More than 20 artists unite at the Clarendon Hotel to create ArtelPHX

Walk-in art exhibits as well as live dance performances riddled the Clarendon Hotel in downtown Phoenix this weekend, as a part of ArtelPHX, an event created by Tara Sharpe. (Photo by Diana Lustig) Walk-in art exhibits as well as live dance performances riddled the Clarendon Hotel in downtown Phoenix this weekend, as a part of ArtelPHX, an event created by Tara Sharpe. (Photo by Diana Lustig)

Earlier this week, the Clarendon Hotel was converted into an art museum with the help of more than 20 different artists to create ArtelPHX. The event lasted three days starting Thursday, Sept. 5, and was free to the public. Artists of all kinds got the opportunity to convert hotel rooms surrounding the Clarendon’s pool area into displays to showcase their art.

Tara Sharpe, the creator of ArtelPHX, explained how the event is a benefit to the art community in Phoenix.

“This is the first event of its kind in the U.S.,” Sharpe said. “There have been events similar to this in Europe, where they change a hotel room into an art exhibit, but no one has ever taken over an entire hotel before. An event like this brings more attention to the Phoenix art scene, and it makes people more aware of different artists and styles.”

From the moment you arrived at the Clarendon, it was easy to tell this was not going to be your average art showcase. Neon lights and projectors filled the outside walls with colorful images. The pool’s edges were aligned with tea pots as hotel guests swam. Music played as people traveled through the hotel.

People were amazed to see how each artist had a unique way of transforming the hotel rooms into a work of art. One such room featured an exhibit called, “Slides are my Drug of Choice.” The third-floor hotel room had projectors displaying slide images of Arizona history along the walls. Piles of slide cards were on the hotel room’s tables and bed, creating a cocaine theme.

The display’s creator, Marshall Shore, told what he liked about slides and why it is his "drug of choice."

“In 20 years, everyone’s hard drives will crash and everyone will lose all their family photos, but these slides will still be around," Shore said. "Each slide tells a story, which I’m addicted to."

Another room displayed the artworks of Barbara Dahlstedt, an art teacher at Apollo High School. The room displayed paintings of three different people, including a 14-year-old girl named Daniele, a young woman named Myriah and an elderly man named Bill. Each painting was so vivid you could get a feeling of each subject’s personality. Dahlstedt said she was asked by Johnny Kerr to create paintings showing how “identity is an art form.”

“It’s good to celebrate good people, people who have a story to tell and make a difference in people’s lives," Dahlstedt said.

Even the performing arts were included in ArtelPHX. One exhibit called “La Dulceria” featured dancers from the Dulce Dance Company as they danced around a room full of cupcakes.

Multiple dance performances were given in the hotel’s pool area throughout the night. One group of dancers delivered a live performance with luggage to match ArtelPHX's hotel theme. A dance duo gave a shadow performance which displayed on the hotel’s wall.

It was very interesting to see how the Clarendon could be transformed into one giant art gallery. No two hotel rooms were the same, and many of the artists saw this event as an opportunity to collaborate with other artists. This collaboration and creativity inspired both hotel guest and onlookers and made ArtelPHX a truly great experience.

 

Reach the reporter at cmgaray@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @ghost1effect