An Art Story plus some News Briefs | Fall 2009 Rambling

(Ramblings by Dennis Quaintance)

Like everyone, we’ve done some belt tightening, but I challenge anyone to show how doing so has affected his or her experience as a guest. Less people are dining in restaurants and staying in hotels. But that’s just temporary, so we are using this situation as a spark plug to deliver even more for our guests.

Here is an example. It is my experience that beautiful, soulful visual art warms one’s spirit, so we’ve long wanted to have original art in each of our guest rooms at the O.Henry Hotel, just as we do at the Proximity. We turned to our great friend and extraordinary artist Chip Holton and asked him what he could see in our guest rooms. Chip, along with our design guru, Bradshaw Orrell, and our design team manager, Angie Kenny, and I commenced a collaborative powwow to figure out a doable solution. We found one that absolutely tickles me pink. Chip is painting more than 140 original watercolors for our guest rooms and suites! They are vignettes from around the O.Henry and the Green Valley Grill. Next time you stop by, wander around or ask one of our staff members where Chip is painting. What a cool thing! It is an absolute joy seeing him paint gatherings of lovely people taking tea in our social lobby or enjoying breakfast in our newly christened Don Rives Cloister Garden.

After he finishes these (which will be quite a while), we’ve asked him to do some pen-and-ink sketches of seasonal vignettes from around the Green Valley Grill that we can use to graphically distinguish the menus that change each month. We’ll frame these originals for the public spaces in the hotel. Chip’s art is for real. I am so impressed; impressed enough that we are getting high quality images made of some of the art so that we can make reproductions available for sale.