The Ramble Hotel, the first hotel in Denver’s booming River North (RiNo) neighborhood, opened in May 2018 with a specific type of traveler in mind: those who like to wander without a destination (i.e. to ramble) and appreciate timeless elegance in a worldly yet contemporary setting. NINE dot ARTS curated the hotel’s art program for the Gravitas Development Group to entice this target clientele, as well as elevate the hotel’s setting as a gateway into the RiNo Art District.
While every art program we curate tells a story, the recently opened Hilton Garden Inn in Boulder, Colorado features one of the more meaningful. Thanks to a partnership with NINE dot ARTS, Sage Hospitality and the University of Colorado Boulder (CU), the 172-room hotel features art from students and alumni of the university, which sits just up the street from the hotel.
Through an eighteen-month-long art mentorship program called Beyond the Studio, mentor Lisa Solberg, internationally renowned artist and CU Boulder alum, worked with CU MFA in Painting candidate Johnny DeFeo to create a mural-like concept that was reproduced in all 172 guestrooms of the hotel, which shares a campus with the Embassy Suites, designed by architect JOHNSON NATHAN STROHE.
At NINE dot ARTS, we love working with clients who understand that integrating a well-curated art program into their hospitality projects isn’t just a ‘nice-to-have’ but paramount to creating a memorable guest experience.
Art has the ability to stand on its own with little need for description or explanation. It can have a profound impact on the viewer, who interacts with the artwork in the context of his or her own experiences. But while art has this ability, how much more powerful is it when you understand the story behind the piece?
The opportunities for the public to engage with art through the Terra Firma series continue this month with the launch of Understudy, Denver’s first-of-its-kind experimental arts and culture incubator. Housed in a formerly unrentable, 700-square-foot space in the Colorado Convention Center, Understudy serves as a way to experiment both operationally and artistically to determine the best way to provide artists, creative groups and the community with a free and central space for art installations.
As the color of Konstantin Dimopoulos’ Blue Trees in the Denver Theatre District began to fade, our dots were hard at work planning the next phase of the Terra Firma series. In October, New York-based artist Shantell Martin arrived in Denver to create her largest installation to date and leave her mark on our city. The sidewalks in the District became the perfect canvas for Martin’s signature meditation of black and white lines.
Breathing new life into a historic space is no easy feat. Navigating issues from crumbling walls to leaky roofs, updating outdated electrical systems, and addressing the need for modern amenities and conveniences can be tiring. But it’s usually well worth it in the end.
The renovation of The Blackstone in Chicago by Sage Hospitality proved that an iconic, historic hotel can not only stay relevant, but also set a new standard for what can be expected from a boutique hotel experience (thanks in part to its captivating art collection).
Chicago’s ‘Cloud Gate’ (aka ‘the bean’). New York’s ‘Charging Bull’ and ‘Fearless Girl’. Denver International Airport’s terrifying or awe-inspiring (depending on who you ask) ‘Mustang’. Creating memorable spaces and connecting people to the built environment extends far beyond brick and mortar.
Here at NINE dot Arts, we love that public art has the power to become part of the identity of a city. It can be an emblem, mascot, lightning rod or beloved landmark – or a combination of things for different people. Most of all, public art creates an experience that is unique to a place. So when the Denver Theatre District reached out to us to help enliven a 16-block area of Downtown Denver through interactive, immersive and experimental arts and cultural events, we jumped at the chance to contribute.