American University of Beirut

Sarah Saroufim wins global creative competition from 7,500 applicants

​​​Recent MSFEA graduate Sarah Saroufim (Graphic Design, BFA'2018) has been crowned the winner of Absolute's Global Creative Competition from 7,500 entrants. The award was announced on May 16, 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden.

The competition is the broadest art initiative in the history of the brand, and aims at finding the next generation of bold artistic voices. Saroufim was carefully selected from 19 national winners by a jury panel consisting of some of the world's leading creative voices, including New York based artist, Mickalene Thomas, founding director of the London based Delaphina Institute, Aaron Cezar, and Indian based, artist and curator, Bose Krishnamachari.

Her winning design carries a message of a more open, equal and inclusive world. It aims to reflect that "Everyone should be free to express themselves" and hopes to inspire people to talk about the issues that matter".

She states: “The more we talk about mental illness, the closer we get to overcoming it. I expressed this idea using the pun 'Don't keep things bottled up' and an overflow of expression symbolized by speech bubbles."

Artist and jury member, Mickalene Thomas, said “This is an incredible achievement to be selected from so many entrants and to be chosen amongst 18 other country winners. Sarah's artwork really stood out and the whole jury panel felt that her design reflected and brought to life the beliefs and values that channel Absolut through her artwork. We're excited to see what the next chapter holds for Sarah and we will see her piece take pride of place in an iconic OOH location to share with people around the world."​

Artist and jury member, Aaron Cezar, said: "Sarah's award-winning entry to the Absolut Creative Competition speaks to the urgencies of this time. In an era of post-truth, Saroufim reminds us of the power of having a voice to not only to express but to expose. In Sarah's statement, she expresses her need to overcome mental illness but her work transcends this and demonstrates its strength visually."

Sarah Saroufim was also the recipient of the MSFEA Dean's Award for Creative Achievement in 2018. It is an annual honorary award given to a student in each undergraduate program who has demonstrated outstanding creativity in her/his approach to academic work in projects, problem solving, and/or laboratory and shop work.​

Read more about the announcement on Yahoo Finance and Cision PR Newswire​.​

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