Local Artists Front and Center in the new Westin Cleveland Hotel
There are currently several new hotel projects in the works in downtown Cleveland. One of those, the new Westin, taking up residence on St. Clair and East 9th Street, has a refreshing and innovative approach to decorating. Denver-based Sage Hospitality, the project’s developer and operator, has a long-standing commitment to engaging local artists in all of their projects. For Cleveland, this means that each of the hotel’s 484 rooms, its lobby, and public spaces will showcase established and emerging Cleveland artists. Let me reiterate, every piece of art in the new hotel is created by a local artist!
LAND studio was engaged by Sage Hospitality over a year ago with the opportunity to manage their local art program and curate the art that would become the décor in the new hotel. This is part of a nationwide art program to bring local artwork into every Sage hotel. LAND studio works closely with the New York interior design firm McCartan to ensure that the artwork compliments the hotel’s overall design and takes into account Westin guidelines and brand standards. For the Westin Cleveland Downtown, artwork was targeted that draws on the region’s rich industrial heritage and Cleveland’s distinctive natural landscape to create the exciting feel of reinvention. A unique experience has been created, deeply connected to the city’s values; something that can’t be found anywhere else.
The hotel will showcase many local artists including Liz Maugans, Michael Loderstedt, Dana Oldfather, Jen Craun, Jeff Downie, and Anne Kibbe among many others. The pieces demonstrate mixed media, print making, ceramics, sculpture, photography and graphic design. Not only are there works by emerging artists but also by artists who are based in Cleveland but are making a name for themselves across the nation like sculptor Olga Ziemska and printmaker Christi Birchfield.
In addition, a signature public artwork by Cleveland artist Sarah Kabot will act as a centerpiece for the Westin. As guests of the hotel enter from St. Clair Avenue, above their heads the artwork will shine with sparkling gold, arranged to honor the landscape of Cleveland itself. The Cuyahoga River runs through the 30-plus foot tall display, snaking through the piece and emptying to a foiled background behind the gold. The installation will create a dramatic entrance to the hotel and will become a point of interest in the city.
But identifying the artists to create the artwork throughout the hotel is only part of the equation. Equally impressive is the network of local businesses necessary to bring everything together. Epstein Design Partners and The Project Group have been working closely with LAND studio from the very beginning to develop the overall Westin art program. Local print shop Jakprints Inc. is producing more than 1,000 giclee prints of the selected artists’ work. Art Forum and M. Gentile studio, two Cleveland framing studios, were awarded contracts to mount and frame the pieces. And Marous Brothers Construction, the hotel’s design-build contractor, oversees everything from the proper placement of each artist’s work to building the structural support for Sarah Kabot’s massive piece on the building’s exterior. Sage Hospitality’s commitment to local art in the project is not only benefiting local artists, but extends to many local businesses as well.
This is an exciting project to be a part of and an exciting time for Cleveland. The arts and culture scene in the city is thriving and it is wonderful to bring exposure to local artists through a national brand and to visitors from around the globe that will be staying in this new, uniquely Cleveland hotel.
1939 West 25th Street, Suite 200
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
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