When my sister mentioned her trip to something called the “Art Hotel” last week and sent me some pictures – I knew immediately that it would be something I absolutely needed to see. A building full of art from bottom to top?! Amazing! It really was amazing, and I feel like I was actually lucky to see it in person. The idea was to take a building scheduled to be demolished (in this case the Jade apartment building in downtown Sacramento) and for different artists to transform the insides into a literal art house over the space of a month. The temporary exhibition was only open for a week, from February 5th to the 13th, and we went on the very last day. All of the ticket timeslots were sold out when we got there, but thanks to my mother we were able to get in for a 15 minute visit. I had Aurora strapped in the Ergo so she also got to see some of the amazing artwork, although I doubt she will ever remember!
The concept really is incredible. I don’t really know the history of the building and the hotel next door, but from what I have heard they weren’t in the best part of town (although to be honest I wouldn’t have had any idea, coming from a decade in NYC many places you walk down don’t seem to be the most salubrious but that doesn’t really mean anything). In any case 14 artists from all over the world got together and transformed the entire insides of the building into multiple pieces of art: full apartments, rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, windows, halls, staircases, you name it, everything was decorated, painted, and used as part of a prop to capture the visions of each artist. Beauty, nostalgia, love, hate, blood, fear, angst, humour, dirt, purity, horror, smiles, death, life – all separate concepts and emotions that seemed to come together quite seamlessly. I loved walking through the building, feasting my eyes on each room, hallway and staircase. I love how the entire concept displayed how art really is universal and dynamic, a beautiful mix of talent, space, vision, tools and timing. Art cannot be explained or neatly fitted into a box; it is at times stunning, beautiful, grotesque and outright weird, altogether or separately.
I’d love to see some more of these temporary exhibitions and check out more of the different artists’ work. I’ve posted some photos of what really stood out to me below, and you can find out more information on the individual artists on the M5 Arts website and on the Art Hotel 916 Facebook page. My cameras are unfortunately still stuck on our moving truck somewhere halfway across the country so iPhone photos are all I have (and this is only a small sample of everything that I took during my visit). But you can check my mother’s much better images on her blog. Really excited about seeing what other cool and inspiring events Sacramento has to offer!