CityWay hires IMA curators to populate new hotel with art

March 17, 2012

The Indianapolis Museum of Art will receive $350,000 in fees for its curators’ work on behalf of The Alexander, the hotel being built at CityWay.

Curators Lisa Freiman and Veronica Roberts have selected 24 contemporary artists to create work specifically for the hotel.

Buckingham Cos. President Brad Chambers, whose firm is building CityWay, has served on the IMA’s board of governors since May 2009, museum spokeswoman Katie Zarich said. The IMA has been working on the project since 2010, she said.
 

ontherecord-cityway-15col.jpg The Alexander Hotel will feature art by local and international artists. (Rendering courtesy Buckingham Cos.)

That year, the IMA launched a consulting arm dubbed “IMA Services,” which markets the museum’s various experts. The museum also is managing the extensive displays at the Indianapolis International Airport, for which it received $100,000 last year. Zarich said the IMA and airport are in the process of renewing their contracts for a second year.

CityWay is being financed by the city of Indianapolis, but a Buckingham spokeswoman said the art that goes into the 209-room hotel is not underwritten by the city. (The city issued bonds backed by downtown tax revenue so that it could loan Buckingham $86 million for the project.)

Buckingham is using “private funds” to pay the IMA’s curatorial fee, spokeswoman Amy Wiser of Borshoff said. The money for the more than 40 works of art will come from the same private source, she said.

Buckingham declined to elaborate on the funding source, and Wiser said the final budget is evolving.

Not all of the artists’ work is limited to discrete paintings or sculpture. Sculptor Jorge Pardo, a 2010 MacArthur fellow, will design the hotel’s second-floor bar and lounge, “including the furniture, lighting fixtures, and surface treatments, as well as a monumental chandelier for the hotel’s grand stairway,” according to a press release issued by Borshoff.
 

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