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RACINE — Hotel Verdant, former Racine County Eye Business Spotlight and Downtown Racine’s soon-to-be very own sustainable and full-service boutique hotel (500 Main St.), will be the future home of a permanent art collection featuring the work of 22 local artists from Racine and Kenosha.

Hotel Verdant
The long-awaited Hotel Verdant is set to open its doors in the summer, with rooms becoming available for booking starting in August. – Credit: Hotel Verdant

The Racine Art Museum (RAM) and ArtRoot have partnered to curate this collection. It will be on display throughout the main floor lobby and bookshelves. In addition, works of art will be available for viewing in the elevator lobbies of the second, third and fourth floors, as well as in the presidential suite.

Artists featured

RAM and ArtRoot are pleased to announce the following artists have been selected for inclusion in the Hotel Verdant Permanent Art Collection:

  • René Amado (photography)
  • Lisa Marie Barber (painting)
  • Jerrold Belland (painting)
  • Lisa Bigalke (graphics and embroidery)
  • Trace Chiodo (photography)
  • Martha Coaty (photography)
  • Deedee Dumont (sculpture)
  • Justin Gottfredsen (ceramics)
  • Nate Hunter (ceramics)
  • Jarvis Lawson (photography)
  • Brad Lee (sculpture)
  • Diane Levesque (painting)
  • Alex Mandli (ceramics)
  • Holly Wolf-Mattick (glass)
  • Denis Motl (wood)
  • Amanda Cosgrove Paffrath and Dan Sviland (glass)
  • Bill Reid (sculpture)
  • Jim Sincock (photography)
  • Harold Solberg (wood)
  • Scott Terry (mixed media)
  • Maggie Venn (mixed media)

The selected works represent a range of styles and media. They have been curated into groups that share formal elements and subject matter while displaying different materials, textures, sizes, and dimensions, according to the release.

Highlighting local talent

According to the release, The Hotel Verdant Permanent Art Collection represents some of the leading artists in Racine and Kenosha across various career stages.

Featured are 10 artists who are past recipients of a RAM Artist Fellowship Award. This prestigious program fosters artists’ continued artistic and professional development.

In addition, over half of the 22 featured artists are current or former educators from the area’s public, private, and parochial schools. Individuals featured have been educators at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Carthage College as well.

Hotel Verdant features local artists
Lisa Marie Barber | Urban Garden, 2011 | Acrylic paint on canvas | 62 x 62 inches – Credit: Racine Art Museum

Art in Hotel Verdant

Hotel Verdant features local artists
Robert Burkert | Daybreak, 1961–65 | Color serigraph | Reproduction of work in RAM’s permanent collection – Credit: Racine Art Museum

In the hotel, print reproductions of works from RAM’s permanent collection will be on display at the hotel. There will be three images by artists Robert Burkert and Ruth Grotenrath which will hang in the Hotel’s guest rooms.

In addition, two original intaglio prints by Frances Myers depicting local Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings will also be in the Presidential suite.

Hotel Verdant features local artists
Ruth Grotenrath | Untitled, 1966 | Casein on canvas | Reproduction of work in RAM’s permanent collection – Credit: Racine Art Museum

The two, Burkert and Myers, were born and raised in Racine. They came to international prominence for their work in the printmaking medium.

Also, Grotenrath was a lifelong Milwaukee resident who taught classes at RAM’s Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts and had a long relationship with the museum.

Embodying hygge

Dominion Properties, the developer of Hotel Verdant, considered artwork from local artists that matched the Hotel’s theme and aesthetic—among other criteria. Dominion selected the final pieces for their permanent collection after two rounds. Full-time staff at RAM, selection committee members, and their spouses were ineligible to have their work considered for inclusion,” reads the release.

All of the works included in the Hotel Verdant Permanent Art Collection align with the Hotel’s focus on environmental and community sustainability and complement the Hotel’s “hygge” aesthetic.

Hotel Verdant features local artists
René Amado | Beautiful Disasters, 2023 | Archival inkjet print | 16 x 24 inches Credit: Racine Art Museum

The art pieces speak to environmental issues and concerns in the natural and built environment.

On the same note, works of art included work to incorporate natural and recycled materials. They also strive to repurpose waste products.

The artists along with the hotel have worked to promote cohesion and community pride by expressing diverse conceptions of community and place. Each piece is crafted with integrity and enhances the Hotel’s interior design.

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