Seven Hotels That Have Opened Their Doors to Artists

Hotels across the country are incorporating and showcasing art in more ways than ever and increasingly welcoming artists to stay and create at their properties. Here are seven hotels that are supporting artists of varying mediums through residency programs and art installations.

1Motif Seattle, Washington

Last year, Motif Seattle unveiled a $10 million guestroom redesign led by Seattle-based architectural and design firm DEGAN & DEGAN. All 319 rooms at the hotel, as well as the corridor, incorporate materials such as natural woods from the Pacific Northwest in their designs. DEGAN & DEGAN also considered the Seattle climate in designing and creating “rainy day corners” in each guestroom so that wet outdoor gear has a place to hang.

This new design also serves as a platform for Motif’s Visiting Artist Program. Each year, Motif Seattle chooses a local artist to collaborate with to design hotel stationery, envelopes, guest amenities, key cards, and more. Artwork made by local artists hangs in each guestroom to represent different aspects of Seattle’s culture. One abstract art piece features the spines of albums made by a Seattle musician woven together.

2The Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee-based fashion designer Stephanie Schultz

The Pfister began its Artist in Residence program in 2009, and each year, one local artist is invited to work in the property’s lobby-level artist’s studio. Guests are encouraged to interact with the artist and watch as each piece is made. In April, the hotel welcomed its 10th artist-in-residence: Milwaukee-based fashion designer Stephanie Schultz, who more than a decade ago started her own Japanese street fashion label, Silversärk. During her residency at The Pfister, Schultz will design between 16 to 20 pieces for a fashion line inspired by the hotel’s Victorian art collection and ornate details. Her historically influenced couture includes scarves, ties, and shawls. She also recently held a Victorian Masquerade and costume contest event during Milwaukee’s Gallery Night. The Pfister Hotel is now looking for an 11th artist for a residency period beginning in April 2019.

3Moxy DC, Washington, D.C.

Moxy DC

Moxy Hotels launched its #BlankCanvas campaign in 2016 as a way to rebel against traditional concepts of hotel art. Moxy partnered with international platform Talenthouse so that artists from around the world could submit works of art for consideration as the cornerstone of a permanent art collection at new Moxy Hotels.

For Moxy DC, which is slated to open before the end of the year, artists were asked to submit moving or static art pieces that represented the scholarly and political history of Washington, D.C., in a unique way that challenges stereotypical hotel art. Rahul Jha, a visual artist based out of Calcutta, will have an installation at the property showcasing a piece that consists of four video artworks that “show the different moods and vibes of Downtown DC.”

4Autograph Collection Hotels

Chiara Towne, Amanda Idoko, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Sarah Jane Inwards (Credit: Celeste Sloman)

Autograph Collection’s Indie Film Project is a platform created to showcase screenwriters, filmmakers, and distributors working in independent film. This year, actor and producer Maggie Gyllenhaal is the Independent Film Advisor to the Indie Film Project. Gyllenhaal is involved in the Indie Film Project’s Screenwriters in Residence program, in which screenwriters are invited to stay at Autograph hotels around the world. She selected three female screenwriters to participate: Sarah Jane Inwards, Amanda Idoko, and Chiara Towne. The three women spent a week at an Autograph Collection hotel of their choosing as a way to be inspired while working on existing scripts or creating new ones.

5Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado, Santa Fe, New Mexico

In October, Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado announced the launch of the hotel’s Artist in Residence program, which will collaborate with TOURISM Santa Fe. Five New-Mexico based artists—Cheri O’Brien, Janet O’Neal, Roberta Parry, Sean Mary Helen Johnson, and Irene Owsley—will spend three days each from November 2018 to February 2019 at the resort. The program is intended to connect guests with artists, as they can meet, interact, and watch the artists work in three live demos each.

6The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel, Lincoln, Nebraska

The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel’s artist-in-residence program is in search of its fourth artist to begin a residency in April 2019. Former Artist-in-Residence Margaret Berry, whose paintings used resin, pigment, and beeswax, inspired the hotel to house over 80,000 bees as a way to spread awareness of the importance of honeybees and use the honey for different menu items. Tom Meyers, the Cornhusker’s current artist-in-residence, has interacted with local patrons and hotel guests by hosting monthly workshops. Guests have also participated in Meyers’ Crowd-Source Mega Portrait—a grid composed of 384 3”x3” squares that is inspired by artist Chuck Close’s massive-scale portraits. Each participating guest completed a square using graphic pencil. The hotel unveiled the final portrait on November 2.

7L’Auberge de Sedona, Arizona

L’Auberge de Sedona, A Destination Hotel, holds an artist-in-residence program in collaboration with Goldstein Gallery, a Sedona-based gallery, and Linda Goldenstein, who curates the rotating artwork in the property’s public spaces. She also has many sculptures throughout the property and the team is currently compiling a walking map so that guests can take a self-guided tour. Guests can also engage with artists who visit the property up to four times a week and watch them create new pieces both on the deck at ETCH Kitchen & Bar or along the banks of Oak Creek. These events are known as the “Plein Air Paint Outs.”

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