When the Maven opens on March 29 in LoDo's Dairy Block complex, guests will be greeted by a giant hand hanging from the ceiling. The ten-foot-long sculpture was created by artist Andrew Ramiro Tirado from strips of reclaimed wood that blend effortlessly with the panels above it.
The eye-catching piece is just the start of the amazing art collection commissioned by Sage Hospitality for this 172-room hotel; the company prides itself in putting art in all projects, including the updated Curtis. At the Maven, curating company Nine dot Arts has placed approximately 400 pieces of original work by local artists in every nook and cranny, and many of them can be viewed by the public as well as guests.
In the modern-meets-classic-Havana-styled-lounge by the Brooklyn-based design studio Crème, Jun Aizaki Architecture and Design, for example, you can see "Conceiving a Forest Floor" by Christine Buchsbaum, a thought-provoking print of a kids' playhouse in the middle of a forest that's being cut down.
Just past the lobby, you can get a drink at the Poka Lola Social Club or a Navajo taco at Kachina Southwestern Grill, which includes a repurposed Airstream trailer.
If you're waiting for the elevator, take in the 300 black-and-white photos repurposed by artist Travis Hetman for his work "Dark Matter Gathering." Each photo features a blast of star-scape cut into the picture to make it look as if it has always been there. Inside the elevator, check out the chalkboard-like sketches by Michael Dowling, renditions of such historical black-and-white images as a man riding a horse down 16th Street and a person tipping back a bottle of something refreshing.
There's more art on each floor. Heather Oelklaus, a Colorado Springs-based artist, has turned black-and-white photos of a ladies luncheon into a quilt-like print. Each level also features a whimsical painting by Karrie York, with lively foxes wearing human hats; the seven-piece series reflects the collection's vague animal theme. You can spot more critters in Valerie Savarie's gorgeous book cutouts; her installation isn’t actually in the Maven, but near the business elevators on the adjacent side. That area also includes Diego Rodriguez's three-dimensional abstract mural (title to be determined).
The hotel rooms are all styled by Denver-based designer Johnson Nathan Strohe and include a scattering of five prints. In the bathroom, you'll see some framed, cheeky words of wisdom from artist Courtney Leapley. "Get Glad In the Same Undies You Got Mad In," for example, and "Keep Your Friends Close and Your Underwear Closer."
The adjacent bedroom might display a blown-up print of Travis Hetman's "Sun Mountain," which showcases a possible beach or wheat field, a boardwalk or wood cabin and, in true Colorado fashion, a moose. Mike Giant's old-school, tattoo-like prints that show a panther, a war chief and a dame are also included in this collection. So is Kelsey McNatt's "Ray Bans," as well as images by printmaker Molly Bounds.
Now that the art is hung, the hotel is focusing on getting its doors open. After that, plans call for creating an art tour — either self-guided or led by one of the staff — as well as possible artist talks. And there will be plenty to see; the surrounding Diary Block will also be filled with art.
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