What’s in a name? Juliet didn’t think much, but developer Hugh Futrell does.
Hence the mandate that Art House Hotel, a mixed-use project built near the residential Cherry Street Historic District in Santa Rosa, should have some art in it.
The hotel opened its doors in the summer of 2021 and boasts dwellings that, at 825 square feet, are the largest in Sonoma County. However, being a locally-owned boutique hotel wasn’t the 7th Street property’s initial conception. The original plan was to offer long-term apartments specifically geared toward creative professionals.
But even the best-laid plans are subject to the whims of pandemics, not to mention the economic vicissitudes of the creative life. A reimagining of the venture ensued.
Despite the pivot, the company’s commitment to the creative community—and its branding—remained, which led to the advent of a gallery space.
“It was important for us to establish an artistic presence,” says Futrell Corporation’s marketing director Jane Vick, who previously worked with the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art and is a former arts contributor to Weeklys. Now she’s also Art House’s gallerist.
“This is our first of many exhibitions. We’re going to do four a year in the gallery lounge, all local artists. And it’s an opportunity for us to bolster Santa Rosa’s creative community. We’re really excited to showcase the talent that Santa Rosa has,” Vick says. “We’re an amazing city with incredible talent, and we’re really excited to have that in our gallery lounge. A—it matches the name, and B—it inspires the guests. That’s our goal. [It’s] an amazing added bonus that I get to curate these shows.”
The first Art House Hotel show under Vick’s curation is “Inner Work: The Art and Poetry of Sherrie Lovler.” It will hang in the hotel’s Gallery Lounge from June 1 to Aug. 31.
Vick became acquainted with Lovler’s work when the artist booked rooms at the hotel for her bridal party several months ago.
“When they booked, we found out that she was an artist, and I saw her work, which is gorgeous, super calligraphic—it’s sweeping, evocative work. It has this illuminated manuscript quality to it. It has an Asian influence. And then a lot of it is accompanied by poetry that is really introspective and reflective and dimensional,” Vick says. She immediately invited Lovler to be the hotel’s inaugural artist, with the exhibition timed to the artist’s nuptials.
“I got to show my work to my closest friends and family, which, otherwise, they wouldn’t have seen,” Lovler says. “Everyone took the time to look at my paintings and read my poems. It was thrilling for me. The people at the Art House have been so warm and welcoming. I feel totally at home there and honored to be their inaugural artist and show.”
She adds, “The Art House is such a beautiful setting for my paintings. It’s public, yet intimate, and my work fits so well there.”
‘Inner Work: The Art and Poetry of Sherrie Lovler’ has a public opening reception from 5 to 8pm, Friday, June 9 at Art House Hotel, 620 7th St., Santa Rosa. Wine, music and small bites will accompany the exhibit and some words from the artist.