Tiffanie Wen 2016-09-01 07:12:04
Featuring work from some of the best contemporary artists today, Montage properties provide a museum-like experience without leaving the resort. Guests at Montage Hotels & Resorts can find a wealth of art nearby. Montage Beverly Hills, for example, is a quick drive from some of the best museums in the world, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Museum of Contemporary Art Pacific Design Center and more. Meanwhile, Montage Laguna Beach makes its home in a small artist community renowned for fostering creativity and boasting a plethora of galleries as well as local artists. But guests can also appreciate impressive artwork without ever leaving the resort, with original pieces showcased right in the lobbies, restaurants and outdoor areas of each Montage hotel. Across the country, Montage’s on-site art runs the gamut from paintings and sculptures to photography. Working with prominent artists, curators give guests the opportunity to enjoy beauty beyond the grounds and architecture of the property. Here, we take a look at some of the best original art featured at Montage resorts. PEGGE HOPPER Last year, when Hawaii-based painter Pegge Hopper unveiled a new charcoal and watercolor portrait of Montage Cultural Ambassador Silla Kaina, commissioned by Montage Kapalua Bay, top Montage executives noted that Hopper’s work represented the continuation and evolution of the location from its predecessor, the Kapalua Bay Hotel, which was built in the 1970s. In fact, Hopper—who is originally from California but has lived in Hawaii for more than 50 years—has become one of Hawaii’s favorite artists. Her work can be found in the lobby as well as Cane & Canoe bar at Montage Kapalua Bay, highlighting Hawaiian style and culture. “It’s so obvious what inspires you when you live in Hawaii,” Hopper says. The outdoors, in particular, serves as a muse. “Snorkeling off Montage Kapalua Bay is beautiful,” she continues, “There is this little house on the cliff that they use mostly for staff or private parties and you can climb down the rocks and snorkel in this tiny bay and it’s paradise. That’s Hawaii to me.” Hopper recently finished a piece inspired by something she heard in a yoga class—another source of inspiration. “My yoga teacher said, ‘The sky starts at your feet.’ If you think about it, it’s true,” Hopper says. The painting features a woman sitting on the ground, holding a cluster of clouds at her feet; the clouds continue skyward with the ocean and Diamond Head behind her. At 81 years old, Hopper says she is relishing in the peace and quiet of her life, helping her daughter with her new grandson and only working in her studio sporadically. But, like a true artist, her studio still calls to her. “My studio is right downstairs,” Hopper says. “It’s always calling me—saying get to work, get to work, get to work.” WEST FRASER In 2000, the developers of Palmetto Bluff, S.C., asked renowned American painter West Fraser to work on a series of paintings depicting “a sense of place” of the 22,000 acres that comprised a large private hunting preserve prior to becoming the location that now features Montage Palmetto Bluff. Fraser, who is originally from Savannah, Ga., and is a master at creating stunning landscapes painted “en plein air,” was a natural choice. The resulting body of work is now on display in guest rooms and public areas of the hotel. “When I paint a series of paintings of a specific place, I refer to them as a ‘portrait of place,’ ” he says. Those portraits often capture a sense of place and time that is ephemeral in nature. “Union Camp Hunting Lodge,” an oil painting he completed in 2001, for example, depicts brambly trees encircling a lodge just before the building was torn down to build cottages at the Palmetto Bluff property. Other works capture beautiful vistas in their most natural state: One oil painting completed last year shows the eastern side of Palmetto Bluff along Corely Creek. The artist says this piece, called “Corley Creek Spring,” depicts “a cool spring day—a perfect breeze slightly ripples the water’s surface and rattles the fronds of the Palmetto trees.” The quintessentially Southern artist, whose latest book, “Painting the Southern Coast: The Art of West Fraser,” was published earlier this year, will also be featured in a solo show at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, S.C., from Jan. 27 to April 30, 2017. JOHN BARBER When John Barber was commissioned to create the 27-foot glass mural that welcomes visitors to Montage Laguna Beach in 2003, he decided to create the mural in the style of “pate de verre,” French for “paste of glass.” The technique, which is said to have originated with the Egyptians, has existed far longer than blown glass and involves casting powdered colored glass in a fiber box mold, which is later fired and cooled over the course of two weeks. The resulting work is so durable that casts created in the style have survived thousands of years. “The Egyptians cast powdered glass to imitate the semiprecious stones of the time,” he says. “I knew if I proceeded in this direction, I would not be compared to anyone else and could possibly produce a work of historic proportions.” Barber’s colorful bas-relief mural, “Eternal Sunset,” is made up of 17 glass panels, each 1.5 inches thick, and depicts a Laguna Beach landscape, backlit at night to create a glowing sunset effect. “Glass is exciting and challenging,” Barber, who works from his outdoor studio behind his showroom in Laguna Canyon, has said. “You have to be focused and in the moment. It either happens or it doesn’t. And you best like it hot.” MICHAEL FATALI When Montage Deer Valley was still under construction a few years ago, executives visited the Park City, Utah, gallery of renowned landscape photographer Michael Fatali. They soon decided to work together to showcase a permanent collection of his work, called “Celebrate Light with The Light Hunter,” throughout the hotel. Fatali, whose work is highlighted in the spa area with halogen spotlights, says his hope is that all of his images call attention to the wonder of nature and create an awareness of the importance of staying connected to it for survival and inspiration. For example, his “Forbidden Dreams” photo depicts a deep, narrow slot canyon formed by millions of years of erosion that the artist discovered by hiking and exploring southern Utah and northern Arizona in the 1980s. “The beauty of the place blew me away,” he says. He created the image by using a large 8- by 10-inch film plate camera with Schneider lenses. Fatali also used Kodak Ektachrome film and an E6 development process before “building a recipe” for the prints in a traditional darkroom with chemical baths as well as dodging and burning techniques to lighten and darken some parts of the photo. The image displayed at Spa Montage Deer Valley is an original handmade Cibachrome photograph (silver in the paper’s emulsion helps preserve color and image quality), which is rare to see in today’s digital world. “Though the colors appear very bright and vivid to the eye, it was rather dim lighting when I was recording the scene,” Fatali says. “I believe it was about a 30-minute long camera exposure.” Fatali says he has always felt the pull of Utah, even though he was raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Arizona. After the loss of his mother to cancer when he was a teenager, he says the inspiration of Utah’s beautiful landscapes helped provide solace during this grieving period. The artist notes, “Twenty-five years later, my wife and I still reside in this glorious state of wonder and continue to find inspiration to create new images and find greater purpose in our giving back.” LOCAL EXHIBITS FOR MORE ARTWORK, MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES AROUND MONTAGE PROPERTIES OFFER SOME MUST-SEE SHOWS THIS FALL. LAGUNA BEACH, CALIF. Anna Althea Hills painted landscapes of Laguna Beach at a time when the area was being transformed into an art colony. From Oct. 16, 2016, to Jan. 15, 2017, the Laguna Art Museum will exhibit more than 40 paintings in “Miss Hills of Laguna Beach.” (949-494- 8971; lagunaartmuseum.org) LOS ANGELES, CALIF. A few minutes from Montage Beverly Hills, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will exhibit contemporary studio jewelry from around the globe in “Beyond Bling: Jewelry from the Lois Boardman Collection,” running Oct. 2, 2016, through Feb. 5, 2017. (323-857-6000; lacma.org) SAVANNAH, GA. Located about 30 minutes south of Montage Palmetto Bluff, the Jepson Center in downtown Savannah, Ga., will exhibit a stunning exhibit of contemporary landscape photography from Oct. 14, 2016, through Jan. 29, 2017, including work by Gregory Crewdson, Dan Graham and Sally Mann. (912-790-8800; telfair.org) PARK CITY, UTAH Running through late September, the J GO gallery in Park City, Utah, will exhibit mixed-media abstract works by Curtis Olson. (435-649- 1006; jgogallery.com) MAKAWAO, MAUI From Sept. 9 to Nov. 10, Maui’s Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center will celebrate all things local with “Malama Wao Akua,” an exhibit featuring only works depicting plants, animal species and landscapes native to Maui Nui, as well as people trying to conserve the area. The center also offers art classes for those eager to create an original piece. (808-572- 6560; huinoeau.com)
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