Orlando embracing the concept of 'hotel art'

Getting an insight into a little culture is one of the real joys of travelling, and yet many people can often find themselves struggling to gather up the courage to dip their toe into what their new temporary surroundings have to offer.
But at the Alfond Inn in Winter Park, Orlando, they are hoping to change things, giving guests the chance to immerse themselves in some great pieces of art, while also having a place to lay their head for the night.
Whether it’s “Koreans, Untitled 22” by Chris Marker or “Manatee” by Hiroshi Sugimoto, there are plenty of pieces available to raise eyebrows of visitors and get them talking and thinking about art in a way they may have otherwise not have previously considered.
The trend of “hotel art” has spread to several hotels throughout Florida, including the Grand Bohemian Orlando, the B Resort & Spa and Hard Rock Hotel Orlando.
In the case of the Alfond, which opened three years ago, the move was easy and made plenty of sense, with the 112-room hotel effectively acting as an extension to the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College.
As a result, it reportedly holds between 130 and 150 pieces on display at any time, which are rotated from nearly 300 pieces in the the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, which was donated to the liberal arts college.
Similarly, B Resort & Spa has established a partnership with Baterby’s Art Gallery in Winter Park, allowing it to display six pieces of locally-created art outside meeting rooms at the resort.
The link between the two parties is part of the hotel’s overarching B Artistic Program, helping to a create a larger platform in which to showcase Orlando’s vibrant art scene in a way that would previously not be possible.
According to Flynn Dobbs, gallery director at the Grand Bohemian Orlando, by displaying art in hotels where visitors are staying it makes the concept of enjoying art a more accessible one for the general public.
She told the Orlando Sentinel: “I think that art galleries, it’s tough to get a clientele in there.
“They’re intimidating and it’s hard for people to step out of their boundaries.”
“But for hotels to be an art gallery and actually have a brick-and-mortar gallery, such as the one at the Grand Bohemian Orlando,” she said, “it takes down that barrier for the guests.”