TOP TIPS: Incorporating local art at your hotel

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We get some top tips from Suna Interior Design on how you can tap in on sourcing of art from local creatives.

Before you hang anything on your walls, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind. The most important one will, when using original art, be to look at locations for gallery spaces – be it in public spaces or the guest rooms – making sure that the display won’t get damaged and that it is sufficiently safe from splashing water fountains, hot fire places, messy dining guests and also from direct sunlight and maleficent marauders.

Consider if the art will be for sale, or if it is just to be viewed and enjoyed. Either way, do you want an explanation on view about the work of art and if so, how will you display this information? Or will you supply your guests with an in-room brochure? As the art is local, your guests will probably enjoy the option to find out more about the pieces and their relevance to the location and hotel. So make sure that your staff are well informed and are able to answer any relevant questions. If you are going to be exhibiting valuable works, it may be necessary to check that you have adequate insurance.

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Go for galleries
The most obvious option to display a selection of local art is probably to approach local galleries. Galleries tend to be fairly happy to collaborate and create pop-up gallery spaces, as they will get the chance to show off their pieces to a broader audience. Ideally this will be continually refreshed, when an image is sold it is replaced with a new work, giving returning guests something different to look at and creating an evolving space. You may need to come to an agreement with the gallery about displaying relevant information, for example a price, alongside the works. Ideally choose pieces that are relevant to your local area or from a local artist, telling a story about the history of any interesting events that took place. If this set-up is going to be ongoing, you’ll need the arrangement to work for both parties.

Target an artist
Working on the above principal, another option would be to approach a local artist who produces prints of their work. A selection of prints could be shown on your hotel walls (keeping in mind the above considerations) and then when a guest wishes to purchase one, instead of having to replace the print hanging on the wall, the artist will be able to directly supply the guest with a copy of the print.

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Snap happy
If you want to ensure that the art is local and really focused on your hotel, commission a local photographer to take pictures of the neighbourhood. Then get them beautifully framed and hang them throughout your hotel. This will tell an interesting story that is completely unique to your hotel’s direct locale area and will give guests an intriguing and captivating look into surrounding life.

From the window to the wall
If you have a large space, you could consider creating bespoke mural wallpaper(s). Instead of being a repetitive pattern, this could be an image of a local space, which will cover an entire wall, and in the process become a work of art in itself. This could be a location of note within your hotel’s immediate vicinity, or it could even be of the hotel itself. Consider your hotel’s branding and what the design style influences are. Then ensure that the mural you commission falls within this, and adds to each room in a unique way – the paper, if repeated throughout rooms, doesn’t always need to be exactly the same. Therefore if returning guests were to get a different room, there would be something slightly different for them to look at and enjoy each time they visit.

Consider sculpture as well as framed imagery. Freestanding works of art are ideal for larger spaces, for example, a big lobby area. They make an impact and add a third dimension to the room. Do keep in mind though, that statues are best exhibited in areas that don’t have passing traffic.

Approach a local art school and offer the students the opportunity to exhibit their works. This should be an occasion for the students to exhibit their works and your hotel to display an array of pieces from up-and-coming artists.

Teamwork
Our final suggestion, and this would be dependent on what you, as a hotel, could offer, would be to think along the lines of an ‘artist in residence’. Generally the hotel will make a studio available to the artist for a period of time, during which the artist will create works that will then be exhibited. Perhaps the artist could offer lectures and classes during their stay. This suggestion will obviously depend on what each hotel wants and is able to offer local artists, and of course, what the artist(s) will require in return. It is, however, a wonderful opportunity for a local artist and to create a buzz around your hotel and local art.

Shout about it
When you set about doing this dare to be distinctive and ensure that whatever you do, it’s considered and bespoke, even if you’ve decided to opt for a collection of Instagram images that yourself, your staff and your guests have collected of the local area and have then been framed, creating captivating galleries that talk directly about the neighbourhood. The art style that you chose will be the one that most reflects your hotel’s brand and target audience, so for example if you have a younger clientele, then offering guests the opportunity to Instagram local pictures to you will appeal.

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