Marina Cutler’s MCs Art of Living takes us to Cincinnati for the launch of a new exhibition in one of the South’s most inspiring and original Hotels.
The concept of the “experience” has grown in all areas of marketing. We no longer accept just eating, going to a show or being at a shop, we know there is a story to everything and we want to be a part of that story, to experience something special. Art is often hidden within without officially standing out as the story, but on my recent travel project, Montreal2Memphis, I discovered a hotel that was all about ART as the experience.
For those of you who know me, you know this had me as just as happy as finding a big buttery chardonnay, working with new artists or creating a new project!
Hotels are always looking for ways to wow us and leave us saying “I can wait to stay there again.” 21C not only does that but actually changes their appearance so that when you do return you experience a new WOW every 6 or so months.
Situated in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, 21C Museum Hotel is a boutique hotel and Museum all in one.
Founded by Jack Daniels heiress Laura Lee Brown and her husband, Steve Wilson, art patrons from Kentucky, they have worked with their renowned designer Deborah Berke to make this hotel an added reason to take a trip to Cincinnati.
From the permanent installation by Korean artist Do Ho Suh that functions as welcome/ check in desk,
to the single ceramic tile sculptures that are tucked among the regulars tile in the showers and bathrooms, this hotel experience in one like no other.
I love finding art in unusual places, these discoveries help me feed into my inspiration boards. I often refer to them when I create an event, brand a product, or even developing a signature drink. At 21c Museum Hotel, I was swept away by non-stop inspiration!
The marriage of museum & hotel under one roof had me feeling like a kid in a candy store
We were treated to a guided tour by Museum Coordinator, Michael Hurst who walked my husband Adam and me through the 2 story museum and brought the latest exhibition, Seeing Now, to life. The stories that each piece of art revealed were equally as impressive as that of C21 itself.
And I Can’t Run, 2013
Screen print on retroreflective (To be photograph with flash to view)
Appropriated from a vintage 1940’s postcard purchased on Ebay, the image embedded within the pale blurred surface appears only when the material is exposed to direct light, most effectively through the use of a cell phone camera, with the flash enabled. When the viewer snaps a photo- a common, almost reflexive impulse today - the positive of the image will appear onscreen. Depicting the imminent flogging of a young African-American in a public square in Delaware, one of several states where public punishments were legal into the mid-20th century, And I Can’t Run continues the artist’s exploration of the disproportion between punishments meted out in the US to Causasians and others for the same crime, while enacting how our contemporary habits of seeing both obscure and potentially reveal present and past truths.
Child Skull, 2013
Aside from the title of the piece, Child Skull, Walter Oltmann provides few clues as to the identity of its subject, reflecting the mysteries and limitations of visual perception. The vulnerable nature of children is paired with the tragic image of a child’s skull; this paradox between the tender vulnerability and the terrifying is a common theme in Oltmann’s work.
September 15, 1963, Birmingham, Alabama from Soundless Series, 2013
Visual artist, composer, and musician Paul Rucker’s Soundless Series are wood sculptures marking historic deaths related to civil rights. None of the works mention the names of the victims of the perpetrators, but instead are accompanied with the date of the death, and the city in which it took place. These violin-forms honor the four girls who died during the bombing of an African-American church. Rucker renders their posthumous portraits as violins, as once anonymous and individualized, evocatively embodying and emanating the unheard music of their silent voices.
photo: 21C website
21C Museum Hotel, inspires, stimulates and creates interesting conversation and thought all the while supply all the luxury features of a high end hotel.
The Art, food, amenities, staff and room design were all an integrated part of the experience as were the signature yellow penguins created by Cracking Art Group, playfully found throughout the property.
I have shared some of my photos and experiences while visiting 21C and encourage you to make a trip to Cincinnati to create your own experience and memories.
I look forward to visiting the Louisville 21C location soon and sharing that along with our bourbon trail & festival in the fall.
MC’s Art of Living