The Kimpton Hotel Born opened in mid-August at 1600 Wewatta Street, adding another upscale hotel to the LoDo/Union Station area. Like the nearby Crawford and Maven, the Hotel Born is full of art: 32 local artists are represented by more than 700 works. And you don't need to check in to the hotel, designed by Semple Brown in a brand-new building that's a work of art itself, to check some of them out.
"The community has become more interested in supporting and discovering artists," says Mark Falcone, CEO and founder of Continuum Partners, the firm developing the Hotel Born and the surrounding neighborhood. "Denver, in our view, is a totally sophisticated town filled with authentic personal expression. You aren’t measured by your handbag, though maybe you are by your bike."
Curated by Adam Lerner, director of the nearby Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, the Hotel Born collection includes paintings, photography, watercolor and mixed-media works and some stunning digital compositions. While you can see 300 pieces by wandering the corridors, hanging out in the vestibules, lounging in the lobby and walking over to the hotel restaurant, to see the rest you'll have to check into a luxury, knotty-pine-accented room. All 200 of those rooms, to be exact. And don't miss the closets: They each have a hand-painted piece by graffiti artists Jonathan Lamb and Michael Ortiz, who own Like Minded Productions.
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On the wall behind the front desk is a display of 32 pieces, one from each of the artists whose work is shown elsewhere in the hotel. The passageway to Citizen Rail, the restaurant, displays photos of all 32 artists.
"A lot of artists shown here wanted to be part of a community they perceive to be more supportive of the arts," says Falcone. "You don't hear these artists saying they should have moved to L.A. or NYC."
Fans of local art will recognize the work of many of the artists in the Hotel Born collection. And that will come in handy, because beyond an artist's signature on many of the pieces, there are no signs by the displays (the hotel has plans to create materials for a self-guided tour). How many of the artists do you know? See our slideshow for a sneak peek.