefully it will be a win-win situation for all parties involved.”

The deadline for submission is Friday, December 2, 2011. To enter or for more information, check out their Facebook page at, e-mail or call 447-0111.

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