Hotel art trending toward being local, interactive

This is part two in a series on art in hotels. For part one, visit: How hotel artwork is evolving through style and standards.

“We come to work every day and face a blank canvas,” Jesse Kalisher, president & CEO of art curation and creation company Kalisher, said of his job. “We may have elevations or a mood board, but every day our studio artists are creating new art and in multiple mediums. That’s both exciting and a challenge at the same time.” 

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Meanwhile, Kalisher noted, the company’s curatorial team is seeking out and vetting independent, local artists globally. “The biggest challenge there is making sure the artist we recommend will be able to deliver as expected and on time,” Kalisher added, noting that the biggest challenge he faces in creating artwork for hotels does not involve the creative process at all. “In the past 12 months, the largest issue has been production—with demand for raw materials at all-time highs, we often find our vendors unable to meet their commitments to us—and that, in turn, has put us in a few tricky situations. Our response in these instances is complete transparency with our clients and free flow of information.”

And how will these efforts pay off for the future of hotel design? “In public spaces, we’ll see more interesting and varied use of digital art,” Kalisher said. “Look for large-format digital art in luxury properties. Our guests’ lives are moving faster than ever, and the art we share with them will reflect this. Guestroom art will continue to chase a combination of localization and the holy grail of affordable 3D art simultaneously. It’s a tough target to hit and worth chasing,” he added.

Ilan Waisbrod, founder of design firm Studio Gaia, agrees that technology will lead to more interactive artwork that integrates the guest into the overall experience.