Curating a Creative Frontier

At NINE dot ARTS, we love working with clients who understand that integrating a well-curated art program into their hospitality projects isn’t just a ‘nice-to-have’ but paramount to creating a memorable guest experience.


Embracing this philosophy, we recently unveiled an unforgettable art collection for The Elizabeth Hotel in Fort Collins, Colorado – developed by Bohemian Companies, McWHINNEY and Sage Hospitality.

The Elizabeth’s art collection celebrates Fort Collins as a creative frontier, embodying the city’s authenticity, humility and adventurous spirit around central themes of music, nature and community. We focused on softer, more organic pieces – along with a dose of the unexpected – to feature engaging works from Colorado-based artists, and especially those with ties to The Elizabeth’s neighbor, Colorado State University. (dot note: Martha Weidmann is a CSU alumna! Go Rams!)

In total, we curated 130 original artworks and 1,000 objects throughout the centrally located hotel that borders the city’s cultural core – Old Town Fort Collins. Nearly four dozen of the original artworks found in the hotel’s 164 guestrooms and public spaces were produced by either a CSU alum or professor, and much of the collection exemplifies the city’s vibrant music scene and the community’s love of nature.

Here are some of the artworks you can find in the hotel:

Picnic by Kevin Sloan, Denver | oil on canvas

Welcoming guests to The Elizabeth Hotel, Picnic hangs behind the front desk and travels up the hotel with connected pieces located within the elevators. Whimsical and expressionistic animals play in the foreground while the score and lyrics to “Where the Columbines Grow,” Colorado’s state song, are in the background. An homage to CSU, a ram can be seen peeking his head into the scene.

Suspended Light by Jane Guthridge, Denver | duralar on monofilament

Commissioned specifically for The Elizabeth, Jane Guthridge’s Suspended Light creates a magical moment underneath the grand staircase. Jane took inspiration from Colorado’s abundant sunlight and the ethereal qualities of nature to create the work. The oval shapes of duralar appear to float suspended like beads of light. The monofilament, when seen up close, almost looks like the strings of a harp. (Photo courtesy of Jane Guthridge.)

Humansville Cowboy Band by Tammi Brazee, Aurora, Colo. | acrylic on stretched fabric

Tammi Brazee, a graduate of CSU, studied both science and visual art, and as a result explores the boundaries between concrete reality and the whimsy of an intuitive, creative mind. This triptych, located in the third floor elevator lobby, was commissioned based on her Clusters & Nodes series which explores family portraits. For The Elizabeth, Tammi sourced an historic photograph of the Humansville Cowboy Band. To give the work a more unusual feel, she stretched plaid and striped fabric on panels to use as her canvas. The patterns subtly come through the painting like a ghost from the past.

Sound Totem by Nikki Pike, Denver | mixed media with MP3 player

Nikki Pike directly addresses music and nature by combining an MP3 player with a tree trunk. The piece is one of her many Sound Totems – based on materials and customs of Sioux culture –  which can be seen throughout Denver. Open the door of this specific installation and “Nest” by Colorado band Land Lines plays through the hallway. Land Lines includes former members of Fort Collins-based Matson Jones. Lead singer Martina Grbac attended CSU.

Gramophone, Viola, Piano, Calliope, Mandolin by Paul Flippen, Fort Collins, Colorado | ink, water, color, tempera, acrylic and transfer on paper

CSU professor Paul Flippen creates work that feature layers of pattern, abstraction and imagery. The highly detailed drawings of the music instruments and objects are layered on top of music scores and an abstract shape that calls to mind music notes and reference the movement of music. The brown color palette references the tones of wood in each pictured object or instrument.

The Elizabeth Hotel’s collection creates an elegant, rhythmic conversation between music and nature, with Fort Collins’ vibrant and subtle, adventurous and elegant, atypical and traditional spirit driving the art selection process. Ultimately, the collection serves as a testament to The Elizabeth’s commitment to both the creative process and performance.