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The Spanish artist Cristina Mejías represented by Alarcon Criado and Rodriguez galleries wins the 16th illy SustainArt Award at ARCOmadrid2023


The jury has recognized this 36-year-old artist for her quality in breaking

the standard and hegemonic narratives to build subjective trues

MADRID, Feb. 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The series of artwork of seven different pieces from the section “General Programme” of Cristina Mejías show the transformation of a standard and hegemonic narratives to question the current hierarchy, order and power in society. The artists seeks different creative expressions to be aligned with her own personal memories full of sensibility, sensuality and poetry.

The jury, composed of Patrizia Sandretto de Rebaudengo (Curator and founder of Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo), Tania Pardo (Deputy Director of the CA2M Museum, Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Ianko López (Journalist specialized in visual art) and Carlo Bach (Artistic Director of illycaffè) chose this “promising, complex and interesting young artists of Jerez de la Frontera (Spain)” for the illy prize worth 15.000 euros to produce a work for next edition of ARCOmadrid. This award, for its 16th consecutive years, reckons the work of young and emerging artists of 40 years old and younger.

Her work is shown at both galleries Alarcon Criado and Rodriguez. 

illy SustainArt

illy SustainArt began in 2007 as a way of broadening illycaffè’s commitment to contemporary art by building relations with emerging artists. This prize is aimed to boost the career of young creators at the international level, giving them a concrete opportunity for visibility, experimentation and growth.

The other finalists of the illy SustainArt Prize were:

  • Sofía Salazar Rosales (Ecuador, 1999), galería ChertLüdde
  • Dalia Gonçalves (Portugal, 1982), galería Rodríguez
  • Sahatsa Jauregi (Brasil, 1984), ATM
  • Miguel Marina (España, 1989), The Goma
  • Austin Martin White (Estados Unidos, 1984), Captain Petzl
  • Blanca Bondi (Sudáfrica, 1986), Mor Charpentier
  • Eva Fábregas (España, 1988), Bombon
  • Adelita Husni Bey (Italia, 1985), Laveronica Arte Contemporánea

Previous winners of the illy SustainArt Prize were:

  • 2008: Matheus Rocha Pitta (Brasil)
  • 2009: Avinash Veeraraghavan (India)
  • 2010: Camilo Ontiveros (México)
  • 2011: André Komatsu (Brasil)
  • 2012: Voluspa Jarpa (Chile)
  • 2013: Julia Rometti & Victor Costales (México)
  • 2014: Diego Bruno (Argentina)
  • 2015: Sergio Zevallos (Perú)
  • 2016: Felipe Cohen (Brasil)
  • 2017: Iván Argote (Colombia)
  • 2018: Marcelo Cidade (Brasil)
  • 2019: Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe (Venezuela)
  • 2020: Hellen Ascoli (Guatemala)
  • 2021: Daniela Ortiz (Perú)
  • 2022: Ana Navas (Ecuador)

About illycaffé:

illycaffè is an Italian family-owned company, founded in Trieste in 1933. Its mission has always been to offer the best coffee to the world. Illycaffè produces a unique 100% Arabica blend, combining 9 of the best varieties in the world, selected by illycaffè: every day 8 million cups of illy coffee are served in over 140 countries around the globe, in the cafés, restaurants and hotels, in single-brand cafés and shops, at home and in the office. As a result of its innovations, illycaffè contributes to the coffee technology progress at global level. In 1991, the “Premio Ernesto Illy de qualidade sustentavel do cafè para espresso” was launched in Brazil for quality espresso coffee. Illycaffè has contributed to the sharing of the know-how, paying growers a premium price for the best quality selected by illycaffè. Since 2016, with the “Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award”, the company has celebrated coffee growers all over the world that, according to illy, have produced the best sustainable coffee. Since 2013, the company has been in the list of the World Most Ethical Companies. In 2019, it enhanced its commitment to pursue a sustainable business model integrating the interest of people with the environment, adopting the status of Società Benefit (Benefit Company) and adding this commitment into its own bylaws. In 2021, illycaffè was the first Italian company in the coffee sector to obtain the international certification as B Corp as a result of its commitment to comply with the highest standards of social and environmental performance. The company also founded the University of Coffee, which has the objective of sharing culture at all levels, offering a comprehensive and practical training to growers, baristas and coffee lovers. Everything that is “made in illy” is about beauty and art, the founding principles of the brand, starting from its logo, designed by artist James Rosenquist, up to illy Art Collection cups, decorated by over 120 international artists. In 2021, the company had 1305 employees and a turnover of about €500 million. There are 205 illy single-brand shops in over 40 countries all over the world. In 2021, Rhone Capital became a minority shareholder of illycaffè with the aim of contributing to the company’s international growth plans.

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