The Curtis Hotel is a boutique Denver hotel located in the lively Theater District. This quirky and creative hotel offers a unique guest experience that combines a nostalgic essence of pop culture with comfortable, modern design. As part of Sage Hospitality’s art initiative, this garage mural project continues The Curtis Hotel’s commitment to local artists while branding the property as a one-of-a-kind and fun experience for guests. Artist Forrest J. Morrison, selected for the project from an invitational short list of a dozen other local artists, created murals that are not only immersive art experiences but also provide wayfinding for each elevator lobby of the hotel’s parking garages.
Inspired by the hotel’s close proximity to several cultural landmarks such as the Denver Performing Arts Complex and Denver Art Museum, Morrison explored the strata of the environment through art history, parody, and pop culture lenses. The first-floor elevator lobby references Edward Hopper’s iconic Nighthawks painting while integrating scenes from inside the hotel’s restaurant as well as Denver’s skyline. One level up, François Boucher’s Winged Putti float among clouds with their selfie sticks, smart phones and headphones. Morrison turned the second floor into Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel containing a self-absorbed Adam in addition to Slim Goodbody. The basement level was transformed into Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp but features a tattoo parlor instead of a lecture room. The sub-basement was morphed into Hieronymous Bosch’s depictions of purgatory and hell from The Garden of Earthly Delights populated with mid-century pop culture icons that have lost their glamour.
The Curtis is dedicated to making their guests smile, and the way these garage murals interject the modern into the iconic continues to help achieve that goal.