Textile art does not automatically create homey charm, encourage reflection or create a visual warmth, but unique artwork including tapestries and textiles commissioned by ACE Hotel Group for guest rooms and a gallery space at their newest location achieves all three. Known for positioning their hotels in non-traditional locations, the Brooklyn outpost in Boerum Hill was chosen for its cozy village vibe, tree-lined streets with handsome brownstones, unique indie shops and cafes, and the chance to involve local artists in the creation of art for the hotel.
The mission of ACE Hotel Brooklyn is to reflect the borough’s reputation for handcrafted art, while the architects’ of the hotel sought to express ‘primitive modernism’, a guiding philosophy that tallies with the tactility of the unique and limited edition handmade textiles distributed throughout the hotel. Curated by Niki Tsukamoto, the inaugural exhibition in the wood-lined gallery is Cynthia Alberto & Weaving Hand, a group show featuring textile work by two dozen makers, many of whom live in the local community. The exhibition takes place July-August 2021.
Textile work by Alberto is featured along with textiles created by clients of Land Studio and Gallery and AHRC—two New York City non-profits that offer a range of creative arts opportunities to people with intellectual and developmental challenges—realised in collaboration with Alberto’s ‘healing arts’ studio Weaving Hand. The exhibition includes a monumental weave created by Land artists ‘Rudy’ Bansraj, Carlo Daleo and Corey Scarboro; an abstract woven self-portrait by James Rosa; and a pom-pom work by AHRC artist Hannah Katz. Selected work by Alberto includes tapestries and experimental work that blends clay and fabric.
ACE Hotel Brooklyn curator and artist Niki Tsukamoto explained it was of ‘the utmost importance’ to incorporate work by community-based organisations that contribute resources and support for local textile artists into the permanent collection of the hotel. One of those organisations is Textile Arts Center and three TAC alumni are included including the wonderfully imaginative weft-wrapped rope warp weaves of Alicia Scardetta. Other textile artists include Cheryl Humphries, Hannah Epstein and the intriguing intuitive ‘medicinal’ weaves of Audrey Ducas.
Described by ACE Hotel Group as part of their ‘in-room art program’, textile art commissioned by Tsukamoto includes one-of-a-kind fibre wall art for the 287 guest rooms, 25 of which were tufted by Caroline Kaufman (see ‘Caroline Kaufman’s little bits of heaven’). ‘Tufting is having a moment’, Kaufman told COVER in October 2020. It was an understatement at the time and even more so in 2021 when gun-tufting has taken off partly in response to the eye-candy appeal of the tufted work makers upload to Instagram. Kaufman gave COVER an Autumn 2020 preview of her guest room tapestries for ACE displayed on the roof of her apartment building. Now that ACE Hotel Brooklyn is officially open we can share the destination for her free-form tapestries that feature colour bursts and bold shapes. Created in two sizes—865 x 560mm and 1170 x 865mm—each is large enough to make a prominent wall statement.