The Maven Hotel at Dairy Block is a vibrant new urban hotel concept in downtown Denver. The independent property developed by Sage Hospitality delivers an industrial hotel experience with an energetic lobby highlighting an eclectic mix of local art, handmade products and keen attention to every detail of design and décor.
The Maven’s bustling lobby, Kachina Southwestern Grill and Poka Lola Social Club were all designed by Brooklynbased studio Crème, Jun Aizaki Architecture and Design. Curated by Denver’s NINE dot ARTS, The Maven houses more than 400 original art pieces created by emerging and established Colorado artists such as Emanuel Martinez, Travis Hetman, Robert Weidmann, Karrie York, Karen Fisher, Annie Scaglione and Chris Bagley.
Start with a repurposed dead tree wrapped with luscious colorful thick yarns, now transformed into whimsical, bright and full of life urban tree installation by The Ladies Fancywork Society a Denver-based collective, that began as a group of crochet-loving friends just “chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool and shootin’ some b-ball outside of the school.” The collective has transformed into a fiber arts hydra putting together large-scale projects, international art shows and installations. This piece in the lobby and the entrance to Kachina is not one to be missed.
NINE dot ARTS has out done themselves with curating this. There isn’t an inch or space that hasn’t been thought out on how guests and visitors will experience and enjoy their surrounding. Complementing the outstanding culinary work of Kachina by Sage Restaurant Group co-founder Peter Karpinski the perfectly chosen center piece mural “Homage to Maize: The Staff of Life” by Emanual Martinez pays homage to the staple food of the indigenous people of the Southwestern United States and the Americas.
There is magic in the air when you combine a Kachina Airstream camper in the lobby of a hotel serving yummy breakfast burritos and aromatic rich coffee, a must-grab while you’re enjoying a night’s stay or wandering and gazing at all the art and decor from local artists.
Hotel general manager Gerry Link, standing under the hotel neon sign created by local artist Seth Totten of Acme Neon signs, talks about how connecting community and local experiences, brands and quality in the neighborhood is The Maven’s philosophy.
“The Maven is dedicated to introducing our guests to locally made products that they may not be familiar with and to providing an authentic Denver experience,” Link says. As the heart of the new Dairy Block micro-district, it is important for The Maven to be an integral part of the community we live and work in.” In the theme of keeping local, the hotel has created unique experiences for guests.
And that’s just the lobby and the beginning of all the local artists represented at the hotel. In the elevator foyer is the installation “Dark Matter Gathering,” a photography collage of more than 300 found black and white photographs that reads like American folklore meets “The Twilight Zone” by artist Travis Hetman. Hetman grew up in Minnesota, and received his B.F.A. from the University of Minnesota. He’s now living and working in Denver alongside his wife and pets.
The Maven’s 172 modern guest rooms designed by Denver-based Johnson Nathan Strohe feature a rich color palette and loft-style décor with high ceilings and large windows. Innovative room types include the Baseball Suite and 11 expansive suites. Each floor has beautifully appointed unique playful half animal/half child paintings of Fox’s — “Henry,” “Cindy,” “Joanne,” “Dan,” “Margaret,” “Joe” and “Mike” — that cross the boundaries of realism and whimsy and transport you into the fantastical, creative world of the mind of Karrie York, a self taught artist and Denver native.
Four of the extensive suites house original wall murals each unique to each. Suites 715 and 815 have the divine murals “Maeve” and “Mod Maude” by Karen Fisher. Inspired by fashion magazines, Japanese textile patterns found in books about Samurai warriors and history books where markings on ancient artifacts are re-imagined as clothing designs. Fisher finds fashion model imagery and builds her own rendering using these influences and references, highlighting the gestural aspects of the figure to create a new woman altogether.
To read the entire story pick up the Aug-Sept. 2017 issue of Colorado Expression magazine~
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