NYC's Buckingham Hotel Celebrates its Rich Music and Art Heritage by Sponsoring Unique Juried Art Competition for the 'Expression of Music through Art'

NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- The Buckingham Hotel in New York City today announced its sponsorship of a unique, juried art competition designed to encourage students and faculty at seven major art schools in New York City to create artwork visualizing music in all its forms. The Hotel will be awarding $17,000 in prize money to the three paintings selected as winners of the "Buckingham Prize for the Expression of Music through Art."

The Hotel's 57th Street location places it in the musical heart of New York City -- diagonally across the street from Carnegie Hall, next door to Steinway Hall and a short walk to the Metropolitan Opera -- and has given it a history rich in famous performers and artists who have been its guests since its 1929 opening.

"Most hotels have to invent a theme to distinguish themselves," noted Stephen Shapiro, Managing Partner of the family-owned Buckingham Hotel. "The Buckingham, however, enjoys a heritage enriched by the lives of its many performing artist guests. Its not a marketing theme; its our history," he explained.

"Music is woven throughout the history of the Buckingham. For example, it was the last home of the great Ignacy Paderewski, the composer, pianist, and first President of free Poland, who performed just across 57th Street at the 1891 debut of Carnegie Hall. In fact, his Steinway practice piano was shipped straight from the Buckingham to the Polish Museum of America in Chicago after his death." Other famous musical personages who have called the Buckingham Hotel their home include Albertina Rasch, a great dancer and choreographer; her husband Dmitri Tiomkin, composer of over 200 Hollywood movie scores including Academy Award winners, and Italian opera star Giuseppe DeLuca.

"When this history is combined with West 57th Street's artistic tradition, 'musical artwork' is the natural result. In fact, we have commissioned original art to celebrate precisely this, including a magnificent 80 square foot stained glass arch called 'The Dancing King' which adorns our entranceway, and eleven unique mixed media works created exclusively from musical instruments are recessed into our lobby's walls to express the music and art relationship," Shapiro continued.

The competition is open to the students and faculty of the Art Students' League on West 57th Street and the New York Studio School on 8th Street, both of whom are co-sponsoring the competition with the Hotel by providing judges and show-case space, as well as of the Cooper Union; the National Academy of Design; the New York Academy of Art; the Pratt Institute and the School of Visual Arts.

Three cash purchase prizes will be awarded in October 2003 upon the conclusion of the judging of the entries, with $10,000 going to the First Prize winner and prizes of $5,000 and $2000 going to second and third place winners. The first round of 15 selected works will be displayed at the New York Studio School on 8th Street, and the final three works, all of whom will be winners, will be publicly shown at the Art Students' League; the First Prize work of art will be displayed by the Buckingham Hotel in its lobby. The three works that win will become part of the Buckingham's permanent art collection, which will be displayed in its suites and public spaces.

Determination of the winners of the 2002-2003 Buckingham Prize will be by a panel of prestigious judges, including Graham Nickson, Dean of the New York Studio School and Ira Goldberg, Director of the Art Students League, both of whom are painters. Shapiro explained that the third judging position is reserved for a performing artist of stature who has a relationship with the visual arts as well. "We are extremely excited to announce that the first such person filling the position of Performing Artist Judge will be renowned opera star Regina Resnik, long associated with the visual arts both through her husband, painter Arbit Blatas, and through her own creative works. Having a person like Ms. Resnik participate both adds to the excitement and enables the panel to connect directly the art to musical performance experience -- precisely what we hope to find in the works themselves."

"It is especially poignant and special for the New York Studio School, whose maxim is 'ambition for the work, not the career,' to have a collaboration with the Buckingham Hotel and the newly established Buckingham Prize," Studio School Dean Graham Nickson stated. "It is a wonderful challenge for our students to test their sense of ambition in painting and to have an opportunity to translate the world of music into the visual. This is truly an exciting project."

Asked why the Buckingham Hotel has launched this unique project, Shapiro explained: "Sponsoring an art prize to encourage the expression of music through art is an extension of the unique musical place the Buckingham Hotel holds in New York City Music and art abound at the Buckingham, which together provide our guests with peace and harmony in the midst of this most vibrant of cities, from our 'Patrons' Lounge,' which makes you feel as if you are between acts at the Opera to our Concert-in-the Park mural surrounding you in the fitness center to the La Scala Opera House fabric we used for the lobby chairs to the musical art we have commissioned and now the Buckingham Prize itself. Making the Buckingham Hotel itself a Patron of the Arts in the true sense is a wonderful next step," Shapiro concluded, adding that the competition for the Buckingham Prize is planned to become an annual event.

Entry registration forms and rules are available at the participating schools and institutions and also by sending an email requesting one to

Buckingham Hotel
Stephen Shapiro
212-246-1500 x 3210

Stephanie B. Abrams