Art at the beach

Everywhere you look at the Viceroy Santa Monica in California—whether it be up at the facade of the hotel or eye to eye with a Lost Warhol—you can find endless inspiration and art thanks to five local artists who each put their creative and personal stamp on the hotel. The $21-million renovation of Viceroy Santa Monica goes above and beyond a superficial redesign, showcasing an intentional and meaningful aesthetic that brings something beautiful to the Santa Monica community.

“Viceroy Santa Monica has always been a go-to destination for locals, with its iconic poolside scene, and its bold ambiance,” said Deepak Mehra, area general manager, Viceroy Hotel Group. “As a celebrated Santa Monica gathering spot, we want to continue to inspire and create conversations by integrating our local artist community, within our DNA. Each piece was created specifically for the hotel and each of the local artists has a story and connection to Santa Monica. We wanted the art to be what instantly draws people into the hotel, guiding them along a seamless journey through the entrance, lobby and beyond.  Beginning with the arrival experience, you’ll immediately be struck by Spencer Mar Guilburt’s eight-story mural on the side of the property. And as you pull into the porte cochere, you’ll notice Erin Miller Wray’s eclectic mid-century modern piece, welcoming our guests with a pop of brilliant colors. Once our guests enter our backyard, Evelyn Leigh’s piece is within reach, and photographs wonderfully.”

He said that art adds character to the hotel’s design. “Without art, in general, everything would lack character, and would simply be sterile. Art adds personality, it generates optimism, it inspires and allows us to communicate to our guests in a creative a bold fashion. And when we partner with local artists, that persona is much more relevant to who we are as a city and a community.”

Highlights of the artistic collection from local artisans:

“The Lost Warhols” digitally augmented paintings by Karen Bystedt
Created by photographer and mixed media artist Karen Bystedt, these original pieces (pictured above) for Viceroy are photographs (lost for decades but since found and restored at the Getty Museum) taken by Bystedt in the early ’80s that have been painted on top of by fellow artists and digitally augmented to slowly transform from raw photos to finished, multi-layered artwork. Much like the hotel, guests can watch as an iconic piece of history transforms into something contemporary and dynamic, yet timeless.

“Melt Into Love” by Monica Perez
Perez’s nine original abstract paintings housed in the Sugar Palm Lounge take inspiration from the pandemic and represent the beauty within us and are an emotional expression of coming together again. Mostly created with acrylic paint, tactile and digital techniques are also used to showcase impulsive, spontaneous gestures of hands on a canvas.

ENDLESS by Erin Miller Wray
Housed front and center on the hotel’s facade, Wray’s bold and eclectic mural embodies its name, taking inspiration from infinite horizons and West Coast shorelines. The mid-century modern shapes, colors and clean lines pay homage to Santa Monica and celebrate the beauty of the past while connecting viewers to the excitement of the future.

IJEOMA by Evelyn Leigh
The focal point of the back patio, IJEOMA reimagines the property through the most basic elements: color and shape. The vibrant mural constructed with colorful paints summons the calming effect of a body of water or a palm tree waving gently in the wind, two elements central to the surrounding L.A. beaches.

Skate Wheels
A playful nod to the skater culture of Santa Monica and Venice Beach, this colorful, dynamic piece placed at reception is made of 396 individual skateboard wheels to reinforce the hotel’s bind to the local beach culture.

Camera Wall
A prized collection of antique cameras found throughout local flea markets, some dating back to the 1900s and others more recent like an iPhone 6 can be seen in the lobby.

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