Conversation at HeART: The first nomad art prize for contemporary art

Foundever™ awarded the Nomad Art Prize to one talented artist, who will begin the project this week at the first artist residence location.

Published ·October 20, 2022

Reading time·4 min

As part of the Conversation at HeART project, and with the support of Jeune Création and Airbnb, Foundever is introducing the first-ever Nomad Art Prize. This award allows one talented artist to travel to hub “artist residences” in three different cities to create meaningful artwork across cultures.

First-ever Nomad Prize for contemporary art  

Since 2020, Foundever has given its associates a gift of art and collaboration, while additionally offering artists around the globe an opportunity to showcase their work in different hub locations through an initiative called Conversation at HeART. To expand this program one step further, Foundever is introducing a first-ever award program for the Nomad Prize, which will take place in a multi-site residency for one selected artist.  

A large number of prizes already exist in contemporary art, but not a Nomad Prize, which is a significant opportunity for Foundever to lend artists this kind of experience. As part of the independent prize granted during the Jeune Création festival in France in June 2022, Sitel can offer this award and give the selected artist the chance to nourish their artistic approach, experience new cultures and create meaningful works at hub locations in three different cities: Athens, Dakar and Porto. 

How the nomad prize works  

At Sitel Group, we believe artists should have the opportunity to experience different cultures to gain a sense of new architectures, cultures and people to inspire their work. The Nomad Prize is awarded to an individual who bridges the cultures of the three cities with humanity and universality.  

Earlier this year, Sitel Group pre-selected three talented artists and had Sitel associates vote to decide the winner of the Nomad Prize and travel to the three locations.  

The winner will travel to Athens, Dakar and Porto and spend two to four weeks in each city’s artist residence, where they will work on their project, meet with Sitel associates and organize workshops. Sitel Group is proud to partner with Airbnb for accommodations.  

At the end of the three residencies, the artist will demonstrate a Final Exhibition inspired by their nomad experience, which will take place in the Foundever hub location in Romainville, France.  

And the winner is… 

The Nomad Prize has been awarded to Inès di Folco! Inès is 28 years old and from Saint-Ouen, France, but has a multicultural identity of Tunisian, French, Italian and Libyan.  

Her multicultural background is reflected in her mesmerizing paintings, which typically hang free from the ceiling and portray her roots, memories and cultural exchanges.  

For her Sitel artist residence, she would like to refer to Fayoum portraits, which appeared in Egypt and Greece in the 1st century and are considered the first portraits in the history of art. The unique aspect of these paintings is that the painter never met the model, he only listened to people describe their loved ones and would paint them from their descriptions.  

Inès would like to use this aspect of orality for her project with Foundever. She will open a studio and invite Foundever associates to come and describe people they miss to her so she can paint that person, mix the stories to create cross-cultural portraits for her Final Exhibition, enrich her project by integrating special references to each city’s culture and organize workshops to produce prints that will be left in each city.

To create the Fayoum portraits, shown above, the painter never saw the individual they were painting but only listened to their loved one describe the person. Inès would like to take on this approach for her project with Sitel.

She has started her residence spending four weeks in Dakar starting October 17, and then she’ll head to Porto in February and Athens in April. 

We are so thrilled for Inès and can’t wait to see her impactful artwork showcased in these locations.

Conversation at HeART  

In September 2020, Foundever launched an ambitious project to introduce artworks in its sites around the world. As it’s part of the MAX program, it is conceived as a gift for Foundever associates and consists in commissioning artwork to an artist that values the idea of conversation, which is the core of our associates’ skills. From the outset, this project was designed to promote a local commitment:  

• We select artists from the country or region.  

• We shape each project according to the place, culture, and venue. 

 • We encourage Sitel associates to get involved by voting or even sharing ideas with the artist.  

During the past year, eight projects have been achieved around the world, including three murals in Colombia, a curved wall painting in Athens, an anamorphosis in Paris, a huge façade in Sao Paulo, an outdoor installation in Dakar and a painting on glass walls in Casablanca. 

The Nomad Prize is an extension of the Conversation at HeART program, and we are excited to continue to offer artists more opportunities while also giving associates the chance to experience personal and meaningful art demonstrations in our locations across the globe.