INNISFREE HOTELS’ CONNECTION TO THE COMMUNITY THROUGH LOCAL ART
Imagine walking into a hotel where you are greeted with artwork especially created and customized to welcome you to the community. Creating fun and memorable experiences is the motto of Innisfree Hotels and it is what you are going to get as soon as you walk into the Hilton, Holiday Inn and the new Fairfield Inn at Pensacola Beach. Each hotel features commissioned artwork from local artists giving you a sense of the areas culture and vibe as a special point of destination for its guests.
Housing Luna Fine Art Gallery, The Hilton at Pensacola Beach provides quarterly art openings open to its guests and the public. It celebrates both professional and emerging artists and collaborates with other organizations such as Dixon School of Arts & Sciences, Pyramid Inc. and Independence for the Blind of West Florida. With its latest renovation, The Hilton displays nearly 95% original artwork in its public spaces.
According to Ted Ent, the President and CEO of Innisfree Hotels, Implementing the local artist program to our hotel portfolio is the next step in our ongoing commitment to the arts community. Over time we will build a catalog of original artwork by local artists in all the markets where we do business and offer the artist and the guest a unique opportunity to connect.
Early in October, art curators Lisa Puzon and Shaughnessy Johnson were approached by Project Managers, Jordan St. Croix and Brian Mager, to curate the three hotels. The two curators contacted artists from Luna Fine Art Gallery to take on the challenge and present comps within a month for the Innisfree team to review. Final approval by the brands were received and production soon followed.
“It is important to have original artwork in hotels because it provides a culturally enriching experience and allows guests to foster a deeper appreciation for the arts in a welcoming, nonintimidating environment.” -Kristen Regan
“I am amazed and thrilled at how Luna Fine Art Gallery has grown. For years Julian and I had talked about the possibility of showcasing local artists at the Hilton with Gina Roberts, the Hilton’s general manager at the time. We really wanted to connect the Pensacola community of artists with our visitors to the hotel and offer a light-filled space to exhibit their work. It was a germ of an idea, waiting for the right time and expertise. That came with the arrival of Lisa and Shaughnessy who brought the vision, determination and spirit needed to bring Luna to life. In a few short years, it has become a local home gallery, a children’s art exhibit space, an art opening venue, a support system for local artists, and more! We celebrate the connections and community support it has created!” -Kim MacQueen
Thirteen local artists were chosen for this project: Beverly Elliott, Blythe Webster, Jennifer Fleming, Joan Overton, Kathy Breazeale, Kristen Regan, Maria Hoch, Mary Anne Staples, Michael Boles, Pat Regan, Patricia O’Neal, Sally Miller and Tamara Fischbeck. Each artist showed their unique style to create an incredible body of work. In addition, Innisfree Hotels also commissioned art teacher, Karli Kimmons, with three 7th-grade students to create pieces for inside the meeting rooms of Holiday Inn. This gesture provides a well-deserved exposure to the artistic talents of Dixon School of Arts & Sciences whose students are not eligible to participate in art venues which are mostly reserved for county public schools. More artwork from students from private and public schools as well as homeschooled children are available year-round at Brilliant Star, A Luna Fine Art Gallery located at Hilton Pensacola Beach.
Innisfree hotels believe in supporting and connecting the communities and what better way to do so than through the arts!