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Celebrating Myths and Legends with Contemporary Art at Hyatt’s Andaz Prague

VELVENOIR reveals their process of procuring contemporary art for the luxury lifestyle hotel while developing an engaging narrative for guests to connect

VELVENOIR_Andaz Prague_A Concept by Hyatt_Art Consultancy

VELVENOIR, the international art consultancy, is pleased to reveal the art curating process for Hyatt’s Andaz Prague.

Located on Senoinvázné Square in Prague’s city center, Andaz Prague opened its doors in June 2022, joining 24 properties around the world under the Andaz umbrella — a collection focused on distinctive expressions of local cultures.

Following an extensive and deep research process of Prague’s history and culture, the collective behind VELVENOIR curated the artwork and fine-art objects for all the suites and public areas.

Learn more about the art at Andaz Prague via an exclusive Q&A with VELVENOIR:

At the core of these often-poetic works lies the connection between the vibrant history of the traditional establishment and a new, culturally inspired landmark for Zurich. In their works, the commissioned artists explored the multifaceted past, present, and potential future, experiencing diverse aspects of life around Paradeplatz and Zurich as guests of the hotel.

What was the process of creating an art concept for the Andaz Prague?

We started by spending long periods of time in Prague, its city center, walking around the local sights, stepped into the galleries and museums, walked around public squares and streets, while ending up in local libraries and bookstores, ensuring to discover as much as possible — then we delved into the books, legends, and myths and a bit of Kafka of course. We have researched a lot and it was important to also connect literature and philosophy elements throughout the concept.

Once we understood the city’s overall energy, we´ve developed an art concept connecting the artworks from the inside of the hotel to the outside sights while connecting each sight with a local myth and legend – it was a conceptualized as a walk (inside and outside). Once the direction has been approved, we began sourcing local Czech visual artists with an inspiring oeuvre and discussed with them their art commission for this specific project. For us it was important to ensure the artists are interpreting their own perception of the myth and legends through their art commission, while we just guiding and supporting them throughout the artistic development process.

We have delivered all the artworks in Prague and met with our art handlers on-site, who stepped in and install the artworks professionally to a museum standard, while we supervised and documented on our client’s behalf.

Photo Credit goes to Cristina Lee Garcia 

What was the main idea behind the booklet concept developed?

Our goal from the get-go was to connect the art with outside sights and myths, legends, and fairy tales. After many brainstorming sessions — the “Andaz Walk of Myths” came to life — a booklet-driven concept focusing on a learning art experience while also incorporating featured design elements added through BrimRobbins.  We have developed this, in collaboration with both the Communications team at Hyatt and their local branding agency MadLove.

The permanent art collection inside the hotel connects to landmarks across the city, each represented by different Czech myths and legends like Princess Libuše, Knight Bruncvik, and the Golden Lane. Guests are invited to walk through local stories and fairy tales interpreted individually by each artist. These stories unfold immediately once they walk into the property under the glass installation by Vendulka Prachlova at the entryway, which was inspired by Prague’s iconic Astronomical Clock, as well as other pieces like the ceramic silk-screen printed tiles by Livia Marin inviting guests for an “instagramable” momentum but also sharing interesting legends from Prague, where guests are invited to go for a walk.

 

How does the self-guided tour work?

Upon scanning the QR code on the booklets, which are available in the hotel rooms and suites, guests can begin a self-guided 1.5hr trip across the city via Google Maps. The hotel is always set as the starting point, and the booklet guides them from inside the Andaz Prague toward each landmark and corresponding myth and fairytale (sights).

Did any part of the process make this project particularly unique?

It was very inspiring, collaborating with so many different international and local artists, as well as brainstorm and work with our international collective consisting of museum art curators, hospitality, and communication professionals on this unique project.  We worked together to bring in a unique touch and our collective experiences of coalescing art and hospitality.

When procuring art for a hotel, is it important to focus entirely on local artists?

It depends. Prague is a city highly shaped by tourism and globalization, and it only makes sense that the selection of the art would be a balance of local and international visual artists, in my opinion.  Art allows us to celebrate intercultural exchange, and setting rules takes away from the magic of storytelling.

A PERSONAL NOTE ABOUT ART IN HOTELS

A getaway to an unfamiliar country is an opportunity to get to know a new local culture, but that doesn’t necessarily have to happen exclusively outside the hotel walls. Art is a visually exciting opportunity to bridge the outside into the inside. Beyond immersion in local cultures, guests want to live, play, work, and enjoy a thoughtful hotel concept with elements that engage them, and art opens the curated experience. Connecting guests to local sights, artists, and interesting stories playfully shared through the hotel staff is what I believe will the future, when procuring contemporary art for luxury hospitality projects
Andaz Prague_a concept by Hyatt_VELVENOIR_Art Consultancy
Andaz Prague_a concept by Hyatt_VELVENOIR_Art Consultancy
Andaz Prague_a concept by Hyatt_VELVENOIR_Art Consultancy

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