Hotels always are looking for new ways to help business groups make the most of the location. Instead of encouraging them to paint the town red, some hotels have found more artful ways for meeting attendees to build their teams while mixing with locals — painting in groups. Here are four programs that give individual spins on the trend:
Interactive Popup Murals
The Gates Hotel Key West, 24° North Hotel, and the National Hotel in Miami Beach give groups the opportunity to create murals through a partnership with Unconventional, which brings artists and businesses together to “make places beautiful,” according the portfolio’s website.
Unconventional represents about 20 artists in South Florida who work with businesses or groups to create interactive murals as a community service project, resulting in a permanent piece of public art.
Groups staying at these hotels or booking an event on the properties can utilize the Unconventional artists program to conceive and paint a popup mural as a team-building exercise. About 10 participants paint at a time, rotating in and out to complete the mural. The popup murals are painted on a one-of-a-kind structure, but can be removed and hung as interior design in the group’s offices or other location if the group is donating as part of its CSR project.
Wine & Watercolor
Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, located on the Santa Ana Pueblo near Albuquerque, offers group art classes it calls “Wine & Watercolor.” New Mexico artists teach the classes, which take place on the resort’s back patio looking out at the 17-mile Sandia Mountain range and a Bosque cottonwood forest.
The local artist provides supplies and teaches guests how to use watercolor paints. Participants paint at their own pace while sipping a glass or two of their favorite wine. No inspiration needed.
Artist in Residence
Wildlife artist Amy Ringholz spent much of last fall painting art installations for the Ascent Lounge at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole. As the hotel’s artist-in-residence, Ringholz curates the hotel’s ongoing art exhibit, created the art work adorning the hotel’s custom-designed skis, and hosts guests or groups off-site at her barn/studio.
Groups meeting at the Four Seasons also can take advantage of the “Back Studio Pass” at the barn with painting classes or team-building exercises. Ringholz’s barn/studio has space for up to 100 participants and the sessions can be catered by the Four Seasons. When the barn’s doors are open, groups get sweeping views of the Teton Mountain Range and the Gros Ventre Range.
Chichi Doll Painting
Groups meeting at the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort on the Caribbean island of Curaçao are able to dive deep into the island’s heritage with this team-building exercise.
“Chichi,” in the Papiamento indigenous language of Curaçao, means “big sister,” or the much-loved female role model in the Caribbean community. These exaggerated sculptures of female figures usually are painted in vibrant island colors and offered as souvenirs.
In this exercise, taking place in a tropical garden at Serena’s Art Factory in Willemstad, Curaçao’s capital city, participants team up with craftsmen to paint chichi dolls of various sizes. They also can decorate a larger-than-life sculpture as a team.
Curt Wagner is an associate editor at Convene.