Celebrating Excellence: GJEPC Unveils Artisan Awards 2023 Winners
The 2023 Theme of The Artisan Awards was indiamoderne – the world of art meets modern jewellery
Artisan Awards received 600+ entries from 26 cities in India and international regions like the Middle East, North America, and Europe.
In a grand event held in Mumbai, the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India (GJEPC) unveiled the winners of the highly anticipated 6th edition of Artisan Awards 2023, the country’s esteemed jewellery design competition. This prestigious event, organized by GJEPC, showcased the exceptional talent and creativity of jewellery designers from across the nation and around the world. Artisan Awards is an endeavour that aims to provide a platform for creative jewellery designers and industry professionals to maximise their individualistic and creative ideas in jewellery design.
Artisan Awards 2023 is powered by GIA – Gemological Institute of America, The World’s Foremost Authority in Gemology.
The winners received their trophies from Guest of Honour, Ms. Mira Kapoor, Content Creator & Jewellery Connoisseur along with Mr. Nikhil Mehra of Shantnu & Nikhil; Mr. Vipul Shah, Chairman of GJEPC, Mr. Milan Chokshi, Convener of Promotions and Marketing, GJEPC, and Mr. Sabyasachi Ray, Executive Director, GJEPC.
Since its inception, the Artisan Awards has received a total of 4,200 submissions from artists spanning various genres and styles. These submissions were meticulously reviewed and evaluated, culminating in the selection of 178 outstanding finalists. Among the finalists, 55 remarkable individuals emerged as winners, gaining well-deserved recognition for their exceptional artistic prowess. For the current year, Artisan Awards witnessed over 600 entries pouring in from 26 cities across India, as well as from regions abroad, including the Middle East, North America, and Europe. The Artisan continues to attract a diverse range of artists from around the world.
The Theme of The Artisan Awards 2023 was indiamoderne – the world of art meets modern jewellery. The theme was further divided into three distinct categories with each focusing on different genre, namely, Art of Abstraction, Art of Sculpture, and Art of Print.
Vipul Shah, Chairman, GJEPC, commented, “While India’s global leadership in the gem & jewellery business is an established fact, we need to shape the future where India is revered for its aesthetic artistry, design innovation and commitment to exquisite craftsmanship. To cater to the evolving demands of the global market, we need a fresh wave of young and talented designers who eulogise the preferences of the millennial and Generation Z consumers. Their innovative approaches and creative sensibilities will shape the industry’s future trajectory.”
Shah further added, “The Artisan Awards is one of the initiatives that nurtures talent, fuels inspiration, and encourages the next generation of jewellery designers to push the boundaries of their imagination. In a rapidly evolving gem and jewellery industry where innovation and fresh perspectives reign supreme, the Artisan Awards serves as a launching pad for emerging designers to make their mark.”
The judging process of the Artisan Awards involved three phases, ensuring a comprehensive assessment of the jewellery pieces. In the first round, the entries underwent a meticulous technical evaluation, focusing on their craftsmanship and technical excellence. This was followed by a second jury meet, where a panel of esteemed experts deliberated and shortlisted 28 final sketches that showcased exceptional creativity and innovation. In the final phase, the judging panel meticulously examined the 28 shortlisted designs, selecting the top 9 winning pieces that truly stood out in terms of their originality, aesthetic appeal, and ability to push the boundaries of jewellery design.
The esteemed jury members for the Artisan Awards 2023 were Mira Kapoor, Content Creator & Jewellery Connoisseur; Aparajita Jain, Director and Co-owner, Nature Morte Gallery; Priyanka Khanna, Author; Nikhil Mehra, Fashion Designer, Shantnu & Nikhil; Sajil Shah, Jewellery Artist & Founder, Sajjante; Pernia Qureshi, Co-Founder, Saritoria; and Sriram Natarajan, Managing Director, GIA India. Their profound expertise and discerning eye have played a pivotal role in recognizing the exceptional talents among our participants.
Milan Chokshi, Convener of the Promotion, Marketing & Business Development Sub-committee, GJEPC, added, “Every year, we strive to exceed expectations and inspire participants to unleash their creativity and showcase their individuality through The Artisan Awards. By pushing the boundaries of conventional jewellery-making, we seek to create designs that captivate both the domestic and global markets. GJEPC takes great pride in providing a platform for jewellery designers to express themselves and push their creative limits through this prestigious competition. May the passion, dedication, and creativity of our talented designers ignite a flame within us all, propelling us to pursue excellence and redefine the boundaries of artistic expression.”
Mira Kapoor, Content Creator & Jewellery Connoisseur commented, “Jewellery has always been integral to our culture, and we’ve seen it evolve over time. But if you want it to stay relevant, you require new minds with creative genius and a new vision. The Artisan Awards is actually spearheading this initiative, and lending support to jewellery designers to think out of the box, and not be limited by money or by what sells in the market, but just think freely when it comes to creativity. That’s when the magic happens. I’ve seen some truly unique pieces, which I’ve never seen before and I’m really happy to part of the jury. It’s great that GJEPC is giving this kind of platform to upcoming jewellery designers.”
Mira further added, “As a jewellery aficionado, I am intrigued to see the kind of jewellery pieces coming out of our country. Artisan Awards is the first step to creating a design sense or a design house or the one star jewellery designer that could be recognized from India, celebrating Indian craftmanship and the story that we have to tell as India on the canvas of jewellery.”
Nikhil Mehra of Shantnu & Nikhil noted, “I think fashion and jewellery go really well together. In fact, post the making of our collections, there’s always a conversation on what kind of jewellery will go with the product. So, there’s a lot of synergy between the two streams. A lot of times, we also get inspired by jewellery. We have been hugely inspired by men’s jewellery and we started making brooches and buttons in 2015 and militarised them to glorify India through these accessories. We may want to extend the journey in the future, and go into the precious jewellery space with matte gold. There is a huge opportunity in the men’s jewellery segment. The Artisan is an important platform of applauding great talent.”
Pernia Qureshi was impressed by the entries in the first category, she shared her views about the Artisan Awards in general. “The abstractionism segment was very colourful, it was fun. Most of the pieces were well finished and wearable. Designers play a big role in translating ideas into actual pieces. It’s important to upskill and pay the designers well as they are the future of the jewellery industry.”
Speaking like a true-blue gallerist, Aparijita Jain commented that “Art transcends or translates into many kinds of expression, jewellery being one of them. It is interesting for designers to be inspired by different art forms. I am amazed at the transformation of pieces from the sketch to actual jewellery pieces. I think the finishing was brilliant.”
Sriram Natarajan, Managing Director, GIA India said, “GIA India is pleased to support Artisan Awards – a platform created by the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) to unearth hidden talent and to unleash the potential of discovered talent. It’s interesting that the participation was in the form of 600 entries from 26 cities across four countries – a marker of the ever-increasing outreach of GJEPC for including the rapidly expanding Indian gem and jewellery industry’s members into all its initiatives.
During The Artisan Awards 2023, Millennials & Gen-Z designers have taken inspiration from some of the most cherished artworks in the world, across three categories: Abstract Paintings, Sculptures, and Prints. They have given their imagination a free rein and used visual references provided as a starting point to explore the rich world of innovative jewellery design. Literal recreations of the artworks, though welcome, are not a requirement. Think form, think space, think shape, or think colour is the motto and the possibilities are endless.