Art in Hotels Details



Introduction – Local hotels are logical venues for local art.  Making it attractive for the hotel owners to invest in local art is a challenge.  This proposal outlines some strategies that could be employed.


Why Purchase or Display Local Art?

  • When so much of what is purchased comes from outside the country, particularly China (even the mass produced art), supporting American products is a positive act that distinguishes the establishment.


  • Using local suppliers, including artists, better integrates a business into the community in which they are located.  It engenders good will.


  • Having art of the walls of hotel enlivens the space; removes the institutional air of the place; makes the hotel feel more like a private home for visitors.


  • Having an attractive place improves the moral of the workers just as the art improves the outlook of the visitors/guests.


  • Local art at a hotel helps distinguish it from others which are likely to have commercial, mass produced art (if any) on the walls.  It helps create a memorable impression on guests.


  • Guests often are looking for lodging that conveys a local flavor about the community they are visiting and spending time in.  Art that depicts local scenes does this.


  • Guests who had a memorable time at a given location may want a remembrance of their stay, a souvenir.  A copy of local artwork depicting a memorable scene could fill that need.  Having seen the artwork initially in the hotel would form a positive link back to the hotel every time the guest views the artwork they purchased.


  • Local, original art is not that expensive compared to mass produced art.  It could be purchased for prices comparable to mass produced work, but provide long term benefits to the hotel that the mass produced work cannot, i.e. the benefits outlined above.


  • Supporting local artists keeps money in the local economy rather than exporting it to outside sources.


  • Linking the purchase of the art through a local non-profit can have tax advantages to the hotel and long-term publicity for the hotel if the artwork is advertised through the non-profit organization, such as on its website.


  • Establishing a rotating exhibit of artwork in part of the hotel would be chance to invite the public into the hotel periodically as new exhibits are installed.  Such events can be part of local “art walks” or stand alone events that raise the visibility of the hotel.  Such exhibits could be managed in conjunction with the purchase of art (whether in guest rooms or elsewhere).


Who Manages the Selection and Installation of the Artwork?

  • The hotel staff are usually not prepared to do this, probably lacking the knowledge and time.  Therefore, it is suggested a local curator be selected who can manage the project as a “turn-key” program.


  • The VCAC can suggest a curator with local connections and who can work with the Arts Council to maximize the benefit to the hotel.


  • The hotel works with the curator to determine the program’s parameters.  These are listed below.  The curator can make suggestions, but the hotel manager or other staff should be involved in setting the direction for the program.


  • The hotel pays the curator for the artwork and for the curator’s time collecting it and installing it.


  • The hotel pays the non-profit Arts Council a nominal fee (that may be tax deductible) for providing various services that aid in the gathering of the art and in its on-going marketing, e.g. a page on its website showing the art from the hotel that is for sale.


Program Parameters

  • Where will the art be displayed, e.g. public areas, meeting rooms, guest rooms?


  • What, if any, themes are desired, e.g. local scenes, historical images, landscapes, seascapes, bright and colorful, etc.


  • What is the budget for the total project?


  • How will the curator be paid? a flat amount, percentage of the purchase price of the artwork, on-going commissions from sales of artwork, etc.


  • Is the artwork purchased or rented by the hotel? If purchased, is it for re-sale by the hotel?  Is the original artwork kept by the hotel, but reproductions made available for sale?  If rented, for what duration?


  • Would the curator work with designer or decorator employed by the hotel as part of an overall design theme?


Cooperative Arrangements – To maximize the benefit to all parties, it is suggested a variety of cooperative arrangements be entered into such as the following:

  • The hotel’s website should include a page about the art it has on display.  This will give the art greater visibility and raise its importance.  In doing so, participating artists may be willing to discount their costs in exchange for the publicity.


  • If the art on display is having a real impact on the guests, they may wish to purchase it – as they can sheets, robes, fixtures, etc. that they find in some hotels.  The hotel should promote the purchase of copies of the art on display by guests as a souvenir of their experience.  The hotel could retain the original, but artist could supply a limited number of editions that would be available for sale.


  • To facilitate such sales, the hotel would pay the VCAC for setting up a page on its website that hosts images of the artwork for sale.  The hotel would be credited on this page and lauded for its support of the arts.


  • Purchase of copies of artwork would be done through the non-profit Arts Council who maintain a page on its website displaying the art and providing for ready credit card purchase of the artwork.  The VCAC would work with the artist to have the artwork shipped to the purchaser (guest).


Terry Bray is the curator of art in the public areas of the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach hotel in downtown Ventura.  She made the following proposal to the General Manager of the Hotel in 2011.  Most of the points made could also apply to other hotels and resort facilities.







  • Local, regional, national and international recognition on a personal and corporate level.
  • Expansive FREE media coverage (Television, newspapers, magazines, internet publications).
  • Long term FREE advertising by the Ventura County Arts Council on website and printed materials.
  • Gains enhanced recognition by the Ventura City Council and city officials of your personal support of the city goals (i.e. increased tourism, theme enhancement of “The New Art City” and as a major contributor to a sustaining the local economy).
  • Yields credence to CPVB support to the Ventura Visitors Bureau through the artistic display of the Ventura lifestyle therefore influencing their theme, “Living the Dream”…in Ventura.
  • Provides long term financial rewards from increased visitors to the Aqua Bar and C-Street Restaurant.
  • Provides long term financial rewards from an increase in guests staying at a unique hotel.
  • Defines the CPVB as a major contributor to sustaining the local economy.
  • Gains visibility of the CPVB on a regional level as a unique contender within the hotel industry.
  • Integrates the CPVB into the community which engenders good will.
  • Improves the feelings of guests seeing that they stayed in a “special place” vs. a commercial air space.
  • Improves the moral of workers being surrounded by familiar sites and artistic imagery.
  • Creates a memorable impression on the guests when surrounded by images of the Ventura County lifestyle, environment, historical icons and scenery.
  • Satisfies the guests that are often looking for lodging that conveys a local flavor about the community they are visiting and spending their time and money in.
  • Enhances the perception the Ventura county life style to the visiting guests that are considering  relocating and/or establishing business or residence in Ventura County.
  • Sizable awareness creation of the CPVB to and by the Ventura County Supervisors from the installed art produced by regional artists reflecting their respective districts.
  • Provides direct financial support to the arts community rather than exporting it to outside sources.
  • Links the CPVB through the Ventura County Arts Council (VCAC) to regional artists known and respected nationally and internationally.
  • Expands promotion of the CPVB via the web site of the VCAC that is viewed by an international audience and membership.
  • Introduces and promotes the CPVB to the executives of the California Arts Council (Sacramento).
  • Introduces and promotes the CPVB to the National Endowment to the Arts (Washington)
  • Furnishes tax advantages by purchasing art through the only county wide non-profit arts organization!
  • Creates a unique opportunity to produce memorable literature for the guests of the hotel that will be shown to their business associates, friends and family.
  • Perpetual financial support to the arts community via the sale of prints of the room art  available from the web site of the VCAC.
  • Insures Douglas Wood, General Manager of the CPVB, the control and enjoyment of personally selecting the imagery he believes appropriate for the decor of the rooms of the hotel.
  • Guarantees regional and international recognition of Douglas Wood as a major arts supporter and partner is securing a sustainable economy.


Presented by Terry Bray      May 23, 2011