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Royal Caribbean launches ‘Artist Discovery Program’ to spotlight region’s artists

Royal Caribbean International has launched a search for iconic artistry to bring the Caribbean spirit to life on its Icon of the Seas, which when completed will be the largest cruise ship in the world by gross tonnage.

In the new “Artist Discovery Program,” up-and-coming artists from destinations the cruise line visits can vie to put their work on display for millions of vacationers who will set sail for years to come.

The program’s purpose is to infuse every region’s spirit and culture into the curated art collections on board ships, to highlight and celebrate the destinations and their people at the heart of Royal Caribbean’s vacations.

Beginning in the Caribbean, local artists can send their submissions through April 4 here.

“The Artist Discovery Program is a project close to our hearts at Royal Caribbean International because the destinations we visit are family. And it’s only fitting that we begin our search for up-and-coming artists who are in the Caribbean; it’s where we got our start more than 50 years ago,” said Michael Bayley, CEO of Royal Caribbean International.

“Vacationers want to immerse themselves in the places they visit. This is a way to spotlight the beauty of the local cultures and people in the places they see and enjoy every day on their cruise, beginning with large-scale canvases on a first-of-its-kind adventure – Icon of the Seas,” he said.

The first group of budding artists, making up the Artist Discovery Program: Caribbean Edition, will be commissioned to paint nine large-scale murals in three highly visible locations: the Royal Promenade neighborhood, the heartbeat of the new ship; among the first sights guests see at Icon’s main entrance; and in the Suite Neighborhood.

Each piece will join the collection on board that will include an array of pieces created by Caribbean artists or inspired by the region.

Every artist will receive a grant from the cruise line, ranging from $20,000 to more than $100,000. Later this year, as artists in residence, the winners will work closely with the Newbuilding team behind Royal Caribbean’s renowned ships to bring their concepts to life in Turku, Finland, where Icon is under construction.

To vie for a spot in the first edition of Artist Discovery Program, artists must submit the following:

  • Five samples of conceptual work: The work must be original and may not currently be published or on display.
  • A brief artist statement that helps explain their work, inspiration and other details regarding the pieces submitted.
  • A copy of their resume.

The first Icon Class ship will sail year-round seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean vacations from Miami. Every cruise will visit Royal Caribbean’s private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas, and a mix of destinations like Cozumel, Mexico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Basseterre, St. Kitts.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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