New hotel brings local art flair to the Upstate

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As Greenville’s art scene continues to grow, the area’s first lifestyle hotel is embracing the local art community. The newly built Aloft Greenville Downtown hotel will aim at promoting artists based around the area by infusing artwork by 10 local and regional artists in its public spaces, guest rooms and suites, hotel officials say.

“Greenville has such a vibrant and unique art community, and we are thrilled to showcase a sampling in our Aloft Greenville Downtown hotel,” said Lucie Manley, vice president of brand experience for McKibbon Hotel Management. “By featuring the work of local artists, we are able to incorporate the surrounding culture into the hotel and provide a unique opportunity for our guests to experience the artistic side of Greenville.”

For many of the artists, this will be the first time their work will be featured in a hotel. Eileen Powell, a full-time artist who specializes in ceramic, metal and glass, believes that having her work displayed in the hotel will transform it into a “permanent collection.”

She said her art primarily focuses on nature, pulling out the beauty, textures and colors of the world. Powell’s work will be featured in the hotel’s main lobby and various niches throughout.

Her most prominent piece, “Migration,” will be suspended from the fourth-floor ceiling where one can catch a glimpse of 185 origami-shaped glass birds. Powell feels lucky to be part of the artists chosen and hopes this will become a model for other businesses, she stated.

On the other end of the spectrum, local artist Judy Verhoeven finds her true calling in paper. She said that as a self-taught artist, she began with acrylic painting and quickly discovered her love for paper while cutting it up and sticking it onto paintings.

Verhoeven’s work will be displayed in the hotel’s entry vestibule. Her featured piece, “Flying Dog,” is one of many flying creatures she has created, she said. The “Flying Dog” is modeled after Charlie, the dog of John McKibbon, chairman of McKibbon Hotel Management Inc. “When people walk in and see the dog, I want them to feel joyful,” she said. “I just feel honored to have been chosen because there are so many talented artists around here.”

The Aloft Greenville Downtown hotel, located in ONE City Plaza, is set to open Dec. 17 and will take reservations starting Dec. 22. 

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