It's no surprise that Champagne Pommery, known for its excellent French bubbly, is setting its sight on playing an even bigger role in the art world. The champagne house, long a supporter of artists on the rise, has been hosting an annual art exhibition, "Experience Pommery,” in France with some of the world's most prominent creators.
This week, in light of its latest partnership with the Armory Show, the company is headed to New York City to announce the inaugural winner of its newly-launched Pommery Prize, a $20,000 award that offers one lucky artist the opportunity to showcase their work in France.
Nathalie Vranken, owner of Champagne Pommery and art-world connoisseur, chatted with us about the champagne institution's delve into the art work, the 20th anniversary of the company's signature POP bubbly, and her favorite drink of choice in the summer.
I imagine you must be quite excited to announce this year's inaugural Pommery Prize winner, who will take home $20,000 in prize money and earn a spot in your annual "Experience Pommery” exhibition this September. Tell us about the prize's conception and what interested you in getting further involved in the art world.
NATHALIE VRANKEN: The prize is another part of the Pommery Experience and the result of 15 years of work creating the first underground contemporary art exhibition ever made!
As an art collector yourself, who do you find most interesting? Is there an artist, in the past year, who's caught your eye most?
NV: As an art collector Pablo Valbuena has captured our attention. He is presenting a wonderful piece on the steps of the domaine and he also has a big solo show at the Le 104 in Paris.
You've amassed an amazing collection of art at Domaine Pommery in Reims, France, which draws visitors every year. Can you give us some insight into this year's theme and who you'd like to feature at "Experience Pommery” in September?
NV: Regarding the collection, we collect them as a wonderful memory from each exhibition and never buy outside pieces that are not produced at the Domaine.
The next exhibition is still being determined!
Last we spoke, we chatted about Pommery's upcoming POP anniversary. Are there any special plans to celebrate the milestone?
NV: For the 20th anniversary, we are celebrating by creating a very special limited-edition “firework” bottle that will be sold throughout the year as well as other limited editions of POP, including the “It’s a Boy (blue POP)” and “It’s a Girl (Pink rosé POP),” intended for baby showers and gender reveal events as well as POP America, a very patriotic bottle that will be launched specifically this summer.
With summer in just a few months, I'm already dreaming about sipping on a glass of cold Pommery Royal Blue Sky champagne. Do you have a favorite summer glass?
NV: I enjoy Blue Sky in the warm months too, by the beach or pool in a large glass with big ice cubes to cool down and refresh during the summertime.
Photography by: Photography courtesy Champagne Pommery