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Royal Caribbean Launches Artist Discovery Program for Icon of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Launches Artist Discovery Program for Icon of the Seas

Royal Caribbean is searching for Caribbean artists to paint murals on Icon of the Seas as part of the new Artist Discovery Program.

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On March 10, 2023, Royal Caribbean announced the launch of its Artist Discovery Program, which aims to spotlight up-and-coming artists from destinations the cruise line visits.

Royal Caribbean’s new initiative begins with the Caribbean Edition, a contest to find local Caribbean artists to paint a series of murals on the upcoming ship Icon of the Seas.

RCI’s Artist Discovery Program will celebrate the cruise line’s destinations

Royal Caribbean says the Artist Discovery Program aims to infuse each region’s spirit and culture into the art collections aboard its ships. The company aims to highlight and celebrate the people living in destinations visited by its cruise ships.

With the new program, artists from destinations the cruise line visits can compete to put their work on display for millions of vacationers who will set sail for years to come.

The Artist Discovery Program will give artists the chance to put their work on display for millions of vacationers (image courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

“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, president and 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,” Bayley continued.

Artist Discovery Program: Caribbean Edition

The program kicks off with a search for iconic artistry to bring the Caribbean spirit to life on Royal Caribbean’s upcoming ship Icon of the Seas.

First up in the Artist Discovery Program will be a spotlight on local Caribbean artists (image courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

The first group of artists to be chosen will be commissioned to paint nine large-scale murals in three locations: the Royal Promenade neighborhood, at Icon‘s main entrance, and within the Suite Neighborhood.

Each mural will evoke the vibrancy of the Caribbean, joining the art collection on board that will include pieces inspired by the region, many created by Caribbean artists.

Each mural created in the Artist Discovery Program: Caribbean Edition will evoke the vibrancy of the Caribbean (image courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

Every winning 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 Royal Caribbean’s Newbuild Design team to bring their concepts to life in Turku, Finland, where Icon is under construction.

How to enter the Artist Discovery Program contest

To vie for a spot in the Artist Discovery Program: Caribbean Edition, artists (or art teams) must live in one of Royal Caribbean’s Caribbean cruise destinations.

To enter, 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.

Artists can send their submissions now through April 4, 2023 at Royal Caribbean’s Artist Discovery Program page.

Future editions of the Artist Discovery Program will be announced at a later date.

Related: How to Enter Holland America’s Poster Design Contest to Win a Free Cruise

About Icon of the Seas

Royall Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, the cruise line’s highly-anticipated first Icon-class ship, is scheduled to debut in January 2024.

The new ship will offer a lineup of firsts for RCI, including the new Thrill Island and Chill Island neighborhoods, to create what Royal Caribbean describes as the “ultimate family adventure”.

Icon of the Seas will sail year-round, seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami. Every Icon cruise will visit Royal Caribbean’s private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas, as well as a mix of destinations like Cozumel, Philipsburg on St. Maarten, and Basseterre on St. Kitts.

Icon of the Seas will be the first ship decorated with murals from the Artist Discovery Program (image courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

Update: Icon of the Seas Officially Joins Royal Caribbean Fleet

More about Royal Caribbean

Are you excited to see the new murals from the artists chosen in Royal Caribbean’s Artist Discovery Program? Or are you planning to enter the contest yourself? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Carrie Ann Karstunen