June 12, 2018 Molly Casey

A “Wander”ful Opportunity: Curating Gallery Style Collections for The Ramble Hotel

Every art curation program begins with a clear goal in mind and the recently-opened Ramble Hotel in Denver’s booming RiNo Art District was no exception. As the first hotel to open in the art-centric neighborhood, The Ramble was envisioned too appeal to a very specific type of traveler: those who like to wander or travel without a destination (i.e. to ramble), and experienced travelers who appreciate timeless elegance in a worldly and contemporary setting.

The opportunity to embrace the ethos of rambling led to a focus on pieces that emphasized adventure, exploration and discovery. It also led the NINE dot ARTS team to incorporate several salon-style gallery walls – including one in each of the hotel’s 50 guest rooms – to offer carefully curated collections representing what it means to collect treasures as you travel. The inclusion of gallery walls in hotel guest rooms is relatively uncommon and offered a distinctive opportunity to curate the hotel’s art story on both a macro and micro scale.

For artists, including the 9 local artists whose art is featured throughout the hotel, this means a display of their works alongside collected items sourced from antique malls and vintage stores. Varying mediums and frame types were designed to cohesively align with the hotel’s rich furnishings and the ability to be both contemporary, as well as timeless and elegant. The result is a feeling of collection over time, and the ability to offer an element of surprise to guests.

Have you ever thought about how your artwork could be paired with antiques or other found objects to tell a story or appeal to a certain audience? Take a look at some of the ways we combined various elements through the gallery wall approach at The Ramble Hotel, as well as other featured pieces.

All a Man Could Want art by Laura Shill curated by NINE dot ARTS for The Ramble hotel in Denver's RiNo Art District.

All a Man Could Want by Laura Shill | cyanotype print

A gallery wall along the staircase from the first to second floors offers an eclectic collection of both 2D and 3D art includes prints from local artist Laura Shill. In her Absent Lovers series, Laura Shill removes all but one lover from the cover of a romance novel. These cyanotype prints guide the viewer up the stairwell surrounded by framed ephemera of an affair.  In a love affair two histories are written by two authors. What is saved and what is left behind?

Raven Sky by Vin Zzep | giclee print

Each guest room features a salon wall unique to the room’s configuration. Antique lithographs, vintage postcards, astrological star charts and compasses are interspersed with contemporary local photography, giclee prints and mixed media works creating a collection one might amass on worldly travels. The spirit of adventure and the treasures collected along the way enlivens each unique guest room and embodies the spirit of rambling, wandering without a set destination.

Hi Bear by Becca Tapert, curated by NINE dot ARTS for The Ramble hotel in Denver's RiNo Art District.

Hi Bear by Becca Tapert | giclee print

Becca Tapert’s “Hi Bear” offers a warm greeting to guests relaxing in a nook adjacent to the reception desk.

Art by Deborah Oropallo, curated by NINE dot ARTS for The Ramble hotel in Denver's RiNo Art District.

Knockout and Lion Tamer by Deborah Or | pigment prints on hanenuhle paper

Deborah Oropallo, associated with Denver’s renowned Robischon Gallery has two stunning works that flank the front desk. The composite works are comprised of layers that create a dynamic interplay between figure, space and time.

Bird by Heather Oelklaus | ultra chrome archive pigment prints of cyanotype on braille page originals

A series of hand puppet shadows from local artist Heather Oelklaus are featured along the second and third floor corridors. These ten images of hand puppet representations, including a goose, dog, child, cowboy, and giraffe, invoke the nostalgia and adventure of a childhood slumber party while reminding the viewer that there are many ways to see the world around us.