The Art of Hospitality

Kathryn Romeyn | March 6, 2019 | Story Travel

As New York’s art scene steadily shifts west, and Los Angeles becomes ever-more known as a breeding ground for creativity, hotels are taking notice, debuting installations and programming that tap into the zeitgeist. Well beyond showcasing its dynamic permanent collection, commissioned works and rotating exhibits by established and emerging talent, Downtown L.A.’s recently relaunched Hotel Figueroa debuted a new female-focused art program. It’s a pet project of owner Bradley Hall, whose eye is on supporting emerging and local artists and galleries by showing their work throughout the hotel while also offering extensive creative programming. “This new direction is truer to the mission of supporting the L.A. community and artists who need a platform and visibility,” he says of the program. Various media, such as photography, mixed-media, sculpture and more, will be on display, including works by Jesse Mockrin, Whitney Hubbs and Sarah Awad.

Gulla Jónsdóttir, the principal designer of La Peer Hotel, opened her on-site art gallery in the very place her original L.A. studio once existed, with a showcase of Japanese graphic artist Kahori Maki (his work is permanently seen in the elevators). “The Atelier is my gateway to a journey of beautiful art, culture and products,” says the architect and designer, who curates monthly exhibits and residencies; private dinner parties; and a selection of her limited-edition furniture, jewelry and accessories. “It allows me to give a temporary home to art installations from artist friends I have met during my world travels.” December’s Faces of La Peer, by social expressionist painter Alejandro Lopez, is certainly worth a viewing.

The Hollywood Roosevelt’s recent effort is less obvious, yet no less creative. It tapped rising L.A. artist Joshua Vides to transform a 50-yard behind-the-scenes area into a stark art piece that mimics a hotel hallway, complete with painted planters, doorways and room numbers. The area is rarely seen, which Vides found to be a bonus. “You really have to get lost to find it,” he says, “but when you do, you forget you’re standing in a maintenance space that only a handful of people are able to experience on a daily basis.”

Originally published in the March issue of Silicon Valley

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