Plant Riverside District to Host Final Judging, Unveil Winner of “The Next Original” National Artist Search

Staff Report

Thursday, December 15th, 2022

Plant Riverside District – which is widely known as Savannah’s Entertainment District – will host the final judging of The Kessler Collection’s The Next Original competition, a national search for the next great artist, on Friday, Dec.16 from 2 to 4 p.m. The grand prize winner will be revealed in a private ceremony at 7 p.m. in Amethyst Ballroom at Plant Riverside District, located at 400 W. River St.

Launched on November 7 with a prominent billboard in New York City’s Times Square, The Next Original contest asked up-and-coming artists to submit original artwork – including paintings, sculptures, photography, mixed media, fiber, printmaking and other media – to be reviewed by a panel of judges led by Richard C. Kessler, Chairman and CEO of The Kessler Collection. The Kessler Collection received submissions from more than 1,500 artists across the United States.

“At The Kessler Collection, we believe that people want to be inspired by art, beauty and creativity,” Kessler explained. “That’s why each of our hotels is an art gallery in itself, featuring original artwork that adds ambiance and sets the stage for guests to create memorable moments. Now, we plan to introduce the world to The Next Original through this special competition.”

The grand prize winner will have their artwork featured on a billboard in Times Square on New Year’s Eve and will be showcased in The Kessler Collection’s newest properties. In addition, the grand prize winner will receive a one-year partnership with Grand Bohemian Gallery to exhibit their art and have prints of their artwork sold in Grand Bohemian Galleries alongside local, regional and signature artists.

The nine finalists for The Next Original competition include:
DEIRDRE BARRETT, Cambridge, Mass.
OLGA FURMAN, East Brunswick, N.J.
ALFREDO GONZALEZ, San Francisco, Calif.
LAURA PAWLIK, Denver, Colo.

KARIN HOLZER, Long Island, N.Y.
ELAINE SCHLOSS, Valley Cottage, N.Y.

A Kessler Collection property, Plant Riverside District is an award-winning destination in Savannah, Ga. developed by visionary and hotelier Richard C. Kessler, the Chairman and CEO of Kessler Enterprise, Inc. Plant Riverside District originally opened in 2020 and attracts visitors from across the country and around the world.

To learn more about “The Next Original” Contest, please visit