A hotel that's also an art gallery

September 2, 2010 3:06:49 PM PDT
Forms of art are on display at the New James Hotel located in SoHo, Manhattan.

"This is a really graphic piece," Aaron Wexler said.

It is a collage by Aaron Wexler and is one of the first things you notice when you are in this corridor. That is right; this is not an art gallery, but the 14th floor hallway of a new hotel. "It's incredible to see intimate space," he said.

There is actually not much room to maneuver here, so you are compelled to face the art.

That is the idea; the operators of the New James Hotel in Soho want guests to engage with art, whether it is a commissioned piece in the lobby or while you are waiting for an elevator outside your room.

"If you are only here for a short time you can experience a lot of what New York has to offer without going to galleries yourself," Brad Wilson said.

Instead, the galleries in essence come to the guests. Each of the 14 floors features the work of a different, emerging New York artist. "All this work involves Google Earth," Matthew Jensen said.

Jensen is the not only the curator, his own art hangs on the outside of the building. However, he says it's the interior space that offers a unique experience.

"Even in a museum to look and listen," he said.

Hotels often hang prints or reproductions in hallways and public spaces, but here it is all original. Eventually information on each artist will be posted, which could further help launch a career. However, artist Jessica Cannon says this is a very good start.

"Space is so hard to come by really, really great," she said.

For more information, please visit www.jameshotels.com