Perrier Picks Its First Artist of the Year, Who Will Create Special Package Designs

Crowdsourcing project leads to HOTTEA

Minneapolis-based installation artist HOTTEA has been chosen as Perrier’s first-ever Artist of the Year, and will be designing the brand’s next line of limited-edition packaging.

Perrier is known for creative packaging inspired or driven by artists and celebrities, including Dita Von Teese and Andy Warhol, but this is the first time it’s used crowdsourcing to inform its label designs.

The selection was part of the brand’s ARTXTRA program, an arts initiative launched in 2016 to support emerging contemporary artists. HOTTEA was one of three shortlisted artists, chosen in a public voting round led by advisers Helen Toomer, Michelle Joan Papillion, Beau Basse, Job Piston and Naomi Beckwith.

The shortlisted artists also worked with Perrier to kick off ARTXTRA with Interview x Perrier, an installation created with Interview Magazine and mounted during Miami Art Week.

Here are HOTTEA’s can and bottle designs:

“Perrier ARTXTRA celebrates next-generation creative talent, building on Perrier’s long history of supporting the art community,” says Perrier’s senior marketing manager of partnerships, Adaora Ugokwe. “We are thrilled to name HOTTEA the first-ever Perrier Artist of the Year and we look forward to working with him on exciting projects in the year ahead.”

HOTTEA makes elaborate installations that transform spaces instead of obstructing them, using brightly-colored yarn in a way that resembles lightwork in photography. (Modern knitters are high-fiving each other all over the world right now.)

Below is “ANDREW,” an installation he presented two weeks ago at the Riviera Maya show in Mexico:

He’s also selling a line of “ANDREW” T-shirts.

To win Perrier’s gauntlet, HOTTEA beat fellow shortlisters Hayal Pozanti, who created her own visual language by encrypting numbers and words into an alphabet of 31 shapes she invented; and Saya Woolfalk, who uses science fiction to reimagine the ordinary in different dimensions.

HOTTEA will embark on a year-long brand partnership, and his original designs will appear in U.S. packaging later this year.