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I have this thing for old buildings. As a photographer, that can come off as a cliché–take subjects to an abandoned building/hotel/ruins and take some photos there. Capture that sense of grittiness, get that “cool factor” going. Explore. And heck, I have totally done that just because of how “cool” it is (filing it along with train tracks and fisheye lenses). But really, what draws me to old buildings is the history it holds. When visiting an old place like that, I can’t help but wonder, who used to live here? Who used to walk on these floors? What are their stories? Where did they go? Where are they now?1602045_arthotel_0059 1602045_arthotel_0060 1602045_arthotel_0058But the thing about Art Hotel is that it wasn’t about the building. I mean, in a sense it was, but not really. It was more than that. It was a blending of the two, and an invitation for the public to come through and see those two worlds collide. The old and the new. The history of the building, and the new ideas, new experiences, and new feelings.

This was pretty much the feel of Art Hotel. Each room, nook, and cranny was an experience, a transportation, an idea in someone’s head brought forth into reality.

When we first entered Art Hotel, we were greeted with a stairwell of white hanging plastic strips, almost like we were a car being cleaned in a car wash. This experience adequately primed and cleansed us for the world that we were about to step into. Once you step up, it’s unclear where to begin. Which way to go? A room on the left buzzes with the sound of rolling skateboard wheels on a small plywood ramp, creating art from ink on the wheels. Another housed photos from the building’s past, including a tub of red liquid that looks like blood, (The Shining, anyone?) but upon realization, it’s actually supposed to be wine, relating to the fact that people would make wine in their bathtubs there. Down the center of it all, a multilevel black and white mural of a bird, and a huge hole going through all the floors.

This was pretty much the feel of Art Hotel. Each room, nook, and cranny was an experience, a transportation, an idea in someone’s head brought forth into reality. Surreal but whimsical, it made you ponder, gasp, and go “huh.”1602045_arthotel_0002 1602045_arthotel_0003 1602045_arthotel_0005 1602045_arthotel_0009 1602045_arthotel_0010 1602045_arthotel_0013 1602045_arthotel_0017 1602045_arthotel_0020 1602045_arthotel_0023 1602045_arthotel_0026 1602045_arthotel_0028 1602045_arthotel_0038 1602045_arthotel_0040 1602045_arthotel_0041 1602045_arthotel_0042 1602045_arthotel_0046 1602045_arthotel_0047 1602045_arthotel_0051 1602045_arthotel_0052 1602045_arthotel_0055 1602045_arthotel_0054 1602045_arthotel_0088The exhibit itself while actually open was a bit insane. I had heard that on the last day, there was a massive line to get in, and people waited hours and hours. To me, this means a few things. First, people in the Sacramento area appreciate these types of experiences–the ones that are unique and interesting. People crave little adventures like this, and we need to have more of them in the area–events that feature art created by artists, and allow people to be transported to a new place and space.1602045_arthotel_0089 1602045_arthotel_0085The next chapter? Who knows. We do know, however, that Art Hotel was a doorway to a new place, a new experience, a new view into the Sacramento art scene.

Photos | Susan Yee

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