Culture / Travel

Dallas’ New Art Hotel Creates a Whole New Scene on Lamar Street

This Hotel is its Own World — Step Inside Canvas

BY // 03.05.19

A new art-centric hotel called Canvas is now open in Dallas at 1325 South Lamar Street. The artsy hotel took over Nylo Dallas earlier this year and has transformed the interior into a new hotel/art gallery, displaying work exclusively from local artists.

MK Semos, an accomplished gallerist, and award-winning interior designer Jen Mauldin teamed up to curate the art inside of the hotel. Semos and Mauldin launched SEMOSMAULDIN, an art consultancy company in October.

The two began to meet up periodically after Mauldin opened Jen Mauldin Gallery in Bishop Arts three years ago.

“It was over lattes and breakfasts that SEMOSMAULDIN was born,” Semos tells PaperCity. “We just had great synergy together, and I always felt so energetic after our meetings — still do!”

Mauldin says that they came together on  Canvas through their community connections.

“Melanie Ferguson, with Matthews Southwest, and I know each other through Oak Cliff and Art Conspiracy,” she says. “We meet up occasionally over a good cup of coffee and run into each other here and there.”

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Ferguson then introduced Mauldin to Mike Garcia, president of Matthews Southwest Hospitality. The hotel is managed by Intrigue Hotels & Resorts, the independent lifestyle division of Interstate.

“Mike and I met over coffee, great things happen over coffee, and the rest is history,” Mauldin says.

The artwork displayed at Canvas aims to be the “best of local talent,” especially curated for the hotel.

“Canvas has launched with a bang and is quickly making great waves in the Dallas scene,” the duo notes. “Our hopes are that the hotel becomes a thriving creative platform to showcase new and emerging, along with well-known, local artistic talent.”

I attended the grand opening party for Canvas and got a peak at all of the art, as well as a preview of the skincare/body art line in human form, walking around the party covered head-to-toe in colorful body paint. But more on that later.

Here is a walk-through of the art:

On display in the lobby of the hotel is “Female Bust with Floral Headpiece” by Oak Cliff-based figure painter Haylee Ryan. She studied under local artist Kim Owens and apprenticed with Glenn Ness.

For her work, “she often chooses to highlight people that are not typically thought of as beautiful or not typically thought of at all.”

Haylee Ryan
Haylee Ryan’s “Female Bust with Floral Headpiece” hangs in the lobby of CANVAS hotel.

As you approach the front check-in desk, a large, white rectangular piece that looks as if it’s almost moving, catches the eye. The piece is “Gran Paradiso” by Hugo G. Urrutia, who is a multi-disciplinary artist-designer.

His work is a combination of art and architecture. Urrutia founded Decorazon Gallery in Bishop Arts and his personal artwork has been exhibited worldwide.

Go past the lobby and turn right into a little seating area in the corner of the hotel. You will see a large portrait of David Bowie by KARTEL. The group of four artists that created this piece include an architect, fabricator, sculptor and visual artist.

KARTEL
KARTEL, a group of four artists, created a homage to David Bowie after he passed.

Take a left and down the hall is a playful portrait of Abraham Lincoln in a Dallas Maverick’s jersey. This is by Derek Nemunaitis, a Dallas based artist who left the medical field to pursue a career in art.

Derek Nemunaitis
Derek Nemunaitis’ work is often playful and whimsical.

At the end of the hall is the Belleview room that includes a piece by Ann Chisholm. In her artist statement, Chisholm notes that Morse Code is an important element in many of her pieces.

In the hotel’s restaurant, Chef’s Palette, you’ll see work by Sara Cardona and Michele Mikesell. Cardona creates abstract collages and reliefs. The Booker T. Washington and University of Texas at Austin graduate creates pieces that evoke organic shapes and draw inspiration from colors and textures found in a variety of media.

Mikesell lives and works in Oak Cliff and mainly paints portraits. The portrait at Canvas is called “Sky Walker” and is oil on canvas.

Head to the rooftop bar, renamed The Gallery Rooftop Lounge, and check out work by muralist Kyle Steed and Jeremy Biggers. Steed has done various murals across DFW, including the mural behind the Coors waterfall billboard on I-35. Biggers shows a piece from his “Lip Service” series, which portray lips dipped in gold, at the new hotel.

Jeremy Biggers
Jeremy Biggers creates lip paintings, dipped in gold.

Also in the Lounge is a series of work by Riley Holloway. He grew up in Arlington and is known for his fresh look at figurative art. His work displays people and text embedded into the art. Holloway’s work is bold and tells a story.

Other local artists on display at the hotel are Courtney Miles, Danny Rose and Lori Fox.

Riley Holloway
An example of Riley Holloway’s work. Courtesy of Riley Holloway

And now for the painted woman. To promote the hotel and its strong art ties at the party, a woman from Canvas walked around covered completely in body paint the entire night.

Graffiti Collective
The body painted party woman.

It’s certainly one way to make an impression. This new hotel is definitely creating a scene.

When others see a home,
We see a Work of Art
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